Time-Series Larval Studies in the Deep Sea


DOEI Project Funded: 2003

Proposed Research

Animals inhabiting the deep seafloor must have a mechanism for dispersal in order to maintain their populations and geographic distributions. Many species disperse via a planktonic (water-born) larval stage, which is difficult to study because the larvae are small, rare, and difficult to identify. We propose to investigate larval dispersal of deep-sea organisms, particularly those at hydrothermal vents, by developing a protocol using sediment traps to quantify larval distributions and temporal variations. We will pay special attention to DNA preservation in the specimens, so that they may be identified with molecular genetic tools.