Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 593–598 | Cite as

Carbon isotopic studies of individual lipids in organisms from the Nansha sea area, China

  • Duan Yi 
  • Jinming Song
  • Hui Zhang


Carbon isotopes of individual lipids in typical organisms from the Nansha sea area were measured by the GC-IRMS analytical technique. δ13C values of saturated fatty acids in different organisms examined are from 25.6‰ to 29.7‰ with the average values ranging from 26.4‰ to 28.2‰ and the variance range of 1.8‰ between different organisms is also observed. Unsaturated fatty acids have heavy carbon isotopic compositions and the mean differences of 2.9‰–6.8‰ compared to the same carbon number saturated fatty acids. δ13C values of n-alkanes range from 27.5‰ to 29.7‰ and their mean values, ranging from 28.6‰ to 28.9‰, are very close in different organisms. The mean difference in δ13C between the saturated fatty acids and n-alkanes is only 1.5‰, indicating that they have similar biosynthetic pathways. The carbon isotopic variations between the different carbon-number lipids are mostly within ±2.0‰, reflecting that they experienced a biosynthetic process of the carbon chain elongation. At the same time, the carbon isotopic genetic relationships between the biological and sedimentary lipids are established by comparative studies of carbon isotopic compositions of individual lipids in organisms and sediments from the Nansha sea area, which provides scientific basis for carbon isotopic applied research of individual lipids.


marine organisms individual lipids carbon isotopic compositions genetic relationships DOI: 10.1360/03yd0561 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lanzhou Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.School of GeologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina

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