Accession Number : ADA325960

Title :   Larval Dispersal Between Hydrothermal Vent Habitats.

Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis,

Corporate Author : MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE

Personal Author(s) : Kim, Stacy L.

PDF Url : ADA325960

Report Date : FEB 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 124

Abstract : Hydrothermal vents are isolated, impermanent habitats that support unique biotic assemblages. The processes by which these communities establish themselves and maintain species identity across geographic gaps are currently unknown. Planktonic vent larvae can be dispersed by buoyant plumes of hot hydrothermal fluid that rise from vents and entrain near bottom water, carrying it several hundred meters above the seafloor before spreading laterally. A standard plume model describes vent plumes well, and predicts that up to 97% of the larvae produced by a vent community will be entrained. Gastropod larvae found in the plume can be identified as specific vent species by scanning electron microscopy. Species level larval identification is a vital step in defining the overall distribution patterns and dispersal pathways of vent larvae. The potential importance of physical flow patterns, geological structure, and biological constraints were compared using a spatially explicit type of mathematical model, called cellular automata. The results of the model simulations suggest that dispersal in plume flow is vital to long term persistence of vent populations, and that fecundity and larval mortality interact with habitat spacing and vent lifespan to influence the stability of the overall population.

Descriptors :   *PLUMES, *LARVAE, *ECOLOGY, *PLANKTON, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPES, DISPERSING, MODELS, THESES, OCEAN BOTTOM, BUOYANCY, AUTOMATA, GASTROPODA.

Subject Categories : Ecology
      Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE