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Felden, Janine; Ruff, S Emil; Ertefai, Tobias F; Inagaki, Fumio; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Wenzhöfer, Frank (2014): Biogeochemical measurements of cold seep sediments inhabit by vesicomyid clams in the Japan Deep Sea Trench. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.826602, Supplement to: Felden, J et al. (2014): Anaerobic methanotrophic community of a 5346 m-deep vesicomyid clam colony in the Japan Trench. Geobiology, doi:10.1111/gbi.12078

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Vesicomyidae clams harbor sulfide-oxidizing endosymbionts and are typical members of cold seep communities associated with tectonic faults where active venting of fluids and gases takes place. We investigated the central biogeochemical processes that supported a vesicomyid clam colony as part of a locally restricted seep community in the Japan Trench at 5346 m water depth, one of the deepest seep settings studied to date. An integrated approach of biogeochemical and molecular ecological techniques was used combining in situ and ex situ measurements. During the cruise YK06-05 in 2006 with the RV Yokosuka to the Japan Trench, we investigated a clam colony inhabited by Abyssogena phaseoliformis (former known as Calyptogena phaseoliformis) and Isorropodon fossajaponicum (former known as Calyptogena fossajaponica). The targeted sampling and precise positioning of the in situ instruments were achieved with the manned research submersible Shinkai 6500 (JAMSTEC, Nankoku, Kochi, Japan). Sampling was first performed close to the rim of the JTC colony and then at the center. Immediately after sample recovery onboard, the sediment core was sub-sampled for ex situ rate measurements or preserved for later analyses. In sediment of the clam colony, low sulfate reduction (SR) rates (max. 128 nmol ml**-1 d**-1) were coupled to the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). They were observed over a depth range of 15 cm, caused by active transport of sulfate due to bioturbation of the vesicomyid clams. A distinct separation between the seep and the surrounding seafloor was shown by steep horizontal geochemical gradients and pronounced microbial community shifts. The sediment below the clam colony was dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME-2c) and sulfate-reducing Desulfobulbaceae (SEEP-SRB-3, SEEP-SRB-4). Aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were not detected in the sediment and the oxidation of sulfide seemed to be carried out chemolithoautotrophically by Sulfurovum species. Thus, major redox processes were mediated by distinct subgroups of seep-related microorganisms that might have been selected by this specific abyssal seep environment. Fluid flow and microbial activity was low but sufficient to support the clam community over decades and to build up high biomasses. Hence, the clams and their microbial communities adapted successfully to a low-energy regime and may represent widespread chemosynthetic communities in the Japan Trench.
Latitude: 39.105931 * Longitude: 143.892691
Date/Time Start: 2006-06-05T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2006-06-08T15:00:00
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