An Isotopic Study of an Andean Watershed: Carbon Cycling in the Rio Beni
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The Rio Beni of Bolivia travels through an extreme altitude range, from its source in the Andes Mountains down to the Amazonian lowlands. The movement of organic carbon (OC) through its watershed is of particular interest due to the river’s sequestration of massive amounts of OC in its foreland basin through sediment burial associated with La Niña climate cycles. In this study, lipids, specifically long-chain n-alkanoic acids (fatty acids) from plant waxes, were used as biomarkers (tracers) for plant-derived OC.