Larval Development and Dispersal at Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

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Science  21 Dec 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4681, pp. 1451-1454
DOI: 10.1126/science.226.4681.1451


Deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities exhibit an array of reproductive strategies. Although a few vent species undergo planktotrophic, high-dispersal modes of development, most exhibit relatively low dispersal, but probably free-swimming nonplanktotrophic development. This predominance of nonplanktotrophy may be largely a reflection of phylogenetic constraints on the vent colonizing taxa; intervent dispersal among these forms may be facilitated by reduced developmental rates in the cold abyssal waters away from the vents. It is proposed that for those vent species with nonplanktotrophic development, larval dispersal is a stepwise process with oceanic ridge axes serving as discrete dispersal corridors.