Recovery of hydrothermal vent communities in response to an induced disturbance at the Lucky Strike vent field (Mid-Atlantic Ridge)

Type Article
Date 2021-06
Language English
Author(s) Marticorena JulienORCID1, Matabos MarjolaineORCID1, Ramirez-Llodra E.2, 3, Cathalot CecileORCID4, Laes AgatheORCID5, Leroux Romain6, Hourdez S.7, Donval Jean-Pierre4, Sarrazin JozeeORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, REM/EEP, F 29280 Plouzané, France
2 : Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Gaustadalleen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
3 : REV Ocean, Oksenøyveien 10, 1366 Lysaker, Norway
4 : Ifremer, REM/GM/LCG, F‐29280 Plouzané, France
5 : Ifremer, REM/RDT/LDCM, F‐29280 Plouzané, France
6 : Research Centre for Watershed-Aquatic Ecosystem Interactions, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7, Canada
7 : Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls-sur-Mer, UMR 8222 CNRS-SU, 1 avenue Pierre Fabre, 66650, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
Source Marine Environmental Research (0141-1136) (Elsevier BV), 2021-06 , Vol. 168 , P. 105316 (14p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2021.105316
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) Hydrothermal vent, Bathymodiolus azoricus, Disturbance, Colonisation, Recovery, Deep-sea mining, Ecological succession, Benthic ecology, Mid-Atlantic ridge

So far, the natural recovery of vent communities at large scales has only been evaluated at fast spreading centres, by monitoring faunal recolonisation after volcanic eruptions. However, at slow spreading ridges, opportunities to observe natural disturbances are rare, the overall hydrothermal system being more stable. In this study, we implemented a novel experimental approach by inducing a small-scale disturbance to assess the recovery potential of vent communities along the slow-spreading northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (nMAR). We followed the recovery patterns of thirteen Bathymodiolus azoricus mussel assemblages colonising an active vent edifice at the Lucky Strike vent field, in relation to environmental conditions and assessed the role of biotic interactions in recolonisation dynamics. Within 2 years after the disturbance, almost all taxonomic richness had recovered, with the exception of a few low occurrence species. However, we observed only a partial recovery of faunal densities and a major change in faunal composition characterised by an increase in abundance of gastropod species, which are hypothesised to be the pioneer colonists of these habitats. Although not significant, our results suggest a potential role of mobile predators in early-colonisation stages. A model of post-disturbance succession for nMAR vent communities from habitat opening to climax assemblages is proposed, also highlighting numerous knowledge gaps. This type of experimental approach, combined with dispersal and connectivity analyses, will contribute to fully assess the resilience of active vent communities after a major disturbance, especially along slow spreading centres targeted for seafloor massive sulphide extraction.

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Marticorena Julien, Matabos Marjolaine, Ramirez-Llodra E., Cathalot Cecile, Laes Agathe, Leroux Romain, Hourdez S., Donval Jean-Pierre, Sarrazin Jozee (2021). Recovery of hydrothermal vent communities in response to an induced disturbance at the Lucky Strike vent field (Mid-Atlantic Ridge). Marine Environmental Research, 168, 105316 (14p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :