Energy Flow In Bioshpere - Chemoautotrophs

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An introduction and investigation of the third tropic level in our biosphere - the chemotrophs. Hydrothermal vents, hot spots and tubeworms.

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Energy Flow In Bioshpere - Chemoautotrophs

  1. 1. Hydrothermal Vents & Chemoautotrophs Dark Secrets
  2. 2. Model of a community of hydrothermal vents and smokers at the bottom of the sea
  3. 4. Hydrothermal vents are volcanoes located at the bottom of the ocean. Many look like chimneys. Some are very tall – thousands of feet high.
  4. 5. Location of Deep-Sea Vents off coast of Galapagos Islands
  5. 6. Although they are thousands of feet below the surface where no light has ever penetrated, these vents, or “hot spots” are teaming with life – that does not require sunlight for photosynthesis
  6. 8. Riftia pachyptila , the giant tubeworm, is found at all known vent sites along the East Pacific Rise and the Galapagos Rift
  7. 9. The fact that these tubeworms are very common and are early colonizers may explain their high levels of genetic diversity.
  8. 10. These worms are entirely dependent on sulfur-oxidizing, symbiotic bacteria that supply them with energy. Tubeworms are thought to be early colonizers of vent sites
  9. 11. B. thermophilu s mussels are found at vent sites along the Galapagos Rift. They depend almost entirely on symbiotic bacteria within their gills to supply energy.
  10. 12. The rates of extinction and recolonization that deep-sea mussels and clams experience tend to reduce their genetic diversity.
  11. 13. Yeti crabs have been found living at depths of about 2,200 meters (7,200 feet or 1 ½ miles) on recent lava flows and areas where warm water was seeping out of the sea floor.
  12. 14. Biodiversity at the vent sites is still amazing marine ecologists and biologists. New species are still being discovered
  13. 15. These animals all feed on the sulfur-oxidizing, symbiotic bacteria, or each other – creating a Chemotropic ecosystem.

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