A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems

Citation:
Levin, LA, Orphan VJ, Rouse GW, Rathburn AE, Ussler W, Cook GS, Goffredi SK, Perez EM, Waren A, Grupe BM, Chadwick G, Strickrott B.  2012.  A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 279:2580-2588.

Date Published:

Jul

Keywords:

aerobic methanotrophs, barbados accretionary wedge, bivalve mollusks, chemosynthetic ecosystem, convergent margin, Costa Rica margin, Deep Sea, deep-sea mytilids, expulsion, florida escarpment, fluid, gulf-of-mexico, hydrothermal, isotopic evidence, methane seep, methane seeps, vent

Abstract:

Upon their initial discovery, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps were considered to be related but distinct ecosystems, with different distributions, geomorphology, temperatures, geochemical properties and mostly different species. However, subsequently discovered vents and seep systems have blurred this distinction. Here, we report on a composite, hydrothermal seep ecosystem at a subducting seamount on the convergent Costa Rica margin that represents an intermediate between vent and seep ecosystems. Diffuse flow of shimmering, warm fluids with high methane concentrations supports a mixture of microbes, animal species, assemblages and trophic pathways with vent and seep affinities. Their coexistence reinforces the continuity of reducing environments and exemplifies a setting conducive to interactive evolution of vent and seep biota.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1098/rspb.2012.0205