Hydrothermal Vents and Methane Seeps: Rethinking the Sphere of Influence

Date: May 19, 2016

Source: Frontiers in Marine Science

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.

Authors: Lisa A. LevinAmy R. BacoDavid A. BowdenAna ColacoErik E. CordesMarina R. CunhaAmanda W. J. DemopoulosJudith GobinBenjamin M. GrupeJennifer LeAnna MetaxasAmanda N. NetburnGreg W. RouseAndrew R. Thurber, Verena Tunnicliffe, Cindy Lee Van DoverAnn Vanreuseland Les Watling

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

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