Fisher Charles R.

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Charles R.

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  • Article
    Links from mantle to microbe at the Lau Integrated Study Site : insights from a back-arc spreading center
    (The Oceanography Society, 2012-03) Tivey, Margaret K. ; Becker, Erin ; Beinart, Roxanne A. ; Fisher, Charles R. ; Girguis, Peter R. ; Langmuir, Charles H. ; Michael, Peter J. ; Reysenbach, Anna-Louise
    The Lau Integrated Study Site (ISS) has provided unique opportunities for study of ridge processes because of its back-arc setting in the southwestern Pacific. Its location allows study of a biogeographical province distinct from those of eastern Pacific and mid-Atlantic ridges, and crustal compositions along the ridge lie outside the range of mid-ocean ridge crustal compositions. The Lau ISS is located above a subduction zone, at an oblique angle. The underlying mantle receives water and other elements derived from the downgoing lithospheric slab, with an increase in slab influence from north to south. Water lowers the mantle melting temperature and leads to greater melt production where the water flux is greater, and to distinctive regional-scale gradients along the ridge. There are deeper faulted axial valleys with basaltic volcanism in the north and inflated axial highs with andesites in the south. Differences in igneous rock composition and release of magmatic volatiles affect compositions of vent fluids and deposits. Differences in vent fluid compositions and small-scale diffuse-flow regimes correlate with regional-scale patterns in microbial and megafaunal distributions. The interdisciplinary research effort at the Lau ISS has successfully identified linkages between subsurface processes and deep-sea biological communities, from mantle to microbe to megafauna.
  • Article
    Chemistry, temperature, and faunal distributions at diffuse-flow hydrothermal vents : comparison of two geologically distinct ridge systems
    (The Oceanography Society, 2012-03) Luther, George W. ; Gartman, Amy ; Yucel, Mustafa ; Madison, Andrew S. ; Moore, Tommy S. ; Nees, Heather A. ; Nuzzio, Donald B. ; Sen, Arunima ; Lutz, Richard A. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Fisher, Charles R.
    Diffuse-flow, low-temperature areas near hydrothermal vents support life via chemosynthesis: hydrogen sulfide (and other reduced chemical compounds) emanating from the subsurface is oxidized with bottom-water oxygen through bacterial mediation to fix carbon dioxide and produce biomass. This article reviews the in situ diffuse-flow chemistry (mainly H2S and O2) and temperature data collected in 2006 and 2009 along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC), and from 2004 to 2008 at 9°N along the East Pacific Rise (9 N EPR), predominantly around macrofauna that contain endosymbionts at these two hydrothermal vent regions. More than 48,000 and 20,000 distinct chemical and temperature data points were collected with a multi-analyte electrochemical analyzer in the diffuse-flow waters at 9 N EPR and the ELSC, respectively. Despite their different geological settings and different macrofauna (two different species of snails and mussels at the ELSC versus two different species of tubeworms and mussels at 9 N EPR), there are similarities in the temperature and chemistry data, as well as in the distributions of organisms. The pattern of water chemistry preferred by the provannid snails (Alviniconcha spp., Ifremeria nautilei) and Bathymodiolus brevior at the ELSC is similar to the water chemistry pattern found for the siboglinid tubeworms (Tevnia jerichonana, Riftia pachyptila) and the Bathymodiolus thermophilus mussels at 9 N EPR. The eruptions at 9 N EPR in 2005 and 2006 resulted in increased H2S concentrations, increased H2S/T ratios, and an initial change in the dominant tubeworm species from Riftia pachyptila to Tevnia jerichonana after the eruption created new vent habitats. In 2005, two sites at 9 N EPR showed major increases in the H2S/T ratio from 2004, which suggested a probable eruption in this basalt-dominated system. At the ELSC, there was a decrease in the H2S/T ratio from northern to southern sites, which reflects the change in geological setting from basalt to andesite and the shallower water depths at the southern sites.
  • Article
    Epifaunal community structure associated with Riftia pachyptila aggregations in chemically different hydrothermal vent habitats
    (Inter-Research, 2005-12-23) Govenar, Breea ; Le Bris, Nadine ; Gollner, Sabine ; Glanville, Joanne ; Aperghis, Adrienne B. ; Hourdez, Stephane ; Fisher, Charles R.
    The vestimentiferan tubeworm Riftia pachyptila (Polychaeta: Sibloglinidae) often dominates early succession stages and high productivity habitats at low-temperature hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise. We collected 8 aggregations of R. pachyptila and the associated epifaunal community at 2 discrete sites of diffuse hydrothermal activity, in December 2001 and December 2002. Because of the high spatial and temporal variability of the biotic and abiotic factors related to hydrothermal vent activity, significant differences in the structure and the composition of the community were expected to occur at the scale of either 1 yr or 500 m distance between very different sites. There was no significant difference in the temperature ranges of the diffuse flow between sites or years, even though the environmental conditions were very different at the 2 sites. At 1 site (Riftia Field), the diffuse hydrothermal fluids had relatively low concentrations of sulfide, low pH, and high concentrations of iron. At the other site (Tica), the diffuse hydrothermal fluids had higher sulfide concentrations, the pH was closer to neutral, and iron was undetectable. The physiological condition of R. pachyptila appeared to reflect the availability of sulfide at each site. However, the structure and the composition of the epifaunal community were remarkably similar between sites and years, with the exception of a few species. Aggregations of R. pachyptila support high local species diversity relative to the surrounding seafloor and high community similarity in different hydrothermal vent habitats.
  • Article
    Characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna of the Galapagos Islands
    (Nature Research, 2020-08-17) Salinas-de-León, Pelayo ; Martí-Puig, Patricia ; Buglass, Salome ; Arnés-Urgellés, Camila ; Rastoin-Laplane, Etienne ; Creemers, Marie ; Cairns, Stephen ; Fisher, Charles R. ; O’Hara, Timothy ; Ott, Bruce ; Raineault, Nicole A. ; Reiswig, Henry ; Rouse, Greg W. ; Rowley, Sonia ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Suarez, Jenifer ; Watling, Les ; Wicksten, Mary K. ; Marsh, Leigh
    The deep sea represents the largest and least explored biome on the planet. Despite the iconic status of the Galapagos Islands and being considered one of the most pristine locations on earth, the deep-sea benthic ecosystems of the archipelago are virtually unexplored in comparison to their shallow-water counterparts. In 2015, we embarked on a multi-disciplinary scientific expedition to conduct the first systematic characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate communities of the Galapagos, across a range of habitats. We explored seven sites to depths of over 3,300 m using a two-part Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system aboard the E/V Nautilus, and collected 90 biological specimens that were preserved and sent to experts around the world for analysis. Of those, 30 taxa were determined to be undescribed and new to science, including members of five new genera (2 sponges and 3 cnidarians). We also systematically analysed image frame grabs from over 85 h of ROV footage to investigate patterns of species diversity and document the presence of a range of underwater communities between depths of 290 and 3,373 m, including cold-water coral communities, extensive glass sponge and octocoral gardens, and soft-sediment faunal communities. This characterization of Galapagos deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna across a range of ecosystems represents a first step to study future changes that may result from anthropogenic impacts to the planet’s climate and oceans, and informed the creation of fully protected deep-water areas in the Galapagos Marine Reserve that may help preserve these unique communities in our changing planet.
  • Article
    Tubeworm-associated permanent meiobenthic communities from two chemically different hydrothermal vent sites on the East Pacific Rise
    (Inter-Research, 2007-05-14) Gollner, Sabine ; Zekely, Julia ; Govenar, Breea ; Le Bris, Nadine ; Nemeschkal, Hans L. ; Fisher, Charles R. ; Bright, Monika
    The permanent meiobenthic community associated with aggregations of the tubeworm Riftia pachyptila was characterized at 2 different hydrothermal vent sites, Tica and Riftia Field, on the East Pacific Rise near 9°50’N. The maximum effluent temperatures were similar at both sites, but the chemistry of the hydrothermal fluids differed between sites. The abundance of meiobenthos was very low in 5 out of 6 samples (<61 ind. 10 cm–2) and was higher at Tica (20 to 976 ind. 10 cm–2) than at Riftia Field (<1 to 12 ind. 10 cm–2). Meiobenthos abundance was positively correlated with the volume of sediment within the tubeworm aggregations. Sediment consisted mainly of particulate organic material and contained only a few mineral grains. A total of 33 meiobenthic species (15 of them new to science) was identified, comprising nematodes, copepods, ostracods, tanaidaceans, and foraminiferans. The meiobenthic fauna contributed a third to the total species richness in the benthic community associated with these tubeworm aggregations. There were 19 meiobenthic species shared between the 2 sites. The majority of meiobenthic species were first-order primary consumers. The most abundant taxa were nematodes and copepods, and other taxa were rare at both sites. Nematodes numerically dominated the community at Tica, while no clear dominance of a higher taxon could be detected at Riftia Field. Species richness was similar at both sites, whereas Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Pielou’s evenness index were higher at Riftia Field. Due to the differences in the relative abundance of some species and unique occurrence of others at each site, the meiobenthic communities from the 2 different sites had an average Bray-Curtis dissimilarity of almost 70%.