Mitochondrial DNA Analyses Indicate High Diversity, Expansive Population Growth and High Genetic Connectivity of Vent Copepods (Dirivultidae) across Different Oceans.
ABSTRACT: Communities in spatially fragmented deep-sea hydrothermal vents rich in polymetallic sulfides could soon face major disturbance events due to deep-sea mineral mining, such that unraveling patterns of gene flow between hydrothermal vent populations will be an important step in the development of conservation policies. Indeed, the time required by deep-sea populations to recover following habitat perturbations depends both on the direction of gene flow and the number of migrants available for re-colonization after disturbance. In this study we compare nine dirivultid copepod species across various geological settings. We analyze partial nucleotide sequences of the mtCOI gene and use divergence estimates (FST) and haplotype networks to infer intraspecific population connectivity between vent sites. Furthermore, we evaluate contrasting scenarios of demographic population expansion/decline versus constant population size (using, for example, Tajima's D). Our results indicate high diversity, population expansion and high connectivity of all copepod populations in all oceans. For example, haplotype diversity values range from 0.89 to 1 and FST values range from 0.001 to 0.11 for Stygiopontius species from the Central Indian Ridge, Mid Atlantic Ridge, East Pacific Rise, and Eastern Lau Spreading Center. We suggest that great abundance and high site occupancy by these species favor high genetic diversity. Two scenarios both showed similarly high connectivity: fast spreading centers with little distance between vent fields and slow spreading centers with greater distance between fields. This unexpected result may be due to some distinct frequency of natural disturbance events, or to aspects of individual life histories that affect realized rates of dispersal. However, our statistical performance analyses showed that at least 100 genomic regions should be sequenced to ensure accurate estimates of migration rate. Our demography parameters demonstrate that dirivultid populations are generally large and continuously undergoing population growth. Benthic and pelagic species abundance data support these findings.
Project description:Dispersal ability plays a key role in the maintenance of species in spatially and temporally discrete niches of deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments. On the basis of population genetic analyses in the eastern Pacific vent fields, dispersal of animals in the mid-oceanic ridge systems generally appears to be constrained by geographical barriers such as trenches, transform faults, and microplates. Four hydrothermal vent fields (the Kairei and Edmond fields near the Rodriguez Triple Junction, and the Dodo and Solitaire fields in the Central Indian Ridge) have been discovered in the mid-oceanic ridge system of the Indian Ocean. In the present study, we monitored the dispersal of four representative animals, Austinograea rodriguezensis, Rimicaris kairei, Alviniconcha and the scaly-foot gastropods, among these vent fields by using indirect methods, i.e., phylogenetic and population genetic analyses. For all four investigated species, we estimated potentially high connectivity, i.e., no genetic difference among the populations present in vent fields located several thousands of kilometers apart; however, the direction of migration appeared to differ among the species, probably because of different dispersal strategies. Comparison of the intermediate-spreading Central Indian Ridge with the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise and slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge revealed the presence of relatively high connectivity in the intermediate- and slow-spreading ridge systems. We propose that geological background, such as spreading rate which determines distance among vent fields, is related to the larval dispersal and population establishment of vent-endemic animal species, and may play an important role in controlling connectivity among populations within a biogeographical province.
Project description:The Mid-Cayman spreading centre is an ultraslow-spreading ridge in the Caribbean Sea. Its extreme depth and geographic isolation from other mid-ocean ridges offer insights into the effects of pressure on hydrothermal venting, and the biogeography of vent fauna. Here we report the discovery of two hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Cayman spreading centre. The Von Damm Vent Field is located on the upper slopes of an oceanic core complex at a depth of 2,300?m. High-temperature venting in this off-axis setting suggests that the global incidence of vent fields may be underestimated. At a depth of 4,960?m on the Mid-Cayman spreading centre axis, the Beebe Vent Field emits copper-enriched fluids and a buoyant plume that rises 1,100?m, consistent with >400?°C venting from the world's deepest known hydrothermal system. At both sites, a new morphospecies of alvinocaridid shrimp dominates faunal assemblages, which exhibit similarities to those of Mid-Atlantic vents.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Equator and Easter Microplate regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean exhibit geomorphological and hydrological features that create barriers to dispersal for a number of animals associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vent habitats. This study examined effects of these boundaries on geographical subdivision of the vent polychaete Alvinella pompejana. DNA sequences from one mitochondrial and eleven nuclear genes were examined in samples collected from ten vent localities that comprise the species' known range from 23°N latitude on the East Pacific Rise to 38°S latitude on the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. RESULTS:Multi-locus genotypes inferred from these sequences clustered the individual worms into three metapopulation segments - the northern East Pacific Rise (NEPR), southern East Pacific Rise (SEPR), and northeastern Pacific Antarctic Ridge (PAR) - separated by the Equator and Easter Microplate boundaries. Genetic diversity estimators were negatively correlated with tectonic spreading rates. Application of the isolation-with-migration (IMa2) model provided information about divergence times and demographic parameters. The PAR and NEPR metapopulation segments were estimated to have split roughly 4.20 million years ago (Mya) (2.42-33.42 Mya, 95 % highest posterior density, (HPD)), followed by splitting of the SEPR and NEPR segments about 0.79 Mya (0.07-6.67 Mya, 95 % HPD). Estimates of gene flow between the neighboring regions were mostly low (2?Nm?<?1). Estimates of effective population size decreased with southern latitudes: NEPR?>?SEPR?>?PAR. CONCLUSIONS:Highly effective dispersal capabilities allow A. pompejana to overcome the temporal instability and intermittent distribution of active hydrothermal vents in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Consequently, the species exhibits very high levels of genetic diversity compared with many co-distributed vent annelids and mollusks. Nonetheless, its levels of genetic diversity in partially isolated populations are inversely correlated with tectonic spreading rates. As for many other vent taxa, this pioneering colonizer is similarly affected by local rates of habitat turnover and by major dispersal filters associated with the Equator and the Easter Microplate region.
Project description:Studies of genetic connectivity and population structure in deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems often focus on endosymbiont-hosting species that are directly dependent on chemical energy extracted from vent effluent for survival. Relatively little attention has been paid to vent-associated species that are not exclusively dependent on chemosynthetic ecosystems. Here we assess connectivity and population structure of two vent-associated invertebrates--the shrimp Chorocaris sp. 2 and the squat lobster Munidopsis lauensis--that are common at deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the western Pacific. While Chorocaris sp. 2 has only been observed at hydrothermal vent sites, M. lauensis can be found throughout the deep sea but occurs in higher abundance around the periphery of active vents We sequenced mitochondrial COI genes and deployed nuclear microsatellite markers for both species at three sites in Manus Basin and either North Fiji Basin (Chorocaris sp. 2) or Lau Basin (Munidopsis lauensis). We assessed genetic differentiation across a range of spatial scales, from approximately 2.5 km to more than 3000 km. Population structure for Chorocaris sp. 2 was comparable to that of the vent-associated snail Ifremeria nautilei, with a single seemingly well-mixed population within Manus Basin that is genetically differentiated from conspecifics in North Fiji Basin. Population structure for Munidopsis lauensis was more complex, with two genetically differentiated populations in Manus Basin and a third well-differentiated population in Lau Basin. The unexpectedly high level of genetic differentiation between M. lauensis populations in Manus Basin deserves further study since it has implications for conservation and management of diversity in deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems.
Project description:Deep-sea stony corals, which can be fragile, long-lived, late to mature and habitat-forming, are defined as vulnerable marine ecosystem indicator taxa. Under United Nations resolutions, these corals require protection from human disturbance such as fishing. To better understand the vulnerability of stony corals (Goniocorella dumosa, Madrepora oculata, Solenosmilia variabilis) to disturbance within the New Zealand region and to guide marine protected area design, genetic structure and connectivity were determined using microsatellite loci and DNA sequencing. Analyses compared population genetic differentiation between two biogeographic provinces, amongst three subregions (north-central-south) and amongst geomorphic features. Extensive population genetic differentiation was revealed by microsatellite variation, whilst DNA sequencing revealed very little differentiation. For G. dumosa, genetic differentiation existed amongst regions and geomorphic features, but not between provinces. For M. oculata, only a north-central-south regional structure was observed. For S. variabilis, genetic differentiation was observed between provinces, amongst regions and amongst geomorphic features. Populations on the Kermadec Ridge were genetically different from Chatham Rise populations for all three species. A significant isolation-by-depth pattern was observed for both marker types in G. dumosa and also in ITS of M. oculata. An isolation-by-distance pattern was revealed for microsatellite variation in S. variabilis. Medium to high levels of self-recruitment were detected in all geomorphic populations, and rates and routes of genetic connectivity were species-specific. These patterns of population genetic structure and connectivity at a range of spatial scales indicate that flexible spatial management approaches are required for the conservation of deep-sea corals around New Zealand.
Project description:The Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) represents one of the most slow-spreading ridge systems on Earth. Previous attempts to locate hydrothermal vent fields and unravel the nature of venting, as well as the provenance of vent fauna at this northern and insular termination of the global ridge system, have been unsuccessful. Here, we report the first discovery of a black smoker vent field at the AMOR. The field is located on the crest of an axial volcanic ridge (AVR) and is associated with an unusually large hydrothermal deposit, which documents that extensive venting and long-lived hydrothermal systems exist at ultraslow-spreading ridges, despite their strongly reduced volcanic activity. The vent field hosts a distinct vent fauna that differs from the fauna to the south along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The novel vent fauna seems to have developed by local specialization and by migration of fauna from cold seeps and the Pacific.
Project description:In the past few decades, population genetics and phylogeographic studies have improved our knowledge of connectivity and population demography in marine environments. Studies of deep-sea hydrothermal vent populations have identified barriers to gene flow, hybrid zones, and demographic events, such as historical population expansions and contractions. These deep-sea studies, however, used few loci, which limit the amount of information they provided for coalescent analysis and thus our ability to confidently test complex population dynamics scenarios. In this study, we investigated population structure, demographic history, and gene flow directionality among four Western Pacific hydrothermal vent populations of the vent limpet Lepetodrilus aff. schrolli. These vent sites are located in the Manus and Lau back-arc basins, currently of great interest for deep-sea mineral extraction. A total of 42 loci were sequenced from each individual using high-throughput amplicon sequencing. Amplicon sequences were analyzed using both genetic variant clustering methods and evolutionary coalescent approaches. Like most previously investigated vent species in the South Pacific, L. aff. schrolli showed no genetic structure within basins but significant differentiation between basins. We inferred significant directional gene flow from Manus Basin to Lau Basin, with low to no gene flow in the opposite direction. This study is one of the very few marine population studies using >10 loci for coalescent analysis and serves as a guide for future marine population studies.
Project description:Rich animal and microbial communities have been found at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Although the biogeography of vent macrofauna is well understood, the corresponding knowledge about vent microbial biogeography is lacking. Here, we apply the multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) to assess the genetic variation of 109 Sulfurimonas strains with ?98% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, which were isolated from four different geographical regions (Okinawa Trough (OT), Mariana Volcanic Arc and Trough (MVAT), Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR)). Sequence typing based on 11 protein-coding genes revealed high genetic variation, including some allele types that are widespread within regions, resulting in 102 nucleotide sequence types (STs). This genetic variation was predominantly due to mutation rather than recombination. Phylogenetic analysis of the 11 concatenated genes showed a clear geographical isolation corresponding to the hydrothermal regions they originated from, suggesting limited dispersal. Genetic differentiation among Sulfurimonas populations was primarily influenced by geographical distance rather than gas composition of vent fluid or habitat, although in situ environmental conditions of each microhabitat could not be examined. Nevertheless, Sulfurimonas may possess a higher dispersal capability compared with deep-sea hydrothermal vent thermophiles. This is the first report on MLSA of deep-sea hydrothermal vent Epsilonproteobacteria, which is indicative of allopatric speciation.
Project description:Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps are inhabited by members of the same higher taxa but share few species, thus scientists have long sought habitats or regions of intermediate character that would facilitate connectivity among these habitats. Here, a network analysis of 79 vent, seep, and whale-fall communities with 121 genus-level taxa identified sedimented vents as a main intermediate link between the two types of ecosystems. Sedimented vents share hot, metal-rich fluids with mid-ocean ridge-type vents and soft sediment with seeps. Such sites are common along the active continental margins of the Pacific Ocean, facilitating connectivity among vent/seep faunas in this region. By contrast, sedimented vents are rare in the Atlantic Ocean, offering an explanation for the greater distinction between its vent and seep faunas compared with those of the Pacific Ocean. The distribution of subduction zones and associated back-arc basins, where sedimented vents are common, likely plays a major role in the evolutionary and biogeographic connectivity of vent and seep faunas. The hypothesis that decaying whale carcasses are dispersal stepping stones linking these environments is not supported.
Project description:Biodiversity of hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean, particularly those on the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR), are still relatively poorly understood. The Tiancheng field on the SWIR was initially reported with only a low-temperature diffuse flow venting area, but here we report two new active areas, including a chimney emitting high-temperature vent fluids. Biological sampling in these new sites doubled the known megafauna and macrofauna richness reported from Tiancheng. Significantly, we found several iconic species, such as the scaly-foot snail and the first Alviniconcha population on the SWIR. Tiancheng shares a high proportion of taxa with vents on the Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and lacks a number of key taxa that characterize other vents investigated so far on the SWIR. Population genetics of the scaly-foot snail confirmed this, as the Tiancheng population was clustered with populations from the CIR, showing low connectivity with the Longqi field. Unlike the previously examined populations, scales of the Tiancheng scaly-foot snail were coated in zinc sulfide, although this results only from precipitation. The close connection between Tiancheng and CIR vents indicates that the dispersal barrier for vent endemic species is not the Rodriguez Triple Junction as previously suggested but the transformation faults between Tiancheng and Longqi, warranting further studies on deep currents in this area to resolve the key barrier, which has important implications for biological conservation.