Interactions between sediment chemistry and frenulate pogonophores (Annelida) in the north-east Atlantic

P R Dando, AJ Southward, E C Southward, Peter Lamont, Robin Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The small frenulate pogonophores (Annelida: Pogonophora a.k.a. Siboglinidae) typically inhabit muddy sediments on the continental slope, although a few species occur near hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. We present data on the distribution and habitat characteristics of several species on the European continental shelf and slope from 48 degrees N to 75 degrees N and show how the animals interact with the chemistry of the sediments. The environments inhabited include: shallow (30m), organic-rich, fjord sediments; slope sediments (1000-2200m) and methane seeps at 330m depth. All the species studied obtain nutrition from endosymbiotic bacteria. They take up reduced sulphur species, or in one case, methane, through the posterior parts of their tubes buried in the anoxic sediment. We conclude that most species undertake sulphide 'mining', a mechanism previously demonstrated in the bivalves Lucinoma borealis and Thyasira sarsi. These pogonophores participate in the sulphur cycle and effectively lower the sulphide content of the sediments. Our results show that the abundance of frenulate pogonophores increases with increasing sedimentation and with decreasing abundance of other benthos, particularly bioturbating organisms. The maximum sustainable carrying capacity of non-seep sediments for frenulate pogonophores is limited by the rate of sulphate reduction. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-996
Number of pages31
JournalDEEP-SEA RES PT I
Volume55
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • HYDROGEN-SULFIDE
  • BIVALVE MOLLUSKS
  • PERFORMANCE LIQUID-CHROMATOGRAPHY
  • MUD VOLCANO
  • BACTERIAL SYMBIONTS
  • COLD-SEEP COMMUNITIES
  • MOLLUSK THYASIRA-SARSI
  • Oceanography
  • ELEMENTAL SULFUR
  • ACID-VOLATILE SULFIDE
  • SULFATE REDUCTION

Cite this