1 Introduction</h5> Hydrothermal activity at the seafloor drives the interaction between reduced, hot fluids originating from the subsurface geosphere with colder and oxidizing bottom seawater. Seafloor mixing of these fluids along with chemical and microbial processes can lead to remarkably dynamic chemical conditions at this interface, as described from a variety of deep-sea settings (e.g. Johnson et al., 1988; Luther et al., 2001, 2012; Le Bris et al., 2006; Schmidt et al., 2008 ). The resulting thermal and redox gradients can be exploited by microbes to fix inorganic carbon, particularly when chemical disequilibrium conditions combine with the availability of electron donors and acceptors to support chemolithoautotrophic metabolisms ( Fisher et al., 2007; Foustoukos et al., 2011; Sievert and Vetriani, 2012 ). Such well-described chemosynthetic habitats are those near deep-sea hydrothermal vents, which are inherently difficult to access and for which time-series studies are still scarce. Like their deep-sea analogs, shallow-water hydrothermal vents can also be considered as extreme environments as they are characterized by acidic pH (i.e. < 7, Gugliandolo et al., 2006 ), elevated temperatures (> 40 °C, Aliani et al., 2004 ), and a wide variety of electron donors and acceptors that can fuel chemosynthesis (
Chemical Geology – Elsevier
Published: Oct 9, 2013
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