The book Chemical Biomarkers in Aquatic Ecosystems by T. Bianchi and E. Canuel describes organic matter as it relates to globally important processes in biogeochemistry. Chemical biomarkers, or biomarker molecules, are defined here as compounds that characterize certain biotic sources and selectively retain their source information, even after stages of decomposition and diagenesis. Biomarkers, for the most part, are organic molecules and are used to gain insight into many aspects of the modern and ancient Earth system. The information from biomarkers can be applied to a broad range of overlapping studies including areas ranging from fossil fuels, evolution of life...

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