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Mixotrophy in the deep sea: a dual endosymbiotic hydrothermal mytilid assimilates dissolved and particulate organic matter
Riou, V.; Colaço, A.; Bouillon, S.; Khripounoff, A.; Dando, P.R.; Mangion, P.; Chevalier, E.; Korntheuer, M.; Serrão Santos, R.; Dehairs, F. (2010). Mixotrophy in the deep sea: a dual endosymbiotic hydrothermal mytilid assimilates dissolved and particulate organic matter. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 405: 187-201
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630; e-ISSN 1616-1599, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Bathymodiolus azoricus Cosel & Comtet, 1999 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Bathymodiolus azoricus; Particulate and dissolved material; Nitrogen and carbon assimilation; Deep sea; Hydrothermal vent; Mussel

Authors  Top 
  • Riou, V., more
  • Colaço, A., more
  • Bouillon, S., more
  • Khripounoff, A.
  • Korntheuer, M., more
  • Serrão Santos, R.
  • Dehairs, F., more

    Bathymodiolus azoricus mussels thrive 840 to 2300 m deep at hydrothermal vents of the Azores Triple Junction on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Although previous studies have suggested a mixotrophic regime for this species, no analysis has yet yielded direct evidence for the assimilation of particulate material. In the present study, tracer experiments in aquaria with 13C- and 15N-labelled amino acids and marine cyanobacteria demonstrate for the first time the incorporation of dissolved and particulate organic matter in soft tissues of vent mussel. The observation of phytoplanktonic tests in wild mussel stomachs highlights the occurrence of in situ ingestion of sea-surface-derived material. Particulate organic carbon fluxes in sediment traps moored away from direct vent influence are in agreement with carbon export estimates from the surface ocean above the vents attenuated by microbial degradation. Stable isotope composition of trapped organic matter is similar to values published in the literature, but is enriched by +7‰ in 13C and +13‰ in 15N, relative to mussel gill tissue from the Menez Gwen vent. Although this observation suggests a negligible contribution of photosynthetically produced organic matter to the diet of B. azoricus, the tracer experiments demonstrate that active suspension-feeding on particles and dissolved organic matter could contribute to the C and N budget of the mussel and should not be neglected.

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