Molluscan diversity in shallow water hydrothermal vents off Kueishan Island, Taiwan

Short Communication

Abstract

Hydrothermal vents are among the most ‘extreme’ habitats in the marine ecosystem, with increased water temperature, drastically different pH to the surrounding water, and richness in toxic substances such as hydrogen sulphide and methane. Although perhaps better recognised as deep-sea habitat, vents actually occur in shallow water within SCUBA diving range in various parts of the world. Kueishan Island, Taiwan is one location where these shallow vents occur, and with a pH as low as 1.52 it is one of the most ‘extreme’. Although the faunal composition of shallow Kueishan vents have been previously reported, some molluscan species, however, were misidentified. Here we present a corrected and updated list of molluscs inhabiting hydrothermally influenced areas off Kueishan Island, a total of 13 species including six new records. Documentation of biodiversity is key in understanding ecosystem functioning, and we briefly discuss the potential significance of the apparent abundance of carnivorous and suspension feeding molluscs in Kueishan vents.

Keywords

Hydrothermal vent Chemosynthetic ecosystems Mollusca Gastropoda Polyplacophora 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank dive masters Yung-Shen Chu, Yu-hsing Liu, Chung-Yueh Lee, Grace Yu, Chi-Yun Wu, Boat captain Wei-Sen Yu, Pi-Hsien Kuo, Hsi-Nien Chen, I-Han Chen, Fu-Lung Shih, Pei-Chen Tsai, Chang Yen-Wei and Ruei-Yi Lee for assistance in field work. We are grateful to Dr. Julia D. Sigwart (QUB and UC Berkeley) and Dr. Boris Sirenko (ZIN RAS) for assistance with polyplacophoran identification. Dr. Hiromi K. Watanabe (JAMSTEC) is thanked for stimulating discussion. This research was supported by funding from the Centre of Excellence for the Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan. This work was also supported by research grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C. At the time of writing CC was supported by an International Postdoctoral Fellowship from JAMSTEC. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Finally, two anonymous reviewers are thanked for their help in improving the present manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Subsurface Geobiological Analysis and Research (D-SUGAR)Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokosukaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Biology and Center of Excellence for the OceansNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelungTaiwan
  3. 3.Biodiversity Research CentreAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan

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