Building the future by doing more together

CHEMECO - Monitoring colonisation processes in chemosynthetic ecosystems
Coordinator - Marina R Cunha (Portugal)
CESAM Responsible researcher - Marina R Cunha
Programme - ESF - EUROCORES - EuroDEEP
Execution dates - 2008-01-01 - 2011-03-31 (39 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT e outras
Funding for CESAM - 136178 €
Total Funding - 185457 €
Proponent Institution - UPMC
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro
Univ. Açores, UPMC, U Gent, CNRS

The main objective of CHEMECO is the multidisciplinary study of colonisation processes in European deep-waters. The selected sites located in the Atlantic ocean and in Mediterrannean and Nordic seas, will illustrate different reducing environments (cold seeps and hydrothermal vents) associated with diverse geological settings and have been the focus of geological and ecological surveys in the past. With this multi-site approach we will examine the factors that govern the establishment of metazoan communities in different deep-sea reducing habitats with particular attention to bivalve and tubeworm symbiotic species that often dominate the biomass of vents and seeps. Our specific interests rely on the establishment of pioneer microbial communities, the recruitment of metazoan larvae, the development of symbioses and their importance in the biodiversity and trophic structure of newly-established communities. Another aspect of this project is to assess the impact of symbiotic metazoan colonisation on chemical exchanges and biogeochemical processes. We propose to address these aims through a unique combination of site surveys, replicate colonization experiments of mineral and organic substrates and in situ chemical monitoring. The results of the project will provide knowledge on the ability of symbiotic organisms - the key- primary producers in these ecosystems - to recolonize after disturbance. As the anthropic pressure on deep-sea ecosystems is increasing, particularly for sites associated with oil and mineral resources such as cold seeps and hydrothermal vents, the need to further understand the factors that ensure the sustainability of these poorly known ecosystems is crucial. The proposed experiments can, additionally, be seen as a preliminary step toward the implementation of in situ experimentation platforms in the context of long-term deep-sea observatory sites (eg: ESONET, MOMAR).




Members on this project
Ana Hilário
Researcher
Fábio L. Matos
Grant holder
Henrique Queiroga
Researcher
Luciana Génio
Researcher

CESAM Funding: