Short-term microbial and physico-chemical variability in low-temperature hydrothermal fluids near 5°S on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Perner, Mirjam , Bach, Wolfgang, Hentscher, Michael, Koschinsky, Andrea, Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter, Streit, Wolfgang R. and Strauss, Harald (2009) Short-term microbial and physico-chemical variability in low-temperature hydrothermal fluids near 5°S on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Environmental Microbiology, 11 (10). pp. 2526-2541. DOI 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01978.x.

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Abstract

This study examines the representativeness of low-temperature hydrothermal fluid samples with respect to their chemical and microbiological characteristics. Within this scope, we investigated short-term temporal chemical and microbial variability of the hydrothermal fluids. For this purpose we collected three fluid samples consecutively from the same spot at the Clueless field near 5 degrees S on the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge over a period of 50 min. During sampling, the temperature was monitored online. We measured fluid chemical parameters, characterized microbial community compositions and used statistical analyses to determine significant differences between the samples. Overall, the three fluid samples are more closely related to each other than to any other tested habitat. Therefore, on a broad scale, the three collected fluid samples can be regarded as habitat representatives. However, small differences are apparent between all samples. One of the Clueless samples even displayed significant differences (P-value < 0.01) to the other two Clueless samples. Our data suggest that the observed variations in fluid chemical and microbial compositions are not reflecting sampling artefacts but are related to short-term fluid variability due to dynamic subseafloor fluid mixing. Recorded temporal changes in fact reflect spatial heterogeneity found in the subsurface as the fluid flows through distinctive pathways. While conservative elements (Cl, Si, Na and K) indicate variable degrees of fluid-seawater mixing, reactive components, including Fe(II), O(2) and H(2)S, show that chemical and microbial reactions within the mixing zone further modify the emanating fluids on short-time scales. Fluids entrain microorganisms, which modify the chemical microenvironment within the subsurface biotopes. This is the first study focusing on short-term microbial variability linked to chemical changes in hydrothermal fluids.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: EAST PACIFIC RISE; TARGETED OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES; IN-SITU HYBRIDIZATION; DE-FUCA RIDGE; GALAPAGOS RIFT; PHYLOGENETIC DIVERSITY; EPSILON-PROTEOBACTERIA; TEMPORAL-CHANGES; THERMAL SPRINGS; SEA
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01978.x
ISSN: 1462-2920
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2018 10:26
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2018 10:26
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/43741

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