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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 525:25-39 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11229

Obligate hydrothermal vent fauna at East Diamante submarine volcano (Mariana Arc) exploit photosynthetic and chemosynthetic carbon sources

Catherine J. Stevens1,2,*, S. Kim Juniper1,2, Helene Limén2,6, David W. Pond3,7, Anna Metaxas4, Yves Gélinas

1School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, British Columbia V8P 5C2, Canada
2Centre GÉOTOP-UQÀM-McGill, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3P8, Canada
3Biological Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
4Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada
5GÉOTOP and Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. W., Montréal, Québec H4B 1R6, Canada
6Present address: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
7Present address: Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Two volcanic cones in the degraded caldera of East Diamante submarine volcano (Mariana Arc) were surveyed and sampled in April 2004 as part of the ‘Submarine Ring of Fire 2004’ expedition. The first images revealed hydrothermal venting within the photic zone and a striking overlap between chemosynthetic and photosynthetic communities. We used fatty acid biomarkers and bulk stable isotopes to determine the relative importance of chemosynthetic and photosynthetic material in the diets of invertebrates at 6 vent sites (Eastern Cone: Barnacle Beach and Black Forest; Central Cone: Floc Storm, Boulder Vent, Mid-cone, and Fe-Mn Crust) and 1 non-vent site (Central Cone: Aquarium). Principal components analysis revealed depth-related dietary differences: vent-obligate invertebrates at Barnacle Beach (~460 m) belonged to a purely chemosynthetic food web, non-vent organisms at Aquarium (179 m) had diets based on the products of photosynthesis, and most of the invertebrates at Black Forest (349 m) and Central Cone vent sites (247-288 m) had mixed chemosynthetic/photosynthetic diets. Carbon stable isotope ratios corroborated the photosynthetic input in the diets of the vent-obligate invertebrates. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids were found in overlying waters and in detritus. We suggest that photosynthetic material arrives at East Diamante in the form of marine snow. Photic zone hydrothermal venting has now been found on several arc volcanoes in the western Pacific Ocean. Our study underscores the potential influence of benthic-pelagic coupling on trophic interactions and community structure for vent-obligate species in such settings.


KEY WORDS: Hydrothermal vent · Food webs · Trophic ecology · Fatty acids · Stable isotopes · East Diamante · Mariana Arc


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Cite this article as: Stevens CJ, Juniper SK, Limén H, Pond DW, Metaxas A, Gélinas Y (2015) Obligate hydrothermal vent fauna at East Diamante submarine volcano (Mariana Arc) exploit photosynthetic and chemosynthetic carbon sources. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 525:25-39. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11229

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