Differential Hydrogen Isotopic Ratios of Sphagnum and Vascular Plant Biomarkers in Ombrotrophic Peatlands as a Quantitative Proxy for Precipitation-Evaporation Balance
We have developed a new approach to quantitatively reconstruct past changes in evaporation based on compound-specific hydrogen isotope ratios of vascular plant and Sphagnum biomarkers in ombrotrophic peatland sediments. We show that the contrast in H isotopic ratios of water available to living Sphagnum (top 20 cm) and in the rooting zone of peatland vascular plants can be used to estimate "f"-the fraction of water remaining after evaporation. Vascular plant leaf waxes record H isotopic ratios of acrotelm water, which carries the D/H ratio signature of precipitation and is little affected by ...
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