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Chemical environment of the hydrothermal mussel communities in the Lucky Strike and Menez Gwen vent fields, Mid Atlantic Ridge
Sarradin, P.-M.; Caprais, J.-C.; Riso, R.; Kerouel, R.; Aminot, A. (1999). Chemical environment of the hydrothermal mussel communities in the Lucky Strike and Menez Gwen vent fields, Mid Atlantic Ridge. Cah. Biol. Mar. 40(1): 93-104
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Sarradin, P.-M.
  • Caprais, J.-C.
  • Riso, R.
  • Kerouel, R.
  • Aminot, A.

Abstract
    Water samples were collected around the communities of a hydrothermal mussel, Bathymodiolus sp., in the Lucky Strike (1700 m depth) and Menez Gwen (850 m depth) areas, Mid Atlantic Ridge, and analysed for chemical constituents. The environment surrounding the organisms consists in sea water (88 to 100 %) mixed with hydrothermal fluid with pH between 6.2 and 8, capital sigma (H2S + HS-) concentrations from 0 to 62 mu mol l-1. High dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations suggest a highly productive ecosystem. Production of ammonium and DOC, consumption of nitrate and sulfide in the vicinity of the organisms are among the environmental changes found in relation with local biological activity. Concentrations of Cu and Pb were high, implying that the organisms need to have efficient strategies of adaptation. An empirical distinction between the extreme sizes of the mussels (> 6 cm and < 3 cm) reveals that the size distribution of the communities is related to the presence of different environments: the large size classes are present closer to the fluid exits, with higher capital sigma concentrations, than the small size classes. This could indicate differences in the growth rate related to the availability of the energy sources, competition for energy and space, and/or different settlement periods.

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