Possible Roles for Xenophyophores in Deep-Sea Carbon Cycling

  • L. A. Levin
  • A. J. Gooday
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 360)

Abstract

This paper examines the involvement of xenophyophores. a group of large (<1–25 cm). agglutinating protozoans, in cycling of organic matter on the deep-sea floor. It is suggested that test volumes are usually < 1% protoplasm, and that even where xenopbyophores are abundant, the plasm contributes relatively little biomass to benthic communities. Thus, they are thought to be relatively unimportant as respirers of carbon or as prey, except to specialized predators. However, xenophyophores may have the potential to take up DOM, and could thereby playa role in carbon transformation. The possibility also exists that the copious quantities of fecal material sequestered within xenophyophore tests may be sites of enhanced microbial activity (Tendal, 1979), and as such, could provide food for metazoan test inhabitants and other deposit-feeding taxa in the deep sea. Ideas concerning DOM uptake and microbial enhancement require verification before their importance can be considered. Evidence that xenophyophores enhance deposition of fine particles comes from flow visualization, excess 234Th profiles, and photographic observations. Reticulate and folded tests are believed to act like small, passive particle traps. Increased deposition of organic matter associated with xenophyophore tests is one possible explanation for elevated densities of metazoan fauna associated with tests and surrounding sediments. The activities of xenophyophores and associated biota generate local hotspots of carbon deposition, mineralization, and perhaps burial. Xenophyophores are a significant source of heterogeneity on the sea floor, at the scale of individual tests (ems) and of population patches (kms).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Altenbach, A.V. and Sarnthein, M. (1989) Productivity record in benthic foraminifera. In: W.H. Berger, V.S. Smetacek and G. Wefer (eds.), Productivity of the Ocean: Present and Past, Wiley and Sons Limited, Chichester, pp. 255–669.Google Scholar
  2. Cartwright, N.G., Gooday, A.J., and Jones, A.R. (1989) The morphology, internal organization and taxonomic position of Rhizammina algaeformis Brady, a large, agglutinated deep-sea Foraminifera. J. Foram. Res. 19, 115–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. DeLaca, T.E., Karl, D.M. and Lipps, J.H. (1981) Direct use of dissolved organic carbon by agglutinated benthic Foraminifera, Nature 289, 287–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eckman, J.E., Nowell, A.R.M. and Jumars, P.A. (1981) Sediment destabilization by animal tubes, J. Mar. Res. 39, 361–374.Google Scholar
  5. Gooday, A.J. (1984) Records of deep-sea rhizopod tests inhabited by metazoans in the northeast Atlantic, Sarsia 69, 45–53.Google Scholar
  6. Gooday, A.J. (in press) Xenophyophores (protista, Rhizopoda) in box-core samples from the abyssal northeast Atlantic Ocean (BIOTRANS area): their taxonomy, morphology and ecology. J. Foram. Res.Google Scholar
  7. Gooday, A.J., Levin, L.A., Linke, P., and Heeger, T.S. (this volume) The role of benthic foraminifera in deep sea food webs and carbon cycling. In: G.T. Rowe and V. Pariente (eds.), Deep-Sea Food Chains and the Global Carbon Cycle (Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop, April 1991), Kluwer, Dordrecht, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  8. Kamenskaya, O.E. (1987) Xenophyophorea and Komokiacea in trophic chains of deep-water benthos. In: Feeding of Marine Invertebrates and the Significance in the Formation of Communities. Acad. Sciences, USSR, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. Moscow. pp. 15–22.Google Scholar
  9. Kamenskaya, O.E. (1988) Quantitative distribution of komoki and xenophyophores in the southern Atlantic. In: Structural and Functional Researches of the Marine Benthos. Acad. of Sciences of the USSR, P.P. Shirov Institute of Oceanology. Moscow. pp 15–20.Google Scholar
  10. Kaufmann, R.S., Wakefield, W.W. and Genin, A. (1989) Distribution of epibenthic megafauna and lebensspuren on two central North Pacific seamounts, Deep-Sea Research 36, 1863–1896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lemche, H., Hanson, B., Madsen, F.J., Tendal, O.S. and Wolff, T. (1976) Hadallife as analyzed from photographs, Vidensk. Meddr. dansk Naturh. Foren. 139, 263–336.Google Scholar
  12. Levin, L.A (in press) Interactions between metazoans and large agglutinating protozoans: Implications for the community structure of deep-sea benthos, American Zoologist.Google Scholar
  13. Levin, L.A, Childers, S.E. and Smith, C.R. (1991) Epibenthic, agglutinating foraminiferans in the Santa Catalina Basin and their response to disturbance, Deep-Sea Res. 38, 465–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Levin, L.A., DeMaster, D.J., McCann, L.D. and Thomas, C.L. (1986) Effects of giant protozoans (Class: Xenophyophorea) on deep-seamount benthos, Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 29, 99–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Levin, L.A and Thomas, C.L. (1988) The ecology of xenophyophores (Protista) on eastern Pacific seamounts, Deep-Sea Res. 35, 2003–2027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mullineaux, L.S. (1988) Taxonomic notes on large, agglutinated foraminifers encrusting manganese nodules, including the description of a new genus, Chondrodapis (Komokiacea) J. Foram. Res. 18, 46–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schröder, C.J., Scott, D.B., Medioli, F.S., Bernstein, B.B. and Hessler, R.R. (1988). Larger agglutinated Foraminifera: comparison of assemblages from central North Pacific and western North Atlantic (Nares Abyssal Plain), J. Foram. Res. 18, 25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sibuet, M. (1991) EUMELI 2 Cruise Report, IFREMER, France.Google Scholar
  19. Smith, Jr. K.L., Baldwin, R.J. and Edelman, J.L. (1989) Supply of and demand for organic matter by sediment communities on two central North Pacific seamounts, Deep-Sea Res. 36, 1917–1932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Snider, L.J., Burnett, B.R. and Hessler, R.R. (1984) The composition and distribution of meiofauna and nanobiota in a central North Pacific deep-sea area, Deep-Sea Res. 31, 1225–1249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sokolova, M.N. (1986) Data on the feeding of deep-water bottom invertebrates. In: Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Feeding of marine invertebrates in natural habitats, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanography, pp. 77–101.Google Scholar
  22. Swinbanks, D.O. and Shirayama, Y. (1986a) A model of the effects of an in faunal xenophyophore on Pb-210 distribution in deep-sea sediment, La Mer 24, 69–74.Google Scholar
  23. Swinbanks D.O. and Shirayama, Y. (1986b) High levels of natural radionuclides in a deep-sea infaunal xenophyophore, Nature 320, 354–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tendal, O.S. (1972) A monograph of the Xenophyophoria (Rhizopoda, Protozoa), Galathea Report 12, 7–99.Google Scholar
  25. Tendal, O.S. (1975) A new xenophyophore (Rhizopodea, Protozoa), living on solid substratum, and its significance, Deep-Sea Res. 22. 45–48.Google Scholar
  26. Tendal, O.S. (1979) Aspects of the biology of Komokiacea and Xenophyophorea, Sarsia 64, 13–17.Google Scholar
  27. Tendal, O.S. (1985) Xenophyophores (protista, Sarcodina) in the diet of Neopilina galatheae (Mollusca, Monoplacophora), Galathea Report 16, 95–98, pl: 13.Google Scholar
  28. Tendal, O.S. and Gooday, A.J. (1981) Xenophyophoria (Rhizopoda, Protozoa) in bottom photographs from the bathyal and abyssal NE Atlantic, Oceanol. Acta 4, 415–422.Google Scholar
  29. Tendal, O.S. and K.B. Lewis (1978) New Zealand xenophyophores: upper bathyal distribution, photographs of growth position and a new species, N.Z.J. of Mar. and Freshw. Res. 12, 197–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tendal, O.S., Swinbanks, D.O. and Shirayama, Y. (1982) A new infaunal xenophyophore (Xenophyophorea, Protozoa) with notes on its ecology and possible trace fossil analogues, Oceanol. Acta 5, 325–329.Google Scholar
  31. Wolff, T. (1976) Utilization of seagrass in the deep sea, Aq. Bot. 2, 161–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. Levin
    • 1
  • A. J. Gooday
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon LaboratoryWormley, GodalmingUK

Personalised recommendations