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Deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals seek cool fluids in a highly variable thermal environment


Bates, AE and Lee, RW and Tunnicliffe, V and Lamare, MD, Deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals seek cool fluids in a highly variable thermal environment, Nature Communications, 1 pp. 14. ISSN 2041-1723 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms1014


The thermal characteristics of an organism ’ s environment affect a multitude of parameters, from biochemical to evolutionary processes. Hydrothermal vents on mid-ocean ridges are created when warm hydrothermal fl uids are ejected from the seafl oor and mixed with cold bottom seawater; many animals thrive along these steep temperature and chemical gradients. Twodimensional temperature maps at vent sites have demonstrated order of magnitude thermal changes over centimetre distances and at time intervals from minutes to hours. To investigate whether animals adapt to this extreme level of environmental variability, we examined differences in the thermal behaviour of mobile invertebrates from aquatic habitats that vary in thermal regime. Vent animals were highly responsive to heat and preferred much cooler fl uids than their upper thermal limits, whereas invertebrates from other aquatic environments risked exposure to warmer temperatures. Avoidance of temperatures well within their tolerated range may allow vent animals to maintain a safety margin against rapid temperature fl uctuations and concomitant toxicity of hydrothermal fl uids. 1

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecological physiology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Bates, AE (Dr Amanda Bates)
ID Code:76433
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2012-03-06
Last Modified:2012-07-03

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