Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Hydrothermal activity lowers trophic diversity in Antarctic hydrothermal sediments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr William Reid, Dr Christopher Sweeting



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Hydrothermal sediments are those in which hydrothermal fluid is discharged through sediments and are one of the least studied deep-sea ecosystems. We present a combination of microbial and biochemical data to assess trophodynamics between and within hydrothermal and background areas of the Bransfield Strait (1050 – 1647m depth). Microbial composition, biomass and fatty acid signatures varied widely between and within hydrothermally active and background sites, providing evidence of diverse metabolic activity. Several species had different feeding strategies and trophic positions between hydrothermally active and inactive areas and stable isotope values of consumers were not consistent with feeding morphology. Niche area and the diversity of microbial fatty acids was lowest at the most hydrothermally active site, reflecting trends in species diversity. Faunal uptake of chemosynthetically produced 29 organics was relatively limited but was detected at both hydrothermal and non-hydrothermal sites, potentially suggesting hydrothermal activity can affect trophodynamics over a much wider area than previously thought.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bell JB, Reid WDK, Pearce DA, Glover AG, Sweeting CJ, Newton J, Woulds C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biogeosciences

Year: 2017

Volume: 14

Pages: 5705-5725

Print publication date: 20/12/2017

Online publication date: 01/08/2017

Acceptance date: 06/11/2017

Date deposited: 06/11/2017

ISSN (print): 1726-4170

ISSN (electronic): 1726-4189

Publisher: Copernicus GmbH


DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-5705-2017


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric