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Lee R.W.,Washington State University | Robert K.,University of Southampton | Matabos M.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | Bates A.E.,UK National Oceanography Center | Juniper S.K.,University of Victoria
Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers | Year: 2015

A significant focus of hydrothermal vent ecological studies has been to understand how species cope with various stressors through physiological tolerance and biochemical resistance. Yet, the environmental conditions experienced by vent species have not been well characterized. This objective requires continuous observations over time intervals that can capture environmental variability at scales that are relevant to animals. We used autonomous temperature logger arrays (four roughly parallel linear arrays of 12 loggers spaced every 10-12. cm) to study spatial and temporal variations in the thermal regime experienced by hydrothermal vent macrofauna at a diffuse flow vent. Hourly temperatures were recorded over eight months from 2010 to 2011 at Grotto vent in the Main Endeavour vent field on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, a focus area of the Ocean Networks Canada cabled observatory. The conspicuous animal assemblages in video footage contained Ridgeia piscesae tubeworms, gastropods (primarily Lepetodrilus fucensis), and polychaetes (polynoid scaleworms and the palm worm Paralvinella palmiformis). Two dimensional spatial gradients in temperature were generally stable over the deployment period. The average temperature recorded by all arrays, and in some individual loggers, revealed distinctive fluctuations in temperature that often corresponded with the tidal cycle. We postulate that this may be related to changes in bottom currents or fluctuations in vent discharge. A marked transient temperature increase lasting over a period of days was observed in April 2011. While the distributions and behavior of Juan de Fuca Ridge vent invertebrates may be partially constrained by environmental temperature and temperature tolerance, except for the one transient high-temperature event, observed fluid temperatures were generally similar to the thermal preferences for some species, and typically well below lethal temperatures for all species. Average temperatures of the four arrays ranged from 4.1 to 11.0. °C during the deployment, indicating that on an hourly timescale the temperature conditions in this tubeworm community were fairly moderate and stable. The generality of these findings and behavioral responses of vent organisms to predictable rhythmicity and non-periodic temperature shifts are areas for further investigation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Lampadariou N.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Kalogeropoulou V.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Sevastou K.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Keklikoglou K.,University of Crete | Sarrazin J.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME
Biogeosciences | Year: 2013

Mud volcanoes are a∼special type of cold seeps where life is based on chemoautotrophic processes. They are considered to be extreme environments and are characterized by unique megafaunal and macrofaunal communities. However, very few studies on mud volcanoes taking into account the smaller meiobenthic communities have been carried out. Two mud volcanoes were explored during the MEDECO (MEditerranean Deep-sea ECOsystems) cruise (2007) with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Victor-6000: Amsterdam, located south of Turkey between 1700 and 2000 m depth (Anaximander mud field); and Napoli, south of Crete, located along the Mediterranean Ridge at about 2000 m depth (Olimpi mud field). The major aim of this study was to describe distributional patterns of meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages from different seep microhabitats. Meiofaunal taxa and nematode assemblages at both mud volcanoes differed significantly from other Mediterranean sites in terms of standing stocks, dominance and species diversity. Density and biomass values were significantly higher at the seep sites, particularly at Amsterdam. Patterns of nematode diversity, the dominant meiofaunal taxon, varied, displaying both very high or very low species richness and dominance, depending on the microhabitat studied. The periphery of the Lamellibrachia and bivalve shell microhabitats of Napoli exhibited the highest species richness, while the reduced sediments of Amsterdam yielded a species-poor nematode community dominated by two successful species, one belonging to the genus Aponema and the other to the genus Sabatieria. Analysis of β-diversity showed that microhabitat heterogeneity of mud volcanoes contributed substantially to the total nematode species richness in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. These observations indicate a strong influence of mud volcanoes and cold-seep ecosystems on the meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages. © 2013 Author(s).

Martin C.,American Museum of Natural History | Ponzevera E.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Ponzevera E.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | Harlow G.,American Museum of Natural History
Chemical Geology | Year: 2015

Boron and Li are light, incompatible elements that preferentially partition into the liquid phase, whether melt or aqueous fluid, and thus are useful for tracking fluid-related processes in rocks. Most of the Li isotopic data presently available on subduction-related rocks are from whole-rock analyses; and the B isotopic analyses of subduction material have been carried out either on whole-rocks or in-situ on an accessory phase, such as tourmaline. The new method presented here couples an ESI New Wave UP-193-FX ArF* (193. nm) excimer laser-ablation microscope with a Neptune Plus (Thermo Scientific) MC-ICP-MS aiming to measure both Li and B isotopes in situ with good spatial resolution (metamorphic minerals are commonly chemically zoned, and whole-rock analyses lose this detail). The data thus obtained are compared with SIMS analyses on the same mineral samples for B, and with MC-ICP-MS analyses on whole-rock or mineral separates from the same sample for Li. Additionally, data acquired on tourmaline standards were compared to SIMS values. The results show that for B concentrations above 5. μg/g, the data obtained by LA-MC-ICP-MS and by SIMS are identical within error, for mica (phengitic muscovite), pyroxene (jadeite), serpentine (antigorite), and tourmaline. For Li concentrations above 10. μg/g, the data obtained by LA-MC-ICP-MS and by MC-ICP-MS are also identical, within error, for mica (phengitic muscovite), and pyroxene (jadeite). However, analyses of tourmaline standards have shown significant differences with reference values, so LA-MC-ICP-MS does not yet appear to be an appropriate method to analyze Li isotopes in tourmalines. Thus, LA-MC-ICP-MS is a suitable method to measure Li and B isotopes with good spatial resolution in major rock-forming silicates from subduction-related rocks where concentrations exceed 10. μg/g and 5. μg/g, respectively, with an error on individual measurements equal to or less than previously used methods, but obtainable in a significantly shorter amount of time. The external reproducibility is ±. 2.88 to 3.31‰ for B and ±. 1.50 to 1.75‰ for Li, which is lower than or equal to the variations encountered within a given chemically zoned sample (up to 10‰ of variation within a given natural sample). © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Ritt B.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | Ritt B.,Temple University | Desbruyeres D.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | Caprais J.-C.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | And 5 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

The Mediterranean Sea constitutes a unique environment to study cold-seep ecosystems due to the presence of different geodynamic settings, from an active margin along the Mediterranean Ridge (MR) to a passive margin in the Nile Deep-Sea Fan (NDSF). We attempted to identify the structure of benthic communities associated with the Napoli and Amsterdam mud volcanoes (MVs) located on the MR and to establish the links between faunal distribution and environmental conditions at different spatial scales. Comparison between the 2 MVs revealed that the faunal distribution seemed to be mainly controlled by the characteristics of the microhabitats. On both geological structures, the variability between the different microhabitats was higher than the variability observed between replicates of the same microhabitat, and the distribution of macrofauna was apparently linked to gradients in physico-chemical conditions. The peripheral sites from Napoli were generally more oxygenated and harboured lower species richness than the active sites. The reduced sediment microhabitat from Amsterdam presented the highest methane concentrations and was mainly colonised by symbiont-bearing vesicomyid bivalves and heterotrophic dorvilleid polychaetes. Overall, a higher taxonomic diversity was observed on Napoli. Substratum type was hypothesised to be the second factor influencing faunal distribution. The results of this study highlight the high heterogeneity of faunal communities associated with seep ecosystems within this region and the need to pursue investigations at various spatial and temporal scales. © Inter-Research 2012.

Portail M.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | Olu K.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | Escobar-Briones E.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Caprais J.C.,Institute Carnot Ifremer EDROME | And 6 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2015

Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of a biogeographic barrier, and comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem-specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep-and vent-common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulfide concentrations, whereas vent environmental specificities (higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH) were not significant. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. At the family level, seep and vent similarity reached at least 58 %. All vent families were found at seeps and each seep-specific family displayed low relative abundances (< 5 %). Moreover, 85 % of the identified species among dominant families were shared between seep and vent ecosystems. This study provides further support to the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems. © Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

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