Articles | Volume 3, issue 4
SOIL, 3, 211–234, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-3-211-2017
SOIL, 3, 211–234, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-3-211-2017

Review article 16 Nov 2017

Review article | 16 Nov 2017

Opportunities and limitations related to the application of plant-derived lipid molecular proxies in soil science

Boris Jansen and Guido L. B. Wiesenberg

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Short summary
The application of lipids in soils as molecular proxies, also often referred to as biomarkers, has dramatically increased in the last decades. Applications range from inferring changes in past vegetation composition to unraveling the turnover of soil organic matter. However, the application of soil lipids as molecular proxies comes with several constraining factors. Here we provide a critical review of the current state of knowledge on the applicability of molecular proxies in soil science.