Sarah Hu: Protists as predators at deep-sea hydrothermal vents

The ISEP Prize for Creativity in Online Presentation at the Online Poster Session on Protists is awarded to Sarah K. Hu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for the presentation: Protists as predators at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Congratulations!

Abstract: We investigated protistan predation pressure upon chemosynthetic microbial populations and biogeography at the Gorda Ridge hydrothermal vent field. To quantify the activity of the phagotrophic single-celled microbial eukaryotes, grazing experiments were conducted at several sites where low temperature diffuse fluid was venting from the subsurface. Estimates of mortality (via protistan phagotrophy) were found to be elevated at each vent site relative to the seawater-dilute plume fluid. Paired sequence surveys from the same hydrothermal vent sites, surrounding deep seawater, and each incubation revealed the in situ protistan diversity and distribution with a focus on the protistan grazer population. This work is the first to explore microbial eukaryotic ecology at Gorda Ridge and to present quantitative estimates of protistan grazing from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystem.

Support: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations, EV Nautilus, and NASA SUBSEA.

Acknowledgements (co-authors): Erica Herrera, Amy Smith, Maria G. Pachiadaki, Virginia P. Edgcomb, and Julie A. Huber.


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Background image: Nannochloropsis sp., CSIRO

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