Undersea caves, sulphur, and annelids

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Thu Aug 15 09:38:48 EST 1996

An exotic mix indeed! Continues from a prior paper in the 4th Poly.
Conf. proceedings 1994 (p.323-29). There were no other
polychaete-related outputs within the latest JMBAUK issue.

AU  Southward A J; Kennicutt M C II; Alcala-Herrera J; Abbiati M;
Airoldi L; Cinelli F; Bianchi C N; Morri C; Southward E C. 
PY  1996 
TI  On the biology of submarine caves with sulphur springs: Appraisal of
13C-12C ratios as a guide to trophic relations.
SO  Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
76 (2)  265-285.
AB  Submarine caves with sulphurous springs at Cape Palinuro,
Campania, Italy, have a richer fauna than expected from the known
oligotrophic nature of the cave habitat. Warm water containing
sulphide issues from springs and rises above the cooler ambient
seawater with a sharp thermocline/chemocline between. The warm water
then escapes from the caves mixed with cooler sea-water, probably
inducing an inflow of ambient sea-water. Bacterial mats, often
dominated by large species of attached bacteria resembling
Beggiatoa, line the upper parts of the inner caves and act as primary
producers ...
 ... Animals living close to the bacterial mats benefit
most, notably a polychaete Phyllochaetopterus [P. socialis], an
oligochaete Thalassodrilides [T. gurwitschii], a podocopid ostracod
Paracypris and certain echinoderms and bivalves. The large sponges
(Geodia, Petrosia) may not benefit from bacterial production.

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