A Caltech Library Service

A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems

Levin, Lisa A. and Orphan, Victoria J. and Rouse, Greg W. and Rathburn, Anthony E. and Ussler, William, III and Cook, Geoffrey S. and Goffredi, Shana K. and Perez, Elena M. and Waren, Anders and Grupe, Benjamin M. and Chadwick, Grayson and Strickrott, Bruce (2012) A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 279 (1738). pp. 2580-2588. ISSN 0962-8452. PMCID PMC3350710.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Upon their initial discovery, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps were considered to be related but distinct ecosystems, with different distributions, geomorphology, temperatures, geochemical properties and mostly different species. However, subsequently discovered vents and seep systems have blurred this distinction. Here, we report on a composite, hydrothermal seep ecosystem at a subducting seamount on the convergent Costa Rica margin that represents an intermediate between vent and seep ecosystems. Diffuse flow of shimmering, warm fluids with high methane concentrations supports a mixture of microbes, animal species, assemblages and trophic pathways with vent and seep affinities. Their coexistence reinforces the continuity of reducing environments and exemplifies a setting conducive to interactive evolution of vent and seep biota.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Levin, Lisa A.0000-0002-2858-8622
Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Goffredi, Shana K.0000-0002-9110-9591
Grupe, Benjamin M.0000-0002-5421-7278
Chadwick, Grayson0000-0003-0700-9350
Additional Information:© 2012 The Royal Society. Received January 27, 2012; Accepted February 13, 2012. We thank the Captain and crew of the RV Atlantis, the Alvin Pilots, as well as scientific participants of AT 15_59, especially A. Thurber, G. Mendoza and A. Dekas for their assistance at sea. We also thank H. Sahling and M. Tryon for their assistance in providing maps and other location information, H. Carson and R. Vargas for their observations during AD 4513, and P. Tavormina, S. Connon and M. Muscovova for their assistance and contributions to the molecular community analysis. Two anonymous reviewers provided constructive comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. The research was supported by the US National Science Foundation grants OCE 0826254, 0825436, 0825791, 0939559 and 0939557.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Costa Rica margin; chemosynthetic ecosystem; deep sea; hydrothermal vent; methane seep
Issue or Number:1738
PubMed Central ID:PMC3350710
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120622-114155202
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32041
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:22 Jun 2012 21:27
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:35

Repository Staff Only: item control page