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A Comparison of the Abundance and Diversity of Fossil Pigments in Wetland Peats and Woodland Humus Layers

Jon E. Sanger and Eville Gorham
Ecology
Vol. 54, No. 3 (May, 1973), pp. 605-611
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1935346
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1935346
Page Count: 7
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A Comparison of the Abundance and Diversity of Fossil Pigments in Wetland Peats and Woodland Humus Layers
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Abstract

The abundance and diversity of fossil pigments (chloraphyll derivatives and carotenoids) in woodland humus layers and in circumneutral to moderately acid swamp peats are shown to increase with degree of soil waterlogging. The swamp peats are distinctly richer in pigments than are the highly acid peats from a Sphagnum bog, especially as regards carotenoids. However, the bog and swamp peats exhibit equal pigment diversity. Although the semi-aquatic swamp peats are richer and more diverse in fossil pigments than terrestrial humus layers, they are much poorer and much less diverse than profundal lake sediments. A combination of low pigment concentrations, moderate pigment diversity, and high ratios of chlorophyll derivatives to carotenoids has shown utility as an indicator of swamp invasion in the course of lacustrine evolution.

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