• The Varying Radiocarbon Activity of Some Recent Submerged Estonian Plants Grown in the Early 1990s

      Olsson, Ingrid U.; Kaup, Enn (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Eleven samples of aquatic plants from three Estonian lakes were analyzed for their radiocarbon content in a collaboration between the laboratories in Tallinn and Uppsala. delta-13C values for the actual species were compiled to allow normalization of activities measured in Tallinn without delta-13C values. The range for well determined species is usually a few per mil and the statistical uncertainty greater than or equal to 1 per mil delta-13C values vary considerably for different Potamogeton species and Myriophyllum spp. Lake Antu Sinijarv and Lake Päidre are hard-water lakes containing 300 and 200 mg HCO3-/L, respectively. One sample consisted of a carbonate crust deposited on a Ceratophyllum demersum plant in L. Antu Sinijarv. Its Delta-14C value was -147.3 +/6.7 per mil in 1990, whereas the plant had a value of -74.1 +/8.0 per mil (delta-13C = -35.0 per mil). The same species in L. Päidre had a Delta-14C value of +8.0 +/8.8 per mil (delta-13C = -25.2 per mil) in 1992. Other species in L. Päidre contained more 14C, from a Delta-14C value of about +30 per mil to about +155 per mil, the latter value measured in Tallinn on floating leaves of Nuphar lutea, close to that of the contemporaneous atmospheric CO2. In the third lake, Lake Punso, containing >30 mg HCO3-/L, the stems of Nuphar lutea exhibited in 1990 a memory effect: the activity, Delta-14C = 209.6 +/10.3 per mil, significantly exceeded that of the contemporaneous atmospheric CO2. However, the floating leaves of the same plant had the Delta-14C value 143.1 +/10.0 per mil, close to the atmospheric 14C level in 1990. The memory is explained by nutrients stored in the root stock, used when the growth starts.