The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

Overview

Teeming with weird and wonderful life — giant clams and mussels, tubeworms, "eyeless" shrimp, and bacteria that survive on sulfur — deep-sea hot-water springs are found along rifts where sea-floor spreading occurs. The theory of plate tectonics predicted the existence of these hydrothermal vents, but they were discovered only in 1977. Since then the sites have attracted teams of scientists seeking to understand how life can thrive in what would seem to be intolerable or extreme conditions of temperature and fluid...
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Overview

Teeming with weird and wonderful life — giant clams and mussels, tubeworms, "eyeless" shrimp, and bacteria that survive on sulfur — deep-sea hot-water springs are found along rifts where sea-floor spreading occurs. The theory of plate tectonics predicted the existence of these hydrothermal vents, but they were discovered only in 1977. Since then the sites have attracted teams of scientists seeking to understand how life can thrive in what would seem to be intolerable or extreme conditions of temperature and fluid chemistry. Some suspect that these vents even hold the key to understanding the very origins of life. Here a leading expert provides the first authoritative and comprehensive account of this research in a book intended for students, professionals, and general readers. Cindy Lee Van Dover, an ecologist, brings nearly two decades of experience and a lively writing style to the text, which is further enhanced by two hundred illustrations, including photographs of vent communities taken in situ.

The book begins by explaining what is known about hydrothermal systems in terms of their deep-sea environment and their geological and chemical makeup. The coverage of microbial ecology includes a chapter on symbiosis. Symbiotic relationships are further developed in a section on physiological ecology, which includes discussions of adaptations to sulfide, thermal tolerances, and sensory adaptations. Separate chapters are devoted to trophic relationships and reproductive ecology. A chapter on community dynamics reveals what has been learned about the ways in which vent communities become established and why they persist, while a chapter on evolution and biogeography examinespatterns of species diversity and evolutionary relationships within chemosynthetic ecosystems.

Cognate communities such as seeps and whale skeletons come under scrutiny for their ability to support microbial and invertebrate communities that are ecologically and evolutionarily related to hydrothermal faunas. The book concludes by exploring the possibility that life originated at hydrothermal vents, a hypothesis that has had tremendous impact on our ideas about the potential for life on other planets or planetary bodies in our solar system.

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Editorial Reviews

Dennis Drabelle
Like the land of the Cimmerians in The Odyssey, Challenger Deep is a place the sun's rays never reach. For that matter, most of the world's water lies under the same shroud. "Light penetration and sunlight-driven photosynthesis are limited to the first several hundred meters of the water column," writes Cindy Lee Van Dover in The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents. Farther down, the superficial rules of life do not apply. It's a whole different world--and a vast one, whose marvels include what Ballard calls "the longest and largest mountain range on earth."
Washington Post Book World
Richard Shelton
How does [this book] succeed as a textbook? The answer is, superbly. Coverage is comprehensive and detailed geophysical, chemical and biological issues are taken in their stride with the same sureness of touch.
Times Literary Supplement
From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000

"[Van Dover] writes well and is not above conducting heroic experiments in what I assume is her own kitchen."--Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World

"[An] impressive, eminently readable book. . . ."--Ellis L. Yochelson, American Scientist

"Foremost in understanding the ecology of hydrothermal vents has been Cindy Van Dover. "--Paul A. Tyler, Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"The strength of Van Dover's book is that it is academically definitive. . . Coverage is comprehensive, and detailed geophysical, chemical and biological issues are taken in their stride with the same sureness of touch."--Richard Shelton, Times Literary Supplement

"A remarkably thorough and balanced, dynamic account of evolving and expanding knowledge of these ocean systems . . . This unique, most up-to-date book on a vast multidisciplinary subject, written enthusiastically and authoritatively, will be an invaluable resource. . ."--Choice

"The book is remarkably thorough and comprehensive and keeps the reader captivated right up to the end. . . . [A] unique source of information on knowledge of an ecosystem that few of us will ever get a chance to see first-hand."--D. Chandramohan, Current Science

"I heartily recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning about what is undoubtedly one of the most important discoveries in earth and life sciences of the past century."--John Woodside, The Leading Edge

Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Foremost in understanding the ecology of hydrothermal vents has been Cindy Van Dover.
— Paul A. Tyler
Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Foremost in understanding the ecology of hydrothermal vents has been Cindy Van Dover.
— Paul A. Tyler
Washington Post Book World - Dennis Drabelle
[Van Dover] writes well and is not above conducting heroic experiments in what I assume is her own kitchen.
American Scientist - Ellis L. Yochelson
[An] impressive, eminently readable book. . . .
Trends in Ecology and Evolution - Paul A. Tyler
Foremost in understanding the ecology of hydrothermal vents has been Cindy Van Dover.
Times Literary Supplement - Richard Shelton
The strength of Van Dover's book is that it is academically definitive. . . Coverage is comprehensive, and detailed geophysical, chemical and biological issues are taken in their stride with the same sureness of touch.
Current Science - D. Chandramohan
The book is remarkably thorough and comprehensive and keeps the reader captivated right up to the end. . . . [A] unique source of information on knowledge of an ecosystem that few of us will ever get a chance to see first-hand.
The Leading Edge - John Woodside
I heartily recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning about what is undoubtedly one of the most important discoveries in earth and life sciences of the past century.
Washington Post Book World
[Van Dover] writes well and is not above conducting heroic experiments in what I assume is her own kitchen.
— Dennis Drabelle
American Scientist
[An] impressive, eminently readable book. . . .
— Ellis L. Yochelson
Times Literary Supplement
The strength of Van Dover's book is that it is academically definitive. . . Coverage is comprehensive, and detailed geophysical, chemical and biological issues are taken in their stride with the same sureness of touch.
— Richard Shelton
Choice
A remarkably thorough and balanced, dynamic account of evolving and expanding knowledge of these ocean systems . . . This unique, most up-to-date book on a vast multidisciplinary subject, written enthusiastically and authoritatively, will be an invaluable resource. . .
Current Science
The book is remarkably thorough and comprehensive and keeps the reader captivated right up to the end. . . . [A] unique source of information on knowledge of an ecosystem that few of us will ever get a chance to see first-hand.
— D. Chandramohan
The Leading Edge
I heartily recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning about what is undoubtedly one of the most important discoveries in earth and life sciences of the past century.
— John Woodside
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691057804
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2000
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
aHa Offices, Officers, and Historical Data
A1: Contents of Section A
Registration Requirements for Hospitals
Explanation of Hospital Listings
annual Survey
Hospitals in the United States, by State
Hospitals in areas associated with the United States, by area
U.S. Government Hospitals Outside the United States, by area
Index of Hospitals
Index of Health Care Professionals
aHa Membership Categories
Other Institutional Members
associate Members
B1: Contents of Section B
Introduction
Networks and their Hospitals
Statistics for Multihospital Health Care Systems and their Hospitals
Health Care Systems and their Hospitals
Headquarters of Health Care Systems, Geographically
alliances
C1: Contents of Section C
Description of Lists
National Organizations
Healthfinder
International Organizations
U.S. Government agencies
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans
Health Systems agencies
Hospital associations
Hospital Licensure agencies
Medical and Nursing Licensure agencies
Peer Review Organizations
State Health Planning and Development agencies
State and Provincial Government agencies
Health Maintenance Organizations
State Government agencies for Health Maintenance Organizations
Freestanding ambulatory Surgery Centers
State Government agencies for Freestanding ambulatory Surgery Centers
Freestanding Hospices
State Government agencies for Freestanding Hospices
JCaHO accredited Freestanding Long-Term Care Organizations'
JCaHO accredited Freestanding Mental Health Care Organizations'
JCaHO accredited Freestanding Substance abuse Organizations
D1: abbreviations Used in the aHa Guide
Index
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