The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

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Teeming with weird and wonderful life-giant clams and mussels, tubeworms, "eyeless" shrimp, and bacteria that survive on sulfur-deep-sea hot-water springs are found along rifts where seafloor spreading occurs. The theory of plate tectonics predicted the existence of these hydrothermal vents, but they Were discovered only in 1977. Since then the sites have attracted teams of scientists seeking to understand how life can thrive in what would seem to be intolerable or extreme conditions of temperature and fluid chemistry. Some suspect that these vents even hold the key to understanding the very origins of life. Here a leading expert provides the first authoritative and comprehensive account of this research in a book intended for students, professionals, and general readers. Cindy Lee Van Dover, an ecologist, brings nearly two decades of experience and a lively writing style to the text, which is further enhanced by two hundred illustrations, including photographs of vent communities taken in situ.The book begins by explaining what is known about hydrothermal systems in terms of their deep-sea environment and their geological and chemical makeup. The coverage of microbial ecology includes a chapter on symbiosis. Symbiotic relationships are further developed in a section on physiological ecology, which includes discussions of adaptations to sulfide, thermal tolerances, and sensory adaptations. Separate chapters are devoted to trophic relationships and reproductive ecology. A chapter on community dynamics reveals what has been learned about the ways in which vent communities become established and why they persist, while a chapter on evolution and biogeography examines patterns of species diversity and evolutionary relationships within chemosynthetic ecosystems.Cognate communities such as seeps and whale skeletons come under scrutiny for their ability to support microbial and invertebrate communities that are ecologically and evolutionarily related to hydrothermal faunas. The book concludes by exploring the possibility that life originated at hydrothermal vents, a hypothesis that has had tremendous impact on our ideas about the potential for life on other planets or planetary bodies in our solar system. The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents Image


NOM DE FICHIER: The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents.pdf

ISBN: 9780691049298



AUTEUR: Cindy-Lee Van Dover

Hydrothermal vents, first discovered in 1977 at 2500m depth on the Galapagos Rift, provide an example of such an alternative ecosystem supported by chemosynthetic primary production (Jannasch and Mottl, 1985). Hydrothermal fluid pouring from the cracks, crevices, and chimneys in the sea floor supports large numbers and kinds of bacteria capable of deriving energy from reduced compounds, such ...

Timothy Shank is a deep-sea biologist, Associate Scientist in the Biology Department, and former Director of the Ocean Exploration Institute at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is known for his research on the ecology and evolution of fauna in deep-ocean hydrothermal, seamount, canyon and deep trench systems. He has conducted more than 60 scientific expeditions in the Arctic ...


Studies of the many active and inactive hydrothermal vents found during the past 15 years have radically altered views of biological and geological processes in the deep sea. The biological communities occupying the vast and relatively stable soft bottom habitats of the deep sea are characterized by low population densities, high species diversity, and low biomass. In contrast, those ...