Linking diagenetic alteration of amino acids and bulk organic matter reactivity
Limnol. Oceanogr., 44(7), 1999, 1809-1814 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.19188.8.131.529
ABSTRACT: Examination of amino acids in particulate samples from a variety of marine environments (fresh phytoplankton to deep-sea sediments) revealed systematic compositional changes upon progressive degradation. These consistent trends have been used to derive a quantitative degradation index (DI) that is directly related to the reactivity of the organic material, as indicated by its lability to enzymatic decay and its first-order degradation rate constant. This direct link between molecular composition and degradation rate allows us to quantify the quality of organic matter based solely on its chemical composition.