Linking regional variation of epibiotic bacterial diversity and trophic ecology in a new species of Kiwaidae (Decapoda, Anomura) from East Scotia Ridge (Antarctica) hydrothermal vents
We analyzed the diversity of bacterial epibionts and trophic ecology of a new species of Kiwa yeti crab discovered at two hydrothermal vent fields (E2 and E9) on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR) in the Southern Ocean using a combination of 454 pyrosequencing, Sanger sequencing, and stable isotope analysis. The Kiwa epibiont communities were dominated by Epsilon- and Gammaproteobacteria. About 454 sequencing of the epibionts on 15 individual Kiwa specimen revealed large regional differences between the two hydrothermal vent fields: at E2, the bacterial community on the Kiwa ventral setae was dominated (up to 75%) by Gammaproteobacteria, whereas at E9 Epsilonproteobacteria dominated (up to 98%). Carbon stable isotope analysis of both Kiwa and the bacterial epibionts also showed distinct differences between E2 and E9 in mean and variability. Both stable isotope and sequence data suggest a dominance of different carbon fixation pathways of the epibiont communities at the two vent fields. At E2, epibionts were putatively fixing carbon via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham and reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle, while at E9 the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle dominated. Co-varying epibiont diversity and isotope values at E2 and E9 also present further support for the hypothesis that epibionts serve as a food source for Kiwa.
Authors: Zwirglmaier, Katrin, Reid, William D. K., Heywood, Jane, Sweeting, Christopher J., Wigham, Benjamin D., Polunin, Nicholas V.C., Hawkes, Jeff A., Connelly, Douglas P., Pearce, David ORCID record for David Pearce, Linse, Katrin ORCID record for Katrin Linse