|Oxidation products of alpha- and beta-amyrins: potential tracers of abiotic degradation of vascular-plant organic matter in aquatic environments |
(Article) Publié: Environmental Chemistry/d000-0984, vol. 13 p.732-744 (2016)
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In order to fulfil the current need for stable and specific tracers to monitor vascular- plant organic matter degradation in aquatic environments, alpha-amyrin (urs-12-en-3 beta-ol) and beta-amyrin (olean-12-en-3 beta-ol) were oxidised in vitro and their abiotic degradation products quantified in environmental samples from the Rhone River in France. Although they appear inert to photooxidation, they are clearly affected by autoxidation and the tracer potential of the resulting products was confirmed. Autoxidation of alpha- and beta-amyrins produces urs or olean-12-en-3-one, 3 beta-hydroxy-urs or olean-12-en-11- one, urs or olean-12-en-3 beta, 11 alpha-diol and urs or olean-12-en-3,11-dione. 3 beta-Hydroxy-urs-12-en-11-one and 3 beta-hydroxy- olean-12-en-11-one, the main oxidation products detected, were selected as autoxidation tracers. These compounds, specific to autoxidation, were detected in dry leaves of Smilax aspera and in suspended particulate matter samples collected in the Rhone River and evidenced the importance of autoxidation in the degradation of organic matter of terrestrial origin.