Early survivorship of three deep-sea gastropods in response to temperature
Chelsea Collins and Shawn Arellano
Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University
BackgroundThe deep-sea is a stable long-lived environment, however hydrothermal communities support unique populations of benthic invertebrates that have adapted to fluxes in environmental conditions (Van Dover 2000). Studies have shown that embryonic and larval stages of marine invertebrates are morphologically and ecologically different from the developed adult (Pechenik 1999). The vulnerability or resilience of benthic invertebrate early-life stages remains an important question (Peck 2013). Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of exploring deep-sea communities, very little is known about these endemic populations.
Our study explores the early-life biology of deep sea snails from chemosynthetic communities. Using two new species of Shinkailepas from seamounts in the Mariana Arc and Bathynerita naticoidea from a methane seep in the Gulf of Mexico, we tested whether temperature affects survivorship of these three marine snails.