There is evidence of plankton mortality and extinction at various temporal and spatial scales induced by man-made pollution, or by natural causes (ageing, competition, predation, diseases, natural pollution). If mortalities take place at large scale they might become of environmental concern and may impact other biotic compartments including fisheries substantially. Such mortalities are a consistent phenomenon at time scales from geological mass extinctions to regularly occurring HABs, that appear to be increasing on a global basis. Several mass mortalities might have escaped our notice for their patchy and erratic occurrences. This also holds for mortalities caused by hydrothermal vents (HVs) that cover possibly more than 1.5% of the ocean floor. We studied zooplankton diversity, abundance and distribution patterns above shallow water hydrothermal vents at Kueishan Tao (Turtle Island), off the northeast coast of Taiwan (West Pacific). The HVs at this side provide an opportunity for the study of mortality, community and population effects of HV effluents with ecophysiological investigations that are otherwise difficult to perform at the more common HV environment, the deep sea. We found evidence for a bottle-neck situation for plankton above vent sites since holoplankton was generally deadly affected when immersed directly in vent plumes. Here we used copepods from HV sites for ecotoxicological testing in mesocosm field experiments.
Dahms, Hans-Uwe and Hwang, Jiang-Shiou
"MORTALITY IN THE OCEAN - WITH LESSONS FROM HYDROTHERMAL VENTS OFF KUEISHAN TAO, NE-TAIWAN,"
Journal of Marine Science and Technology: Vol. 21:
6, Article 12.
Available at: https://jmstt.ntou.edu.tw/journal/vol21/iss6/12