Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-225
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-225
26 Feb 2024
 | 26 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Silicon isotopes in juvenile and mature Cyperus papyrus from the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Giulia Lodi, Julia Cooke, Rebecca A. Pickering, Lucie Cassarino, Mike Murray-Hudson, Keotshephile Mosimane, and Daniel J. Conley

Abstract. The three most abundant stable isotopes of Silicon (Si), 28Si, 29Si, and 30Si, all occur in plants. Isotope studies are a potential tool to explore uptake and function of plant Si, and it is a developing field. However, there is a lack of studies from natural environments, and species from the African continent, and all plant parts including reproductive structures. In this study, naturally grown papyrus plants were sampled from the Okavango Delta and divided into five organs, i.e. umbel, culm, scales, rhizome, and roots. Samples were analysed for TN, TOC, BSi, TP concentrations, and for Si isotopes. Each organ of papyrus is represented by two samples, one from juvenile tissue and one mature (apart from the roots where age is difficult to determine). The study confirms that papyrus is a high Si-accumulating species, with BSi ranging from 0.88 % in rhizomes to 6.61 % in roots. High Si precipitation in the roots leads to an enrichment in heavy Si isotopes in the residual mobile Si pool, as light Si isotopes precipitate in phytoliths in the roots, even though in this study phytoliths were identified for all organs except for roots. In papyrus, shoot organs gradually become enriched in heavy Si isotopes along the transpiration stream, with an increase in heavy isotopes from rhizomes to scales, culm, and umbel, same pattern that has been observed for other plants in literature.

Giulia Lodi, Julia Cooke, Rebecca A. Pickering, Lucie Cassarino, Mike Murray-Hudson, Keotshephile Mosimane, and Daniel J. Conley

Status: open (until 15 May 2024)

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Giulia Lodi, Julia Cooke, Rebecca A. Pickering, Lucie Cassarino, Mike Murray-Hudson, Keotshephile Mosimane, and Daniel J. Conley
Giulia Lodi, Julia Cooke, Rebecca A. Pickering, Lucie Cassarino, Mike Murray-Hudson, Keotshephile Mosimane, and Daniel J. Conley

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Short summary
Papyrus, Cyperus papyrus, is abundant in the Okavango Delta. We explored nutrient and Silicon (Si) isotopes distribution in papyrus to learn more about how this species affects nutrient cycles which are still moderately understood in Botswana. We found large amounts of Si in roots, rhizomes, stems and umbels. We showed that this plant takes up lighter Si isotopes and deposits lighter isotopes first, starting in the roots, leading to an enrichment in heavy isotopes along the transpiration stream.