to lush communities of animal species that live in mutualistic symbioses with chemosynthetic bacteria. While both mineral and genetic resources from these unique ecosystems gain increasing interest in human society, plans for the sustainable management of vent biodiversity are still in their infancies, given that the genetic structure and connectivity of vent populations is poorly understood. To address these issues, we studied gene flow and genetic subdivision in the ecologically important deep-sea mussel species (Bathymodiolus spp.) from mid-Atlantic vents by using a combination of molecular and modeling approaches. Although future studies on other vent organisms and geographic regions are needed, our data will allow the development of initial mitigation strategies for the protection of vent biodiversity in the deep sea.
Speaker: Corinna Breusing, MBARI
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