Fricke, H.; Giere, O.; Stetter, K.; Alfredsson, G. A.; Kristjansson, J. K.; Stoffers, P.; Svavarsson, J.
Hydrothermal vent communities at the shallow subpolar mid-Atlantic ridge
NeMys doc_id: 18001
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A new type of animal community has been found near hot
vents in the subpolar Atlantic at 100 to 106 m depth off
Kolbeinsey on the Jan-Mayen ridge. Incubation of high
temperature fluids yielded cultures of undescribed hyperthermophilic
eu- and archaebacteria, growing in a temperature
range between 70 ~ and 110 ~ depending on the isolates.
Bacteria are closely related to species occurring within deep
sea hydrothermal areas. In contrast to deep-sea vent sites of
the Mid-Atlantic and other oceans, the Kolbeinsey macroand
meiofauna consists of species reported from non-vent
areas in the boreal Atlantic and adjacent polar seas. The
most abundant forms are a solitary hydroid polyp and two
sponges. Kolbeinsey is an isolated and young area of hydrothermal
activity at relatively low depth and in highly
productive waters; these findings could indicate a model for
an early evolutionary step towards the formation of a genuine
specialized vent community.