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Compositional similarities of non solvent extractable fatty acids from recent marine sediments deposited in differing environments

Compositional similarities of non solvent extractable fatty acids from recent marine sediments deposited in differing environments

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 51(6): 1365-1378

Five recent sediment samples from a variety of North American continental shelves were analyzed for fatty acids (FAs) in the solvent-extractable (SOLEX) lipids as well as four types of non-solvent extractable (NONEX) lipids. The NONEX lipids were operationally defined by the succession of extraction procedure required to recover them. The complete procedure included (i) very mild acid treatment, (ii) HF digestion and (iii) saponification of the sediment residue following exhaustive solvent extraction. The distribution pattern and various compositional parameters of SOLEX FAs in the five sediments were divided into three different groups, indicating the difference of biological sources and also diagenetic factors and processes among the three groups of samples. Nevertheless, the compositions of the corresponding NONEX FAs after acid treatment were surprisingly very similar. This was also true for the remaining NONEX FA groups in the five sediment samples. The findings implied that most of the NONEX FAs reported here are derived directly from living organisms. It is also concluded that a large part of NONEX FAs are much more resistant to biodegradation than we have thought, so that they can form the large percentage of total lipids with increasing depth of water and sediments.

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Accession: 005024068

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DOI: 10.1016/0016-7037(87)90321-8

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