Chemoautotrophic symbionts in the gills of the bivalve mollusc Lucinoma borealis and the sediment chemistry of its habitat.
ABSTRACT Lucinoma borealis has enlarged gills, which contain numerous prokaryotes in specialized cells (bacteriocytes) in the subfilamentar region. The gills also contain high concentrations of elemental sulphur and of a c-type cytochrome. Homogenates of gill tissue show ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase and phosphoribulokinase activity; they also show activity for adenylylsulphate reductase, an enzyme concerned in the oxidation of sulphur, and will phosphorylate ADP on the addition of sulphite or sulphide. Fixation of bicarbonate by gill tissue from starved animals is enhanced in the presence of 100 µM sulphide. The sediment in which the animals live contains 1-6 $\mu $g atoms per litre of dissolved iron and hence there is very little dissolved sulphide, 200 nM, or less (80 nmol dm-3 sediment). Thiosulphate concentrations are also low, 300 nM, or less (120 nmol dm-3 sediment). In contrast, there are acid-labile sulphide concentrations up to 14 mmol dm-3 and elemental sulphur concentrations up to 4 mg atom per cubic decimetre of sediment. The mean sulphate reduction rate in the sediment varied seasonally with temperature over the range 1640-4920 nmol sulphate reduced per hour per cubic decimetre. L. borealis was usually found below the region of maximum sulphate reduction. Hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide concentrations were all 160 nmol dm-3, or less. Despite the low levels of dissolved sulphide the association between prokaryote and host appears to be able to exploit this habitat by the oxidation of reduced sulphur species; ways in which the bivalve may be able to extract these from the sediment are discussed. The bivalves may obtain half their carbon from the autotrophic prokaryotes.
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ABSTRACT: The Azorean seabed is depauperate in terms of bivalve species richness, there being only between ~70 and 80 recorded to date, most being sub-tidal and generally lacking of specialists. Analysis of large numbers (>3200) of Azorean bivalve shells has revealed that, overall, each species is only ~50% the shell length size of Mediterranean conspecifics. Thus, although Azorean bivalve size may be a consequence of decreasing latitude (Bergmann's Rule), the islands are located at approximately the same latitude as the Mediterranean (and are influenced by those waters) where larger conspecifics occur. Hence, the main reason for bivalve dwarfism in the archipelago appears to result from low oceanic productivity (Foster's Rule). This, in turn, is associated with low diversity, possibly resulting from past extinctions and isolation, and low population sizes, except for Ervilia castanea, which here overwhelmingly occupies higher-energy inshore habitats and associated higher productivities. Nevertheless, this species too is dwarfed by mainland conspecifics. Similarly, the introduced Venerupis decussata, found solely within the lagoonal environment of Fajã de Santo Cristo on São Jorge, is somewhat smaller than its mainland conspecifics, although it is abundant enough to warrant artisanal exploitation. This study therefore, supports Foster's Rule and argues for the role of nutrient deficiency in regulating Azorean species richness and individual maximum size. In waters of locally higher productivities, however, population densities increase, but not size.Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 05/2013; 94(03):567-578. DOI:10.1017/S0025315413001598 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fossil hydrocarbon seeps are present in latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) volcaniclastic shallow shelf sediments exposed on Snow Hill and Seymour Islands, James Ross Basin, Antarctica. The seeps occur in the Snow Hill Island Formation on Snow Hill Island and are manifest as large-sized, cement-rich carbonate bodies, containing abundant thyasirid bivalves and rarer ammonites and solemyid bivalves. These bodies have typical seep cement phases, with δ13C values between − 20.4 and − 10.7‰ and contain molecular fossils indicative of terrigenous organic material and the micro-organisms involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane, including methanotrophic archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria. On Seymour Island the seeps occur as micrite-cemented burrow systems in the López de Bertodano Formation and are associated with thyasirid, solemyid and lucinid bivalves, and background molluscan taxa. The cemented burrows also have typical seep cement phases, with δ13C values between − 58.0 and − 24.6‰. There is evidence from other data that hydrocarbon seepage was a common feature in the James Ross Basin throughout the Maastrichtian and into the Eocene. The Snow Hill and Seymour Island examples comprise the third known area of Maastrichtian hydrocarbon seepage. But compared to most other ancient and modern seep communities, the James Ross Basin seep fauna is of very low diversity, being dominated by infaunal bivalves, all of which probably had thiotrophic chemosymbionts, but which were unlikely to have been seep obligates. Absent from the James Ross Basin seep fauna are ‘typical’ obligate seep taxa from the Cretaceous and the Cenozoic. Reasons for this may have been temporal, palaeolatitudinal, palaeobathymetric, or palaeoecological.Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 12/2014; 418(January 2015):213-218. DOI:10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.11.020 · 2.75 Impact Factor