(a) Anemones are common and often quite dense on the pillow basalts of northernmost vent fields along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center. The anemones reside in close proximity to vent flows where they can access higher prey densities supported by enhanced local primary production. (b) A canonical “bullseye” assemblage of Alviniconcha spp. snails shown in the middle, surrounded by Ifremeria nautilei snails and Bathymodiolus brevior mussels. Alviniconcha spp. occupy the region of greatest exposure to vent fluid. (c) Mariner field vents exhibit ample fluid flow but do not host any of the chemoautotrophic symbioses commonly found within the Eastern Lau Spreading Center, likely due to substantial differences in vent fluid geochemistry. Widths of images are (a) ~1.3 m. (b) ~60 cm, (c) ~1 m.
Media Type: Photograph
Investigator: Charles Fisher