New paper about hydrothermal vent shrimps

After a few quiet months of cancelled conferences, postponed cruises, and home working, I’m very happy to share some news about a new publication. This paper, just published in Royal Society Open Science, is the output of Pierre Methou‘s thesis at Ifremer, that focused on emblematic, symbiont-bearing, hydrothermal vent shrimps Rimicaris spp. Here, we combined integrative taxonomy (morphological analyses, DNA sequencing) and ecological markers (stable isotopes of C, N and S) to re-examine ontogenic niche shifts and interspecific differences in resource use among R. exoculata and R. chacei. It turns out that while both species transition from photosynthesis-based nutrition towards a chemosynthetic diet after settlement, there is consistent niche segregation between the two species throughout their life cycle. Those results provide a good illustration of the identification issues persisting in deep-sea ecosystems and the importance of integrative taxonomy in providing an accurate view of fundamental aspects of the biology and ecology of species inhabiting these environments.

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A juvenile of the hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris chacei. Image: Pierre Methou, Ifremer.