Reproductive ecology of the alvinocaridid shrimp Rimicaris hybisae at hydrothermal vents on the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre

Recent investigations have revealed spatial and temporal variation in the reproductive development of some species at hydrothermal vents (e.g. Copley et al., 2003). The alvinocaridid shrimp Rimicaris hybisae is an important component of the faunal assemblages at at least two deep-water hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre (MCSC) (Connelly et al., 2012; Nye et al., 2012). A recent study has revealed spatial variation in the population structure and reproductive features of R. hybisae, highlighting a high degree of spatial variability in the reproductive features of a mobile species in the vent environment (Nye et al., 2013). In February 2013 we collected further samples of R. hybisae with environmental data from the Von Damm and Beebe vent fields (MCSC). Here we present novel data from recent explorations of hydrothermal vent fields at the MCSC, which contributes to our analyses of reproductive processes of macrofaunal invertebrates from MCSC vents, and the role of life-history on the distribution patterns of vent taxa. Our aim was to test the hypthothesis that environmental variables within shrimp aggregations influence the distribution of ovigerous females, resulting in a spatially heterogenous pattern of reproductive development in R. hybisae, as found in other vent taxa. We anticipate that future analysis will enable us to determine any temporal patterns in the reproduction of R. hybisae and to elucidate further the life-cycle of this species.

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First Name: 
Verity
Last Name: 
Nye
Telephone: 
+44(0)2380596614
Affiliation: 
University of Southampton
First Name: 
Jon
Last Name: 
Copley
Affiliation: 
University of Southampton
First Name: 
Paul
Last Name: 
Tyler
Affiliation: 
University of Southampton
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Early life history (reproduction, dispersal, settlement, recruitment)
Abstract ID: 
CBE5-149