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Author(s): Derk C. Bergquist ; Frederick M. Williams ; Charles R. Fisher  Communitites around deep-sea hydrothermal vents experience rapidly fluctuating and ephemeral environments that stimulate their biological growth and development at rates far exceeding those of other deep-sea communities [1, 2, 3, 4]. In contrast, the slow, steady release of reduced compounds from hydrocarbon seeps provides a much more constant environment, although, surprisingly, these support communities of species that are phylogenetically and physiologically quite similar to those at the vents [5, 6, 7, 8]. Here we show that one of the creatures living around hydrocarbon seeps on the Louisiana continental slope, the ecosystem-structuring vestimentiferan tubeworm, Lamellibrachia sp., requires between 170 and 250 years to grow to a length of two metres. This amazingly slow growth is in marked contrast with that of its vent relatives, who are among the fastest-growing invertebrates on the planet . It also makes Lamellibrachia sp. the most long-lived non-colonial marine inverte-brate known. To estimate growth rates and longevity in Lamellibrachia sp., we established study sites at 27[degrees] 47' N, 91[degrees] 30' 24" W and 27[degrees] 44' 46" N, 91[degrees] 13' 18" W, at depths of 540 m and 560 m, respectively. Groups of vestimentiferan tubeworm tubes in 22 different aggregations were marked in 1994, 1995 and 1997 with a blue chitin stain (acid blue 148) using an in situ device  manipulated by the Johnson Sea Link manned submersible. Previously stained individuals were collected in 1995, 1997 and 1998, and new tube growth was measured as the length of the unstained segment of tube between the stain mark and the anterior end (Fig. 1), and then standardized to a...
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Bergquist, Derk C., et al. "Longevity record for deep-sea invertebrate." Nature, vol. 403, no. 6769, 2000, p. 499+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 19 Nov. 2018.
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