• Archaea;
  • Crenarchaeota;
  • Euryarchaeota;
  • Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether;
  • Peat;
  • Depth profile


The presence and distribution of isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs), lipids that constitute the membranes of Archaea, have been investigated in a 50-cm long core from a Swedish peat bog. In the acrotelm, the periodically water saturated and thus oxic upper layer of the peat bog, only minor amounts of GDGTs were found. These amounts increase considerably in the catotelm, the continuously water saturated and consequently anoxic lower layer of the peat bog. Based on earlier analyses of GDGTs in different settings and on 16S rDNA results from literature, these lipids are likely derived from methanogenic Archaea. Crenarchaeol, previously only found in marine settings and in fresh water lakes, has also been found in this peat bog. Contrary to the other GDGTs, crenarchaeol concentrations remain relatively constant throughout the peat core, suggesting that they are produced by Crenarchaeota thriving in the oxic part of the peat bog and possibly also in the anoxic part.