2007 Update

Biogeochemical Interaction at Deep-Sea Vents
Working Group

(May 2007)

Working Group Members:
Nadine Le Bris (Chair), IFREMER, France
Antje Boetius, Max Planck Institute für Marine Mikrobiologie, Germany
Margaret K. Tivey, WHOI, USA
George W. Luther III, University of Delaware, USA
Christopher R. German, WHOI, USA
Frank Wenzhöfer, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany
Jean-Luc Charlou, IFREMER, Germany
William E. Seyfried Jr., University of Minnesotta, USA
Danielle Fortin, University of Ottawa, Canada
F. Grant Ferris, University of Toronto, Canada
Ken Takai, JAMSTEC, Japan
John A. Baross, University of Washington, USA

Special session at EGU General Assembly - “Biogeochemical interactions in chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems: methods, tools and strategies”, Vienna, Austria, April 15-20, 2007
In the past year the activity of the “Biogeochemical Interactions” Working Group has been first concretized through the organisation of the 3rd edition of the session “Biogeochemical interactions in chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems: methods, tools and strategies” co-listed in Biogeosciences and Ocean Sciences programmes of the EGU General Assembly (April 2007, 15-20 Vienna, Austria). 6 orals and 13 posters were presented. Most of them concerned the hydrothermal vent environments. Recently-developed in situ measurement devices and innovative approaches to the study of biogeochemical interactions were presented. The session also included several studies related to other chemosynthetic habitats (sunken woods) and their links to hydrothermal ecosystems. Abstracts are available at http://www.cosis.net/members/meetings/sessions/accepted_contributions.ph... (Biogeosciences BG 6.05).

InterRidge Theoretical Institute – “Biogeochemical interactions at deep-sea vents”, Woods Hole, Sept. 10-14, 2007
The preparation of a Theoretical Institute to be held in Woods Hole in September 2007 has been the main focus of our WG activity since the beginning of 2007. Several members of the working group and the IR office have been involved in the definition of the IRTI programme, request for funding and organisation of the event. The goal of this Theoretical Institute is to encourage multidisciplinary convergence in the study of interactions occurring between the biological and geochemical components of the deep-sea vent environments, and to increase collaborative efforts to develop new techniques for making key measurements to achieve this goal. Participants will gain an understanding of the links that occur at vent sites among key geological, physical, chemical, and biological processes through the biogeochemical cycling of elements, and should come away with a better understanding of how to more effectively investigate these interactions. The first 2-day short courses and advanced lectures will present the state of the art to a group of scientists from a range of backgrounds. Topics will range from consideration of environmental conditions (e.g., the chemical background as defined by vent fluid geochemistry, reactive transport modelling and direct in situ measurements) to appreciation of constraints on energy transfer from chemical to biological systems (e.g. considering thermodynamic constraints, microbial carbon-fixation pathways, symbiotic associations) and acknowledgment of their role in vent ecosystem dynamics (e.g., influence on colonization processes and biological succession). It will be followed by a 3-days workshop, including a first open-day of talks introducing new issues in vent research that require to address biogeochemical interactions. With a limited number of participants, five working group sessions are envisioned for the last two days of the workshop. The 5 working groups topics retained are: plume studies and water column biogeochemistry; element cycling and microbial diversity in the hidden biosphere; life strategies and adaptations in extreme environments; new approaches and technologies for biological and chemical sensing; tools and strategies for long-term observations of seafloor ecosystems. Working Group participants will be encouraged to explore new ideas and discuss collaborative projects/experiments to be developed in the coming years.
Click here for: IRTI webpage, and IRTI Workshop Report

Special sessions at 10th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society – "Deep-sea hydrothermal vents & biology", Nov. 20, 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This special session is co-convened by Nicole Le Bris (IFREMER, France), Francoise Gaill (CNRS, France), Paulo Suguio (IOUSP, Brazil), and Chris German (WHOI, USA). It is to be featured on Nov. 20, 2007 together with another special session "Tectonic & volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges" to be co-convened by Marcia Maia (IUUM/UBO, France), Sidney Mello (LAGEMAR/UFF, Brazil), and Jian Lin (WHOI, USA). These mid-ocean ridge sessions are convened in an effort to strengthen participation of researchers and students from South American countries in ridge-crest research. Go to http://congresso.sbgf.org.br and www.interridge.org for more information.

Future activities
Future plans for the end of 2007 and 2008 will focus on the implementation of the outcomes of this IRTI. Particularly, our working group is expected to provide an opportunity to plan multi-disciplinary contributions to international programmes and/or collaborative projects, for which benefits should be gained from interdisciplinary approaches. The publication of a monograph presenting an overview of the most advanced researches and innovative approaches in this context will be also considered on the basis of IRTI communications and working group discussions.