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Colonization strategies of three dominant families of reduced systems

Heij, M. de (1999) Colonization strategies of three dominant families of reduced systems. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Reduced systems, as hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the deep ocean, are communities depending on reduced inorganic material as an energy source instead of solar energy. The rich benthic community of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps is depending on the inorganic rich fluid that comes out of the ocean crust as result of geographical processes and on the chemosynthetic bacteria. The chemosynthetic bacteria are the primary producers of the system that are able to convert the reduced substrates into organic substrates. Most of the benthic species living close to the opening of the reduced system are endemic species, living in a symbiotic association with the chemosynthetic bacteria. To be able to sustain in vent and seep systems, as these systems are short living and ever-changing systems, the organisms should have high dispersal abilities and able to colonize newborn systems. Is it possible to distinct different colonization strategies for the macroorganisms in these systems? Organisms can adapt to environmental variability by developing different life-history strategies. Two opposite strategies, the r- and K-strategy are discussed. R-selected organisms usually have rapid development, early reproduction, high reproductive output, relatively short lives and relatively short lives. K-selected organisms have the opposite characteristics. Kselected strategists occur in more stable environments, with maintenance and competitive abilities as the optimal strategy for the organisms. The short living vent and seep systems as short living and ever-changing systems selects for r-selected organisms, however, within the benthic communities some species are relatively more K-selected than others that are more r-selected. Comparing the life-history of three dominant families, the vestimentiferan tubeworms seem to be early colonizers, while the vesicomyid clams and the mytilid mussels seem to be later successional species. The worms seem to change the system in such a way to facilitate the colonization by the other organisms, although it could also be only the change in fluid emissions.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:44
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:44

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