High environmental stress and productivity increase functional diversity along a deep‐sea hydrothermal vent gradient

Type Article
Date 2020-11
Language English
Author(s) Alfaro Lucas Joan Manel1, Pradillon FlorenceORCID1, Zeppilli DanielaORCID1, Michel LoicORCID1, Martinez‐arbizu P2, Tanaka H3, Foviaux M1, Sarrazin JozeeORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, EEP Plouzané, France
2 : Senckenberg am Meer German Center for Marine Biodiversity Research Wilhelmshaven ,Germany
3 : Tokyo Sea Life Park Tokyo, Japan
Source Ecology (0012-9658) (Wiley), 2020-11 , Vol. 101 , N. 11 , P. e03144 (13p.)
DOI 10.1002/ecy.3144
WOS© Times Cited 17
Keyword(s) colonization, community assembly, energy, environmental filtering, functional beta-diversity, species beta-diversity

Productivity and environmental stress are major drivers of multiple biodiversity facets and faunal community structure. Little is known on their interacting effects on early community assembly processes in the deep sea (>200 m), the largest environment on Earth. However, at hydrothermal vents productivity correlates, at least partially, with environmental stress. Here, we studied the colonization of rock substrata deployed along a deep‐sea hydrothermal vent gradient at four sites with and without direct influence of vent fluids at 1700 m depth in the Lucky Strike vent field (Mid‐Atlantic Ridge, MAR). We examined in detail the composition of faunal communities (>20 µm) established after two years and evaluated species and functional patterns. We expected the stressful hydrothermal activity to (1) limit functional diversity and (2) filter for traits clustering functionally similar species. However, our observations did not support our hypotheses. On the contrary, our results show that hydrothermal activity enhanced functional diversity. Moreover, despite high species diversity, environmental conditions at surrounding sites appear to filter for specific traits, thereby reducing functional richness. In fact, diversity in ecological functions may relax the effect of competition allowing several species to coexist in high densities in the reduced space of the highly‐productive vent habitats under direct fluid emissions. We suggest that the high productivity at fluid‐influenced sites supports higher functional diversity and traits that are more energetically expensive. The presence of exclusive species and functional entities led to a high turnover between surrounding sites. As a result, some of these sites contributed more than expected to the total species and functional β‐diversities. The observed faunal overlap and energy links (exported productivity) suggest that rather than operating as separate entities, habitats with and without influence of hydrothermal fluids may be considered as interconnected entities. Low functional richness and environmental filtering suggests that surrounding areas, with their very heterogeneous species and functional assemblages, may be especially vulnerable to environmental changes related to natural and anthropogenic impacts, including deep‐sea mining.

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Appendix S1 2 157 KB Open access
Appendix S2 6 139 KB Open access
Appendix S3 4 323 KB Open access
Appendix S4 5 235 KB Open access
Appendix S5 3 451 KB Open access
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Alfaro Lucas Joan Manel, Pradillon Florence, Zeppilli Daniela, Michel Loic, Martinez‐arbizu P, Tanaka H, Foviaux M, Sarrazin Jozee (2020). High environmental stress and productivity increase functional diversity along a deep‐sea hydrothermal vent gradient. Ecology, 101(11), e03144 (13p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3144 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00641/75342/