Hydrothermal Vents and Methane Seeps: Rethinking the Sphere of Influence

19 May 2016

Source: Frontiers in Marine Science

Authors: Lisa A. Levin, Amy R. Baco, David A. Bowden, Ana Colaco, Erik E. Cordes, Marina R. Cunha, Amanda W. J. Demopoulos, Judith Gobin, Benjamin M. Grupe, Jennifer Le, Anna Metaxas, Amanda N. Netburn, Greg W. Rouse, Andrew R. Thurber, Verena Tunnicliffe, Cindy Lee Van Dover, Ann Vanreusel and Les Watling


Although initially viewed as oases within a barren deep ocean, hydrothermal vents and methane seep chemosynthetic communities are now recognized to interact with surrounding ecosystems on the sea floor and in the water column, and to affect global geochemical cycles. The importance of understanding these interactions is growing as the potential rises for disturbance of the systems from oil and gas extraction, seabed mining and bottom trawling.

A new report synthesizes current knowledge of the nature, extent and time and space scales of vent and seep interactions with background systems. We document an expanded footprint beyond the site of local venting or seepage with respect to elemental cycling and energy flux, habitat use, trophic interactions, and connectivity.


For more, go to: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2016.00072/full