Hydrothermal faunal assemblages and habitat characterisation at the Eiffel Tower edifice (Lucky Strike, Mid-Atlantic Ridge)
|Author(s)||Cuvelier Daphne1, 2, Sarradin Pierre-Marie5, Sarrazin Jozee5, Colaco Ana1, 2, Copley Jon T.3, Desbruyeres Daniel5, Glover Adrian G.4, Santos Ricardo Serrao1, 2, Tyler Paul A.3|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Univ Azores, IMAR, P-9901862 Horta, Portugal.
2 : Univ Azores, Dept Oceanog & Fisheries, P-9901862 Horta, Portugal.
3 : Univ Southampton, Sch Ocean & Earth Sci, Southampton, Hants, England.
4 : Nat Hist Museum, Dept Zool, London SW7 5BD, England.
5 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Ctr Brest, Lab Environm Profond, Dept Etud Ecosyst Profonds, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
|Source||Marine Ecology-an Evolutionary Perspective (0173-9565) (Wiley-blackwell), 2011-06 , Vol. 32 , N. 2 , P. 243-255|
|WOS© Times Cited||39|
|Keyword(s)||Faunal assemblage, hydrothermal vent, microhabitat, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, physico-chemical characterisation|
|Abstract||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 (Sigma 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 Sigma 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 Sigma S.|