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  • Giongo, Adriana, et al. (författare)
  • Discovery of a chemosynthesis-based community in the western South Atlantic Ocean
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Deep Sea Research Part I. - : Elsevier. - 0967-0637 .- 1879-0119. ; 112, s. 45-56
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Chemosynthetic communities have been described from a variety of deep-sea environments across the world's oceans. They constitute very interesting biological systems in terms of their ecology, evolution and biogeography, and also given their potential as indicators of the presence and abundance of consistent hydrocarbon-based nutritional sources. Up to now such peculiar biotic assemblages have not been reported for the western South Atlantic Ocean, leaving this large region undocumented with respect to the presence, composition and history of such communities. Here we report on the presence of a chemosynthetic community off the coast of southern Brazil, in an area where high-levels of methane and the presence of gas hydrates have been detected. We performed metagenomic analyses of the microbial community present at this site, and also employed molecular approaches to identify components of its benthic fauna. We conducted phylogenetic analyses comparing the components of this assemblage to those found elsewhere in the world, which allowed a historical assessment of the structure and dynamics of these systems. Our results revealed that the microbial community at this site is quite diverse, and contains many components that are very closely related to lineages previously sampled in ecologically similar environments across the globe. Anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaeal groups were found to be very abundant at this site, suggesting that methane is indeed an important source of nutrition for this community. In addition, we document the presence at this site of a vestimentiferan siboglinid polychaete and the bivalve Acharax sp., both of which are typical components of deep-sea chemosynthetic communities. The remarkable similarity in biotic composition between this area and other deep-sea communities across the world supports the interpretation that these assemblages are historically connected across the global oceans, undergoing colonization from distant sites and influenced by local ecological features that select a stereotyped suite of specifically adapted organisms. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Miller, Dennis J., et al. (författare)
  • Natural gas hydrates in the Rio Grande Cone (Brazil) : A new province in the western South Atlantic
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Marine and Petroleum Geology. - : Elsevier. - 0264-8172 .- 1873-4073. ; 67, s. 187-196
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The Rio Grande Cone is a large-scale fanlike feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil, where ubiquitous world-class bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) are readily observed in seismic records. With the purpose of searching for natural gas hydrate deposits in the Cone area, four oceanographic cruises were carried out between May 2011 and July 2013, leading to the discovery of two pockmark fields, active faults and gas hydrates in shallow sediments. Multichannel seismic, multibeam echo sounder, side scan sonar and sub-bottom profiler records were used to map the shallow section and select sites for piston core sampling. Gas hydrates were recovered in several piston cores within muddy sediments collected inside pockmarks displaying high backscatter in the multibeam and side scan sonar data. We present two representative piston cores where numerous levels of gas hydrates occur, along with degassing features, authigenic carbonate and soupy sediments. Gas dissociated from gas hydrate samples is dominantly methane (>99.78%) with minor quantities of ethane. The chemical and isotopic compositions of the gas strongly suggest a biogenic origin for the analyzed samples. These new findings are regarded as strong enough evidence to consider the Rio Grande Cone as a new gas hydrate province. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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