Bacteriohopanepolyols in tropical soils and sediments from the Congo River catchment area


© 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. The Congo River basin drains the second largest area of tropical rainforest in the world, including a large proportion of pristine wetlands. We present the bacteriohopanepolyol (BHP) inventory of a suite of tropical soils and, from comparison with published data, propose some initial ideas on BHP distribution controls. Strong taxonomic controls on BHP production are evident in wetland sediments. Dominant within the suite were 35-aminobacteriohopane-31,32,33,34-tetrol (aminotetrol) and 35-aminobacteriohopane-30,31,32,33,34-pentol (aminopentol), indicating aerobic methanotrophy. A narrow range and low mean relative abundance of 30-(5'-adenosyl)hopane (adenosylhopane) and related compounds, collectively termed "soil marker" BHPs, were observed in Congo soils (mean 17%, range 7.9-36% of total BHPs, n=. 22) compared with literature data from temperate surface soils and Arctic surface soils (mean 36%, range 0-66% of total BHPs, n=. 28) suggesting a greater rate of conversion of these BHP precursors to other structures.






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Publication Info

Spencer-Jones, CL, T Wagner, BJ Dinga, E Schefuß, PJ Mann, JR Poulsen, RGM Spencer, JN Wabakanghanzi, et al. (2015). Bacteriohopanepolyols in tropical soils and sediments from the Congo River catchment area. Organic Geochemistry, 89-90. pp. 1–13. 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2015.09.003 Retrieved from

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John Poulsen

Associate Professor of Tropical Ecology

John Poulsen is an ecologist with broad interests in the maintenance and regeneration of tropical forests and conservation of biodiversity. His research has focused on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance, such as logging and hunting, on forest structure and diversity, abundance of tropical animals, and ecological processes. He has conducted most of his research in Central Africa, where he has also worked as a conservation manager, directing projects to sustainably manage natural resources in and around parks and reserves, and as the coordinator of government programs to develop low emissions strategies and quantify and monitor forest carbon.

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