The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Assessment of decadal-scale ecological change at a deep Mid-Atlantic hydrothermal vent and reproductive time-series in the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata

Record type: Article

This study presents a comparison of distribution and abundance of dominant megafaunal species at the TAG hydrothermal mound on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from 1994 to 2004. A Geographical Information System (GIS) database was compiled from georeferenced observations of faunal abundances at 534 locations on the TAG hydrothermal mound, determined by image analysis of ROV dive footage from November 2004. These data are compared with observations from submersible dives in 1994 to assess changes in the extent and population density of aggregations of the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata at the central black smokers of TAG. The GIS database was also used to assess changes in abundance and distribution of the anemone Maractis rimicarivora by simulating the path of a biotransect conducted in 1994 and 1995. There was no evidence of a decline in the extent of shrimp aggregations at the central black smokers of TAG between 1994 and 2004. This result indicates that occasional exposure to high-intensity submersible lighting, which took place during several scientific expeditions in the intervening period, does not pose an immediate conservation threat to populations of R. exoculata. Similarly, there were no significant differences in the distribution and abundance of anemones between 1994 and 2004. These results indicate a constancy in the identity, distribution and abundance of dominant species at TAG that contrasts with other vent sites where quantitative time-series have been established. The reproductive pattern of R. exoculata was also examined by dissection and direct measurement of oocytes from females collected in September 1994 and November 2004, providing the first comparison of reproductive development in samples from different months for this species. There was no significant difference in oocyte size-frequency distributions of females collected in these samples, indicating a lack of seasonal reproduction in R. exoculata.

PDF Copley_et_al_deepatlanticventtimeseries_revised.pdf - Author's Original
Download (481kB)


Copley, J.T.P., Jorgensen, P.B.K. and Sohn, R.A. (2007) Assessment of decadal-scale ecological change at a deep Mid-Atlantic hydrothermal vent and reproductive time-series in the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 87, (4), pp. 859-867. (doi:10.1017/S0025315407056512).

More information

Submitted date: November 2006
Published date: August 2007
Keywords: hydrothermal vents, ecology, temporal variation, mid-atlantic ridge


Local EPrints ID: 44040
ISSN: 0025-3154
PURE UUID: 67c26a3b-40cc-4faf-9be9-9d32dcf77a11

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Feb 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:16

Export record



Author: J.T.P. Copley
Author: P.B.K. Jorgensen
Author: R.A. Sohn

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.