Pigment Studies

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientific

22 Citations (Scopus)


Pigments, including chlorophylls, carotenoids, photoprotective compounds, and their derivatives produced by algae, phototrophic bacteria, and aquatic plants often preserve well in the sediments of aquatic environments. In sediment cores, they can yield estimates of past primary production, information on aquatic phototroph community composition, and indicate depositional and preservation conditions. This article describes the biochemical nature of pigments, including their preservation in sedimentary environments, techniques for pigment analysis, and a range of paleolimnological applications, including the investigation of eutrophication and aquatic food web changes, atmospheric deposition of contaminants, and hydrological change. Finally, examples of the use of pigments in inferring past climates over Holocene and Plio-Pleistocene time scales are given.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Quaternary Science: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780444536426
ISBN (Print)9780444536433
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Acidification
  • Biomarkers
  • Carotenoids
  • Chlorophylls
  • Climate change
  • Eutrophication
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Lakes
  • Paleolimnology
  • Photoprotective compounds
  • Pigments
  • UV radiation


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