Nematode succession at deep-sea hydrothermal vents after a recent volcanic eruption at the 9°50'N EPR

Nematodes are one of the most diverse and abundant metazoan taxa in the deep sea. They are an important component of the meiofauna community at hydrothermal vents where usually only a few species dominate. In early 2006, a volcanic eruption at the 9°50’N East Pacific Rise wiped out almost the entire faunal communities, giving us the opportunity to study for the first time primary succession of these animals. We deployed artificial settlement devices (plastic kitchen sponges) at the new established vent sites Tica, Sketchy, and P-Vent and also examined the nematodes on the adjacent bare basalt. All nematode communities were strongly influenced by the volcanic eruption, which was expressed by extremely low abundances and species richness at all studied sites in late 2006. Often not a single nematode was present in the samples. In 2007, the vent site Sketchy had become inactive, and in 2009, also at P-Vent vent flux had ceased. However, abundance (mean always < 50 ind. 64 cm-2) and species richness (mean always < 2) were similar low throughout the years at all sites, regardless of vent activity. Within active vents, a very slight but significant increase of nematode abundance and richness was observed from 2006 to 2009. The most abundant species prior eruption, Thalassomonhystera fisheri and Halomonhystera hickeyi, were also prominent in this area during early succession. In addition, we also investigated the site East Wall, which was not covered with fresh lava during the eruption, but had become inactive in 2006. Abundance and richness were also relatively low, but were significantly higher than at sites of primary succession that had been covered with lava. The two most dominant species, Neochromadora aff. poecilosoma De Mann, 1893 and Linhomoeus caudipapillosus sp. n., were already known from prior eruption but in lower densities. The survival of populations at such local patches might be important for maintaining nematode diversity in the AST.

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First Name: 
Sabine
Last Name: 
Gollner
Telephone: 
0043 1 4277 571 05
Affiliation: 
German Center for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB), Senckenberg am Meer, Südstrand 44, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany & Department of Marine Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
First Name: 
Maria
Last Name: 
Miljutina
Affiliation: 
German Center for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB), Senckenberg am Meer, Südstrand 44, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany
First Name: 
Monika
Last Name: 
Bright
Affiliation: 
Department of Marine Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Choose keywords that are most applicable to your abstract. (Three maximum.): 
Biogeography
Distribution and abundance
Early life history (reproduction, dispersal, settlement, recruitment)
Abstract ID: 
CBE5-115