Beaulieu Stace E.

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Stace E.

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  • Technical Report
    Photographic identification guide to larvae at hydrothermal vents
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2009-06) Mills, Susan W. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Mullineaux, Lauren S.
    The purpose of this guide is to assist researchers in the identification of larvae of benthic invertebrates at hydrothermal vents. Our work is based on plankton sampling at the East Pacific Rise 9-10°N vent field from 1991-2007, supplemented by benthic collections of juveniles. In addition to images and descriptions of the species, we included frequency data from large-volume plankton pump samples taken between 1998 and 2004 and time-series sediment trap samples from 2004-2005.
  • Working Paper
    Standards and practices for reporting plankton and other particle observations from images
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021-07-26) Neeley, Aimee ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Proctor, Chris ; Cetinić, Ivona ; Futrelle, Joe ; Soto Ramos, Inia ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Devred, Emmanuel ; Karp-Boss, Lee ; Picheral, Marc ; Poulton, Nicole ; Roesler, Collin S. ; Shepherd, Adam
    This technical manual guides the user through the process of creating a data table for the submission of taxonomic and morphological information for plankton and other particles from images to a repository. Guidance is provided to produce documentation that should accompany the submission of plankton and other particle data to a repository, describes data collection and processing techniques, and outlines the creation of a data file. Field names include scientificName that represents the lowest level taxonomic classification (e.g., genus if not certain of species, family if not certain of genus) and scientificNameID, the unique identifier from a reference database such as the World Register of Marine Species or AlgaeBase. The data table described here includes the field names associatedMedia, scientificName/ scientificNameID for both automated and manual identification, biovolume, area_cross_section, length_representation and width_representation. Additional steps that instruct the user on how to format their data for a submission to the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) are also included. Examples of documentation and data files are provided for the user to follow. The documentation requirements and data table format are approved by both NASA’s SeaWiFS Bio-optical Archive and Storage System (SeaBASS) and the National Science Foundation’s Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO).
  • Article
    Bacterial diversity and successional patterns during biofilm formation on freshly exposed basalt surfaces at diffuse-flow deep-sea vents
    (Frontiers Media, 2015-09-10) Gulmann, Lara K. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Ding, Kang ; Seyfried, William E. ; Sievert, Stefan M.
    Many deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems are regularly impacted by volcanic eruptions, leaving fresh basalt where abundant animal and microbial communities once thrived. After an eruption, microbial biofilms are often the first visible evidence of biotic re-colonization. The present study is the first to investigate microbial colonization of newly exposed basalt surfaces in the context of vent fluid chemistry over an extended period of time (4–293 days) by deploying basalt blocks within an established diffuse-flow vent at the 9°50′ N vent field on the East Pacific Rise. Additionally, samples obtained after a recent eruption at the same vent field allowed for comparison between experimental results and those from natural microbial re-colonization. Over 9 months, the community changed from being composed almost exclusively of Epsilonproteobacteria to a more diverse assemblage, corresponding with a potential expansion of metabolic capabilities. The process of biofilm formation appears to generate similar surface-associated communities within and across sites by selecting for a subset of fluid-associated microbes, via species sorting. Furthermore, the high incidence of shared operational taxonomic units over time and across different vent sites suggests that the microbial communities colonizing new surfaces at diffuse-flow vent sites might follow a predictable successional pattern.
  • Preprint
    Using clay to control harmful algal blooms : deposition and resuspension of clay/algal flocs
    ( 2003-12-21) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Sengco, Mario R. ; Anderson, Donald M.
    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) may be legitimate targets for direct control or mitigation, due to their impacts on commercial fisheries and public health. One promising control strategy is the rapid sedimentation of HABs through flocculation with clay. The objective of this study was to evaluate flow environments in which such a control strategy might be effective in removing harmful algae from the water column and depositing a layer of clay/algal flocs on the sea floor. We simulated the natural environment in two laboratory flumes: a straight-channel “17-m flume” in which flocs settled in a still water column and a “racetrack flume” in which flocs settled in flow. The 17-m flume experiments were designed to estimate the critical bed shear stress for resuspension of flocs that had settled for different time periods. The racetrack flume experiments were designed to examine the deposition and repeated resuspension of flocs in a system with tidal increases in flow speed. All flume runs were conducted with the non-toxic dinoflagellate Heterocapsa triquetra and phosphatic clay (IMC-P4). We repeated the experiments with a coagulant, polyaluminum hydroxychloride (PAC), expected to enhance the removal efficiency of the clay. Our experiments indicated that at low flow speeds (≤ 10 cm s-1), phosphatic clay was effective at removing algal cells from the water column, even after repeated resuspension. Once a layer of flocs accumulated on the bed, the consolidation, or dewatering, of the layer over time increased the critical shear stress for resuspension (i.e. decreased erodibility). Resuspension of a 2-mm thick layer that settled for 3 hours in relatively low flow speeds (≤ 3 cm s-1) would be expected at bed shear stress of ~0.06-0.07 Pa, as compared to up to 0.09 Pa for a layer that was undisturbed for 9 or 24 hours. For the same experimental conditions, the addition of PAC decreased the removal efficiency of algal cells in flow and increased the erodibility of flocs from the bottom. By increasing the likelihood that flocs remain in suspension, the addition of PAC in field trials of clay dispersal might have greater impact on sensitive, filter-feeding organisms. Overall, our experiments suggest that the flow environment should be considered before using clay as a control strategy for HABs in coastal waters.
  • Dataset
    Animals on the Move and Deep‐Sea Vents: Dataset for Spherical Display Systems
    ( 2019-06-04) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Brickley, Annette
    This educational package was developed to engage live audiences with datasets displayed on spherical display systems, in particular NOAA’s Science On a Sphere® (SOS; The playlist was designed to show how different animal species - from birds in the air to tubeworms in the deep sea - migrate or disperse to new locations as part of the dynamics and resilience of animal populations on Earth. Datasets are selected to align with the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience. This package includes Version 1 of an SOS Live Program “Animals on the Move: Stories of Migration Over Land and Dispersal Under Sea” that was developed for the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, MA, in a project led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The datasets in the playlist are relevant to this specific partnership. To help tailor a live program to other local audiences, we provide supplemental documents to aid the selection of datasets aligned with the NGSS. This package also includes Version 2 of NOAA SOS datasets “Deep-Sea Vent Discoveries” and “Deep-Sea Vent Locations”. Locations are provided for all known deep-sea vent fields that were confirmed active by observations at the seafloor at depths greater than 200 m, as of year 2016. The Version 2 Discoveries dataset has the same data as Version 1 for years 1977 - 2005, revised data for 2006 - 2011, and new data for 2012 - 2016. The total number of active confirmed vent fields at water depths > 200 m as of year 2016 was 241, i.e., 28 more than in the previous NOAA SOS datasets (16 discovered in 2012 - 2016, and 12 discovered 2011 or earlier but not in previous NOAA SOS datasets).
  • Preprint
    Persistent effects of disturbance on larval patterns in the plankton after an eruption on the East Pacific Rise
    ( 2013-07) Mills, Susan W. ; Mullineaux, Lauren S. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Adams, Diane K.
    To predict how benthic communities will respond to disturbance, it is necessary to understand how disturbance affects the planktonic larval supply available to recolonize the area. Deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna along the East Pacific Rise (EPR) experience frequent local extinctions due to tectonic and magmatic events, but the effects on regional larval abundance and diversity are unknown. We had been monitoring larvae at 9° 50' N on the EPR prior to the 2006 eruption and were able to resume collections shortly afterward. We found that many species that were common before the eruption became significantly less so afterward, whereas a few other species experienced a transient spike in abundance. Surprisingly, overall species richness in the plankton was high 9 mo after the eruption, but then decreased sharply after 1 yr and had not returned to pre-eruption levels after 2 yr. These results suggest that recovery from disturbance may continue to be affected by limited larval supply even several years after a disturbance event. This delay in recovery means that larvae of pioneer species may dominate potential colonists, even after benthic habitats have transitioned to conditions that favor later-successional species. Moreover, the combined effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbance (e.g. mining) would be likely to cause more profound and long-lasting changes than either event alone. Our results indicate that we do not have sufficient data to predict the timing of recovery after disturbance in the deep sea, even in a well-studied vent system.
  • Article
    Biogeochemical exploration of the Pescardero Basin vents
    (The Oceanography Society, 2018-03) Michel, Anna P. M. ; Wankel, Scott D. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Mullineaux, Lauren S. ; Coleman, Dwight ; Escobar Briones, Elva ; Gaytan-Caballero, Adriana ; McDermott, Jill M. ; Mills, Susan W. ; Speth, Dan ; Zierenberg, Robert
  • Dataset
    Global viewport to deep-sea vents : dataset for spherical display systems
    ( 2014-09-11) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Brickley, Annette ; Spargo, Abbey ; Joyce, Katherine ; Silva, Tim ; Patterson, Kathleen ; Madin, Katherine ; Emery, Meredith
    Spherical display systems, including digital globes, are new technologies increasingly used in both informal and formal education to display global datasets. By creating a narrative using multiple datasets, inter‐disciplinary concepts and linkages between Earth systems ‐ lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere ‐ can be conveyed. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in collaboration with New Bedford Ocean Explorium, invites you to explore the deep sea with the Global Viewport to Deep‐Sea Vents: Dataset for Spherical Display Systems. Our content was developed for public audiences by a team of scientists, educators, and graphic artists. We created new content for digital globes that interweaves imagery obtained by deep‐diving vehicles with global datasets, including a new dataset locating the world's known hydrothermal vents and an animation showing where these vents were discovered every year since the first discovery in 1977. We provide site‐specific movies to show the diversity of geological settings and life at deep‐sea vents. Our two narratives, "Life Without Sunlight" and "Smoke and Fire Underwater,” are provided as compilation movies matched to interactive playlists for docent‐led presentations. Each narrative focuses on a set of Earth Science and Ocean Literacy Principles to educate and excite the public about dynamic geophysical and biological processes and exploration in the deep ocean. In Version 1, we provide datasets, movies, and educational materials prepared for NOAA’s Science on a Sphere® (SOS;, with our two compilation movies also formatted for Magic Planet (
  • Article
    ILTER - the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network as a platform for global coastal and ocean observation
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-08-28) Muelbert, Jose H. ; Nidzieko, Nicholas J. ; Acosta, Alicia T. R. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Bernardino, Angelo F. ; Boikova, Elmira ; Bornman, Thomas G. ; Cataletto, Bruno ; Deneudt, Klaas ; Eliason, Erika ; Kraberg, Alexandra ; Nakaoka, Masahiro ; Pugnetti, Alessandra ; Ragueneau, Olivier ; Scharfe, Mirco ; Soltwedel, Thomas ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Stanisci, Angela ; Stefanova, Kremena ; Stéphan, Pierre ; Stier, Adrian ; Wikner, Johan ; Zingone, Adriana
    Understanding the threats to global biodiversity and ecosystem services posed by human impacts on coastal and marine environments requires the establishment and maintenance of ecological observatories that integrate the biological, physical, geological, and biogeochemical aspects of ecosystems. This is crucial to provide scientists and stakeholders with the support and knowledge necessary to quantify environmental change and its impact on the sustainable use of the seas and coasts. In this paper, we explore the potential for the coastal and marine components of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) to fill this need for integrated global observation, and highlight how ecological observations are necessary to address the challenges posed by climate change and evolving human needs and stressors within the coastal zone. The ILTER is a global network encompassing 44 countries and 700 research sites in a variety of ecosystems across the planet, more than 100 of which are located in coastal and marine environments (ILTER-CMS). While most of the ILTER-CMS were established after the year 2000, in some cases they date back to the early 1900s. At ILTER sites, a broad variety of abiotic and biotic variables are measured, which may feed into other global initiatives. The ILTER community has produced tools to harmonize and compare measurements and methods, allowing for data integration workflows and analyses between and within individual ILTER sites. After a brief historical overview of ILTER, with emphasis on the marine component, we analyze the potential contribution of the ILTER-CMS to global coastal and ocean observation, adopting the “Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT)” approach. We also identify ways in which the in situ parameters collected at ILTER sites currently fit within the Essential Ocean Variables framework (as proposed by the Framework for Ocean Observation recommendations) and provide insights on the use of new technology in long-term studies. Final recommendations point at the need to further develop observational activities at LTER sites and improve coordination among them and with external related initiatives in order to maximize their exploitation and address present and future challenges in ocean observations.
  • Article
    An authoritative global database for active submarine hydrothermal vent fields
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-11-19) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Baker, Edward T. ; German, Christopher R. ; Maffei, Andrew R.
    The InterRidge Vents Database is available online as the authoritative reference for locations of active submarine hydrothermal vent fields. Here we describe the revision of the database to an open source content management system and conduct a meta-analysis of the global distribution of known active vent fields. The number of known active vent fields has almost doubled in the past decade (521 as of year 2009), with about half visually confirmed and others inferred active from physical and chemical clues. Although previously known mainly from mid-ocean ridges (MORs), active vent fields at MORs now comprise only half of the total known, with about a quarter each now known at volcanic arcs and back-arc spreading centers. Discoveries in arc and back-arc settings resulted in an increase in known vent fields within exclusive economic zones, consequently reducing the proportion known in high seas to one third. The increase in known vent fields reflects a number of factors, including increased national and commercial interests in seafloor hydrothermal deposits as mineral resources. The purpose of the database now extends beyond academic research and education and into marine policy and management, with at least 18% of known vent fields in areas granted or pending applications for mineral prospecting and 8% in marine protected areas.
  • Article
    Prolonged recovery time after eruptive disturbance of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent community
    (The Royal Society, 2020-12-23) Mullineaux, Lauren S. ; Mills, Susan W. ; Le Bris, Nadine ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Sievert, Stefan M. ; Dykman, Lauren
    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are associated with seafloor tectonic and magmatic activity, and the communities living there are subject to disturbance. Eruptions can be frequent and catastrophic, raising questions about how these communities persist and maintain regional biodiversity. Prior studies of frequently disturbed vents have led to suggestions that faunal recovery can occur within 2–4 years. We use an unprecedented long-term (11-year) series of colonization data following a catastrophic 2006 seafloor eruption on the East Pacific Rise to show that faunal successional changes continue beyond a decade following the disturbance. Species composition at nine months post-eruption was conspicuously different than the pre-eruption ‘baseline' state, which had been characterized in 1998 (85 months after disturbance by the previous 1991 eruption). By 96 months post-eruption, species composition was approaching the pre-eruption state, but continued to change up through to the end of our measurements at 135 months, indicating that the ‘baseline' state was not a climax community. The strong variation observed in species composition across environmental gradients and successional stages highlights the importance of long-term, distributed sampling in order to understand the consequences of disturbance for maintenance of a diverse regional species pool. This perspective is critical for characterizing the resilience of vent species to both natural disturbance and human impacts such as deep-sea mining.
  • Article
    Functional traits provide new insight into recovery and succession at deep-sea hydrothermal vents
    (Ecological Society of America, 2021-05-28) Dykman, Lauren ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Mills, Susan W. ; Solow, Andrew R. ; Mullineaux, Lauren S.
    Investigation of communities in extreme environments with unique conditions has the potential to broaden or challenge existing theory as to how biological communities assemble and change through succession. Deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems have strong, parallel gradients of nutrients and environmental stress, and present unusual conditions in early succession, in that both nutrient availability and stressors are high. We analyzed the succession of the invertebrate community at 9°50′ N on the East Pacific Rise for 11 yr following an eruption in 2006 in order to test successional theories developed in other ecosystems. We focused on functional traits including body size, external protection, provision of habitat (foundation species), and trophic mode to understand how the unique nutritional and stress conditions influence community composition. In contrast to established theory, large, fast-growing, structure-forming organisms colonized rapidly at vents, while small, asexually reproducing organisms were not abundant until later in succession. Species in early succession had high external protection, as expected in the harsh thermal and chemical conditions after the eruption. Changes in traits related to feeding ecology and dispersal potential over succession agreed with expectations from other ecosystems. We also tracked functional diversity metrics over time to see how they compared to species diversity. While species diversity peaked at 8 yr post-eruption, functional diversity was continuing to increase at 11 yr. Our results indicate that deep-sea hydrothermal vents have distinct successional dynamics due to the high stress and high nutrient conditions in early succession. These findings highlight the importance of extending theory to new systems and considering function to allow comparison between ecosystems with different species and environmental conditions.
  • Article
    Introduction to the special issue : From RIDGE to Ridge 2000
    (The Oceanography Society, 2012-03) Fornari, Daniel J. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Holden, James F. ; Mullineaux, Lauren S. ; Tolstoy, Maya
    Articles in this special issue of Oceanography represent a compendium of research that spans the disciplinary and thematic breadth of the National Science Foundation's Ridge 2000 Program, as well as its geographic focal points. The mid-ocean ridge (MOR) crest is where much of Earth's volcanism is focused and where most submarine volcanic activity occurs. If we could look down from space at our planet with the ocean drained, the MOR's topography and shape, along with its intervening fracture zones, would resemble the seams on a baseball, with the ocean basins dominating our planetary panorama. The volcanic seafloor is hidden beneath the green-blue waters of the world's ocean, yet therein lie fundamental clues to how our planet works and has evolved over billions of years, something that was not clearly understood 65 years ago—witness the following quote from H.H. Hess (1962) in his essay on "geopoetry" and commentary on J.H.F. Umbgrove's (1947) comprehensive summary of Earth and ocean history: The birth of the oceans is a matter of conjecture, the subsequent history is obscure, and the present structure is just beginning to be understood. Fascinating speculation on these subjects has been plentiful, but not much of it predating the last decade [the 1950s] holds water.
  • Preprint
    Toward cyberinfrastructure to facilitate collaboration and reproducibility for marine integrated ecosystem assessments
    ( 2016-10-20) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Fox, Peter A. ; Di Stefano, Massimo ; Maffei, Andrew R. ; West, Patrick ; Hare, Jonathan A. ; Fogarty, Michael J.
    There is a growing need for cyberinfrastructure to support science-based decision making in management of natural resources. In particular, our motivation was to aid the development of cyberinfrastructure for Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) for marine ecosystems. The IEA process involves analysis of natural and socio-economic information based on diverse and disparate sources of data, requiring collaboration among scientists of many disciplines and communication with other stakeholders. Here we describe our bottom-up approach to developing cyberinfrastructure through a collaborative process engaging a small group of domain and computer scientists and software engineers. We report on a use case evaluated for an Ecosystem Status Report, a multi-disciplinary report inclusive of Earth, life, and social sciences, for the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem. Ultimately, we focused on sharing workflows as a component of the cyberinfrastructure to facilitate collaboration and reproducibility. We developed and deployed a software environment to generate a portion of the Report, retaining traceability of derived datasets including indicators of climate forcing, physical pressures, and ecosystem states. Our solution for sharing workflows and delivering reproducible documents includes IPython (now Jupyter) Notebooks. We describe technical and social challenges that we encountered in the use case and the importance of training to aid the adoption of best practices and new technologies by domain scientists. We consider the larger challenges for developing end-to-end cyberinfrastructure that engages other participants and stakeholders in the IEA process.
  • Preprint
    Deep-sea mining of seafloor massive sulfides
    ( 2009-10-28) Hoagland, Porter ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Eggert, Roderick G. ; German, Christopher R. ; Glowka, Lyle ; Lin, Jian
    The potential emergence of an ocean mining industry to exploit seafloor massive sulfides could present opportunities for oceanographic science to facilitate seafloor mineral development in ways that lessen environmental harms.
  • Article
    The Deep Ocean Observing Strategy: addressing global challenges in the deep sea through collaboration
    (Marine Technology Society, 2022-06-08) Smith, Leslie M. ; Cimoli, Laura ; LaScala-Gruenewald, Diana ; Pachiadaki, Maria G. ; Phillips, Brennan T. ; Pillar, Helen R. ; Stopa, Justin ; Baumann-Pickering, Simone ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Bell, Katherine L. C. ; Harden-Davies, Harriet ; Gjerde, Kristina M. ; Heimbach, Patrick ; Howe, Bruce M. ; Janssen, Felix ; Levin, Lisa A. ; Ruhl, Henry A. ; Soule, S. Adam ; Stocks, Karen ; Vardaro, Michael F. ; Wright, Dawn J.
    The Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS) is an international, community-driven initiative that facilitates collaboration across disciplines and fields, elevates a diverse cohort of early career researchers into future leaders, and connects scientific advancements to societal needs. DOOS represents a global network of deep-ocean observing, mapping, and modeling experts, focusing community efforts in the support of strong science, policy, and planning for sustainable oceans. Its initiatives work to propose deep-sea Essential Ocean Variables; assess technology development; develop shared best practices, standards, and cross-calibration procedures; and transfer knowledge to policy makers and deep-ocean stakeholders. Several of these efforts align with the vision of the UN Ocean Decade to generate the science we need to create the deep ocean we want. DOOS works toward (1) a healthy and resilient deep ocean by informing science-based conservation actions, including optimizing data delivery, creating habitat and ecological maps of critical areas, and developing regional demonstration projects; (2) a predicted deep ocean by strengthening collaborations within the modeling community, determining needs for interdisciplinary modeling and observing system assessment in the deep ocean; (3) an accessible deep ocean by enhancing open access to innovative low-cost sensors and open-source plans, making deep-ocean data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable, and focusing on capacity development in developing countries; and finally (4) an inspiring and engaging deep ocean by translating science to stakeholders/end users and informing policy and management decisions, including in international waters.
  • Presentation
    Data Science Training Camp at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Syllabus and slide presentations in 2020
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-08-21) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Raymond, Lisa ; Mickle, Audrey ; Futrelle, Joe ; Symmonds, Nick ; Mazzoli, Roberta ; Brey, Rich ; Kinkade, Danie ; Rauch, Shannon
    With data and software increasingly recognized as scholarly research products, and aiming towards open science and reproducibility, it is imperative for today's oceanographers to learn foundational practices and skills for data management and research computing, as well as practices specific to the ocean sciences. This educational package was developed as a data science training camp for graduate students and professionals in the ocean sciences and implemented at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 2019 and 2020. Here we provide materials for the 2020 camp which was delivered in-person during two afternoons (total of 8 hours), with two modules per afternoon. We aimed for ~40 participants per camp, with disciplines spanning Earth and life sciences and engineering. Disciplines at each table were mixed on the first afternoon but similar on the second afternoon. Contents of this package include the syllabus and slide presentations for each of the four modules: 1 "Good enough practices in scientific computing," 2 Data management, 3 Software development and research computing, and 4 Best practices in the ocean sciences. The 3rd module is split into two parts. We also include a poster presented at the 2020 Ocean Science Meeting, which has some results from pre- and post-surveys. Funding: The camp was funded by WHOI Academic Programs Office through a Doherty Chair in Education Award, with additional support from WHOI Ocean Informatics Working Group, WHOI Information Services, MBLWHOI Library, the NSF-funded Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO), and an NSF-funded XSEDE Jetstream Education Allocation TG-OCE190011. We also utilized resources from the NSF-funded Pangeo project.
  • Article
    Should we mine the deep seafloor?
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-07-13) Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Graedel, Thomas E ; Hannington, Mark D.
    As land-based mineral resources become increasingly difficult and expensive to acquire, the potential for mining resources from the deep seafloor has become widely discussed and debated. Exploration leases are being granted, and technologies are under development. However, the quantity and quality of the resources are uncertain, and many worry about risks to vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-sea mining has become part of the discussion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this article we provide a summary of benefits, costs, and uncertainties that surround this potentially attractive but contentious topic.
  • Presentation
    Should We Mine the Seafloor? Presentations from the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, U.S.A.
    ( 2017-02-18) Graedel, Thomas E ; Hannington, Mark D. ; Beaulieu, Stace E.
  • Article
    Exploring the ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in a metacommunity framework
    (Frontiers Media, 2018-02-21) Mullineaux, Lauren S. ; Metaxas, Anna ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Bright, Monika ; Gollner, Sabine ; Grupe, Benjamin ; Herrera, Santiago ; Kellner, Julie B. ; Levin, Lisa A. ; Mitarai, Satoshi ; Neubert, Michael G. ; Thurnherr, Andreas M. ; Tunnicliffe, Verena ; Watanabe, Hiromi K. ; Won, Yong-Jin
    Species inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents are strongly influenced by the geological setting, as it provides the chemical-rich fluids supporting the food web, creates the patchwork of seafloor habitat, and generates catastrophic disturbances that can eradicate entire communities. The patches of vent habitat host a network of communities (a metacommunity) connected by dispersal of planktonic larvae. The dynamics of the metacommunity are influenced not only by birth rates, death rates and interactions of populations at the local site, but also by regional influences on dispersal from different sites. The connections to other communities provide a mechanism for dynamics at a local site to affect features of the regional biota. In this paper, we explore the challenges and potential benefits of applying metacommunity theory to vent communities, with a particular focus on effects of disturbance. We synthesize field observations to inform models and identify data gaps that need to be addressed to answer key questions including: (1) what is the influence of the magnitude and rate of disturbance on ecological attributes, such as time to extinction or resilience in a metacommunity; (2) what interactions between local and regional processes control species diversity, and (3) which communities are “hot spots” of key ecological significance. We conclude by assessing our ability to evaluate resilience of vent metacommunities to human disturbance (e.g., deep-sea mining). Although the resilience of a few highly disturbed vent systems in the eastern Pacific has been quantified, these values cannot be generalized to remote locales in the western Pacific or mid Atlantic where disturbance rates are different and information on local controls is missing.