Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes
Brenton Ladd, Pablo L. Peri, David A. Pepper, Lucas C. R. Silva, Douglas Sheil, Stephen P. Bonser, Shawn W. Laffan, Wulf Amelung, Alf Ekblad, Peter Eliasson, Hector Bahamonde, Sandra Duarte-Guardia and Michael Bird
Article first published online: 5 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12309
Our results demonstrate that δ13CSOM values can provide spatially explicit estimates of leaf area index (LAI) and could therefore serve as a surrogate for productivity and water use. While δ13CSOM has traditionally been used to reconstruct the relative abundance of C3 versus C4 species, the results of this study demonstrate that within stable C3- or C4-dominated biomes, δ13CSOM can provide additional insights. The fact that LAI is strongly correlated to δ13CSOM may allow for a more nuanced interpretation of ecosystem properties of palaeoecosystems based on palaeosol 13C values.