Hydrothermal faunal assemblages and habitat characterisation at the Eiffel Tower edifice (Lucky Strike, Mid-Atlantic Ridge)

Cuvelier, Daphne, Sarradin, Pierre-Marie, Sarrazin, Jozée, Colaço, Ana, Copley, Jon T., Desbruyères, Daniel, Glover, Adrian G., Santos, Ricardo Serrão and Tyler, Paul A. (2011) Hydrothermal faunal assemblages and habitat characterisation at the Eiffel Tower edifice (Lucky Strike, Mid-Atlantic Ridge) Marine Ecology, 32, (2), pp. 243-255. (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.2010.00431.x).


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The Eiffel Tower edifice is situated in the Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent field at a mean depth of 1690 m on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). At this 11-m-high hydrothermal structure, different faunal assemblages, varying in visibly dominant species (mussels and shrimp), in mussel size and in density of mussel coverage, were sampled biologically and chemically. Temperature and sulphide (?S) were measured on the different types of mussel-based assemblages and on a shrimp-dominated assemblage. Temperature was used as a proxy for calculating total concentrations of CH4. Based on the physico-chemical measurements, two microhabitats were identified, corresponding to (i) a more variable habitat featuring the greatest fluctuations in environmental variables and (ii) a second, more stable, habitat. The highest temperature variability and the highest maximum recorded temperatures were found in the assemblages visibly inhabited by alvinocaridid shrimp and dense mussel beds of large Bathymodiolus azoricus, whereas the less variable habitats were inhabited by smaller-sized mussels with increasing bare surface in between. Larger mussels appeared to consume more ?S compared with smaller-sized (<1 cm) individuals and thus had a greater influence on the local chemistry. In addition, the mussel size was shown to be significantly positively correlated to temperature and negatively to the richness of the associated macrofauna. The presence of microbial mats was not linked to specific environmental conditions, but had a negative effect on the presence and abundance of macro-fauna, notably gastropods. Whereas some taxa or species are found in only one of the two microhabitats, others, such as polychaetes and Mirocaris shrimp, cross the different microhabitats. Temperature was proposed to be a more limiting factor in species distribution than ?S.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.2010.00431.x
ISSNs: 0173-9565 (print)
Keywords: Faunal assemblage, hydrothermal vent, microhabitat, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, physico-chemical characterisation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
ePrint ID: 184393
Date :
Date Event
June 2011Published
Date Deposited: 05 May 2011 15:18
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:20
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/184393

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