|Figure 1- A steep cliff face covered with Opaepele loihi shrimp.|
Even more surprising is that this new crop of shrimp appears to contain just a single shrimp species, Opaepele loihi. This “volcano specialist” is well adapted to living on erupting submarine volcanoes, found at 4 thus far, but we still know nothing about how it survives the harsh conditions or how it finds and colonizes new habitats. By comparing the new populations at NW Rota with populations from previous years and by collecting shrimp larvae in plankton hauls around the seamount we hope to uncover how these shrimp recruit to NW Rota. The Alvinocaris shrimp are notably absent in the slide-affected region yet they remain a part of the vent community in unaffected habitats.
|Figure 2- An adult Alvinocaris shrimp stands proud among the smaller “loihi” shrimp.|
University of Victoria