Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 439–442

Relationship between C:N ratios of lake sediments, organic matter sources, and historical deforestation in Lake Pleasant, Massachusetts, USA

  • Sujay Kaushal
  • Michael W. Binford

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008027028029

Cite this article as:
Kaushal, S. & Binford, M.W. Journal of Paleolimnology (1999) 22: 439. doi:10.1023/A:1008027028029


The C:N ratios of lake sediments may reflect proportions of terrestrial and algal carbon contributing to accumulation of sediment. This possibility was tested in Lake Pleasant, Massachussetts, USA which underwent watershed deforestation in about 1780 A.D. The C:N profile of a 70-cm sediment core clearly reflected deforestation through a rise in C:N ratio caused by an increase in watershed contributions to sedimentary carbon. Spatial variability of C:N in modern surficial sediments is small compared to the change caused by deforestation.


Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujay Kaushal
    • 1
  • Michael W. Binford
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard ForestHarvard UniversityPetershamUSA
  2. 2.Center for Limnology, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA