Original paper

Detrital lipid dynamics in a blackwater stream: comparison of fast and slow decomposing leaves

McArthur, J. Vaun; Mills, Gary L.


Temporal changes in eight different lipid classes (hydrocarbons, wax esters, triglycerides, fatty acids, alcohols, sterols, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and polar lipids) were followed during decomposition of two different species of leaves (water oak, Quercus nigra, and sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua) in a southeastern blackwater stream using chromarod thin-layer chromatography with flame ionization detection (TLC-FID). Differences were observed between the two species in the initial quantity and changes over time of the major lipid classes. These differences in specific classes may contribute to some of the observed patterns in rates of decomposition. However, total lipid concentrations were fairly similar between the two leaf species over time. TLC-FID was shown to be an effective tool in monitoring the dynamics of leaf lipids during decomposition.


lipidshydrocarbonswax estersfatty acid methyl esterstriglyceridesfatty acidsalcoholssterolsmonoglyceridesdiglyceridespolar lipidslitter decompositiontlc-fidiatroscanchromarods