Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-177
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-177
 
04 Oct 2022
04 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Differential feeding habits of the shallow-water hydrothermal vent crab Xenograpsus testudinatus correlate with their resident vent types at a scale of meters

Jing-Ying Wu1,2, Siou-Yan Lin1, Jung-Fu Huang2, Chen-Tung Arthur Chen1, Jia-Jang Hung1, Shao-Hung Peng3, and Li-Lian Liu1,4 Jing-Ying Wu et al.
  • 1Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, 804, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Aquaculture, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, 811, Taiwan
  • 3Center for Research in Water Science and Technology, Cheng Kung University, Tainan, 701, Taiwan
  • 4NSYSU Frontier Center for Ocean Science and Technology, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, 804, Taiwan

Abstract. The shallow-water hydrothermal vents (SVs) located off Kueishan (KS) Islet, Taiwan, are one of the most intensively studied vent systems. Here, two distinct vent types were identified as white vents (WVs) and yellow vents (YVs), based on the color, physical and chemical characteristics of vent plumes. The endemic vent crabs (Xenograpsus testudinatus) are abundant in both WVs and YVs. However, most research on the vent crabs was associated with WV or unspecified vent areas. Studies on crabs dwelling in other vent types are rare. Here, we investigated the feeding habit of crabs inhabiting YV and made a comparison with WV crabs. Specifically, we examined the benthic community of WV and YV, isotopic niche width, and protein expression patterns of the crabs from the two vent types at a distance of 100 m. The coverage of sessile organisms and low-mobility fauna in WV were more abundant than in YV. The δ13C and δ15N values were insignificantly different between crabs from WV and YV. The niche width of crabs from WV was significantly broader than those from YV, shown as SEAc areas of 3.62 ‰2 vs. 0.88 ‰2 (p < 0.05). The overlap percentages in WV and YV were 23.9 % and 97.9 %, respectively. The food sources of crabs in WV were more diverse than those in YV. Based on the protein expression patterns, the vent crabs were classified into WV- and YV-dwellings. Our results revealed that the feeding habits of the endemic vent crabs (X. testudinatus) are adapted to their vent types at a distance of 100 m, and the trans-vent movement is uncommon.

Jing-Ying Wu et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-177', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Nov 2022 reply

Jing-Ying Wu et al.

Jing-Ying Wu et al.

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Short summary
The shallow-water hydrothermal vents off the Kueishan Islet, Taiwan, have the most extreme records of pH values (1.52), temperatures (116 °C), and H2S concentrations (172.4 mmol mol-1) in the world. White and yellow vents differ in the color and physical and chemical characteristics of emitted plumes. We found that the feeding habits of the endemic vent crabs (Xenograpsus testudinatus) are adapted to their resident vent types at a distance of 100 m, and the trans-vent movement is uncommon.
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