Marcella Catoni, H Curtis MONGER MONGER, Eleonora Bonifacio


Carbon isotopic analysis is a useful tool for investigating paleoenvironments, as the pedogenic carbonate δ13C is related to δ13CSOM and to the proportions of C3/C4 plants. In this work we interpreted the paleoenvironmental conditions at the time of carbonate precipitation in soils formed under different climates and during different geological ages. Samples were taken from a Bk (PR1, Holocene) and from two Bkm horizons (PR2 and PR3, Pleistocene). When the mean δ13C plant values and the most plausible paleotemperatures were used in the evaluation, PR1 showed a lower percentage of C4 plants (48%) than Pleistocene soils (~53%), in agreement with paleoclimate changes. When instead the δ13C values of current plants were used for PR1, C4 plants ranged from 59 (12°C) to 66% (18°C), suggesting two possible interpretations: either plant species changed during the Holocene, or the plant mean values normally used in the literature are not suitable for Pleistocene reconstructions


stable C isotopes; C3-C4 vegetation; paleoenvironment

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2281-4485/3830


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