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Free Lipid Biomarkers in Anthropogenic Soils

  • Irena AtanassovaEmail author
  • Harizanova Milena
  • Martin Banov
Chapter
  • 336 Downloads

Abstract

Free lipid biomarkers are sensitive indicators of the extent of climatic and anthropogenic disturbances in soils, in contrast to “bound lipids” that are tightly incorporated in the soil organic matrix and may be fixed for long periods of time. The studies reported in this chapter describe signature free lipid biomarkers in anthropogenic soils and their role as indicators of the degree of pedogenesis and degradation processes, e.g., technogenic pollution and water repellency. Soils separated from different horizons of a Technosol on which sewage sludge from paint and print industry was deposited indicated small quantitative changes in the major compound classes. Free lipids show similarities in the free lipid signature and predominant microbial sources, as indicated by the presence of even number and branched alkanes (C16–C33), short-chain (C6–C18) fatty acids, and C11–C32 fatty alcohol distributions. No xenobiotics at measurable quantities were detected, except some metabolites.

Lipid compounds from a major coal mine area in Southeastern Europe, i.e., alkanes, fatty acids and fatty alcohols, as well as coal biomarkers (phyllocladane), were more abundant in the coal ash-amended water-repellent Technosols. The alkane distribution was monomodal, maximizing at C29, while fatty acids maximized at C26. These compounds indicate the ongoing pedogenesis in the long-time reclaimed spoils-turned soils. Statistical analysis reveals that total organic carbon (TOC) and the lipid fraction (the long-chain > C22 fatty acids, alcohols, and alkanes) were the drivers of soil water repellency in the studied water-repellent Technosols. In the non-water-repellent Technosols, lacking coal ash amendment, lower concentrations of the alkanes (< 2 μg/g) including the long-chain ones (C29–33) and the presence of < C24 branched alkanes were recorded. The alkane distribution points at two origins for the alkanes, i.e., higher plants and microbial sources. The analysis of free lipid extracts allowed for the assessment of sensitive molecular indicators of biogenic terrigenous and coal origin and the degree of soil restoration following >40 years of post reclamation period.

The surface horizons of an Anthrosol amended with 3 t/ha biochar contained alkanes <C24 with prevailing even over odd predominance (EOP) of homologues and carbon preference index (CPI) of 10.6. The free lipid signature indicates anthropogenic sources and/or predominant microbial contribution to soil organic matter; however, thermally disrupted (from biochar) and microbial alkanes were difficult to discriminate.

Keywords

Free lipid biomarkers Anthropogenic soil Technosol Sewage sludge Coal Biochar 

Abbreviations

ACL

Average chain length

CEC

Cation exchange capacity

EC

Electrical conductivity

EOP

Even over odd predominance

FOC

Fulvic organic carbon

GC/MS

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

HOC

Humic organic carbon

LAS

Linear alkylbenzene sulfonates

MF

Match factor

MN

Mineral nitrogen

PAHs

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PBDEs

Polybrominated diphenylethers

PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls

PCDDs

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins

PCDFs

Polychlorinated dibenzofurans

PNEC

Predicted non-effect concentrations

POPs

Persistent organic pollutants

RF

Response factor

SOC

Soil organic carbon

SOM

Soil organic matter

TMAH

Tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide

TOC

Total organic carbon

WDPT

Water drop penetration time

WWTP

Wastewater treatment plant

СРІ

Carbon preference index

Notes

Acknowledgments

Studies reported in this chapter were supported by the National Science Fund (NSF), Ministry of Education and Science, project: DN 06/1 (2016–2019).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irena Atanassova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Harizanova Milena
    • 1
  • Martin Banov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agrochemistry, Agroecology and Farming SystemsInstitute of Soil Science, Agrotechnologies and Plant ProtectionSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Department of Genesis, Geography and Soil ClassificationInstitute of Soil Science, Agrotechnologies and Plant ProtectionSofiaBulgaria

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