> Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 20, Number 1

2007, Oceanography 20(1):14–23, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.75

Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems

Authors | First Paragraph | Full Article | Citation


Charles R. Fisher | Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

Ken Takai | Extremobiosphere Research Center, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan

Nadine Le Bris | Département Étude des Ecosystèmes Environnement Profonds, Ifremer, Plouzané, France


First Paragraph

The analogy between hydrothermal vents and desert oases has been made many times since the discovery of the lush communities of animals that live around sites of active hydrothermal venting along oceanic spreading centers. Indeed, without the bacterial chemoautotrophic primary production that forms the basis of the food chain for these communities, the new seafloor would be even more barren than the older surrounding seafloor. Instead, one finds around the hydrothermal vents densities of animals with standing biomass as high as that of the most productive ecosystems on the planet (Figure 1).


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Fisher, C.R., K. Takai, and N. Le Bris. 2007. Hydrothermal vent ecosystems. Oceanography 20(1):14–23, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.75.