Fossil evidence for serpentinization fluids fueling chemosynthetic assemblages

Type Article
Date 2011-05
Language English
Author(s) Lartaud Franck1, 2, Little Crispin T. S.3, de Rafelis Marc2, Bayon Germain4, Dyment Jerome5, Ildefonse Benoit6, Gressier Vincent2, Fouquet Yves4, Gaill Francoise7, Le Bris Nadine1, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Paris 06, Lab Ecogeochim Environm Benth, CNRS, Lab Arago, F-66650 Banyuls Sur Mer, France.
2 : Univ Paris 06, Inst Sci Terre Paris, CNRS, Lab Biomineralisat & Environm Sedimentaires, F-75252 Paris 05, France.
3 : Univ Leeds, Sch Earth & Environm, Leeds LS2 9JT, W Yorkshire, England.
4 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Ctr Brest, Dept Geosci Marines, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
5 : CNRS, Inst Phys Globe Paris, Equipe Geosci Marines, F-75252 Paris 05, France.
6 : Univ Montpellier 2, CNRS, F-34095 Montpellier 05, France.
7 : Univ Paris 06, Inst Rech Dev, Museum Natl Hist Nat, Inst Ecol & Environm,CNRS, F-75252 Paris 05, France.
8 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Ctr Brest, Lab Environm Profonds, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America (0027-8424) (Natl Acad Sciences), 2011-05 , Vol. 108 , N. 19 , P. 7698-7703
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1009383108
WOS© Times Cited 20
Keyword(s) Bathymodiolus, Ghost City, ultramafic-hosted, mid-ocean ridge, ecogeochemistry
Abstract Among the deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites discovered in the past 30 years, Lost City on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) is remarkable both for its alkaline fluids derived from mantle rock serpentinization and the spectacular seafloor carbonate chimneys precipitated from these fluids. Despite high concentrations of reduced chemicals in the fluids, this unique example of a serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal system currently lacks chemosynthetic assemblages dominated by large animals typical of high-temperature vent sites. Here we report abundant specimens of chemosymbiotic mussels, associated with gastropods and chemosymbiotic clams, in approximately 100 kyr old Lost City-like carbonates from the MAR close to the Rainbow site (36 degrees N). Our finding shows that serpentinization-related fluids, unaffected by high-temperature hydrothermal circulation, can occur on-axis and are able to sustain high-biomass communities. The widespread occurrence of seafloor ultramafic rocks linked to likely long-range dispersion of vent species therefore offers considerably more ecospace for chemosynthetic fauna in the oceans than previously supposed.
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Lartaud Franck, Little Crispin T. S., de Rafelis Marc, Bayon Germain, Dyment Jerome, Ildefonse Benoit, Gressier Vincent, Fouquet Yves, Gaill Francoise, Le Bris Nadine (2011). Fossil evidence for serpentinization fluids fueling chemosynthetic assemblages. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 108(19), 7698-7703. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :