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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00461

Inactive Sulfide Ecosystems in the Deep Sea: A Review

  • 1Duke University Marine Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment, United States

Polymetallic seafloor massive sulfides that are no longer hydrothermally active are a target for an emergent deep-sea mining industry, but the paucity of ecological studies and environmental baselines for inactive sulfide ecosystems makes environmental management of mining challenging. The current state of knowledge regarding the ecology (microbiology and macrobiology) of inactive sulfides is reviewed here and attention is given to environmental management considerations where lack of knowledge impedes informed policy recommendations and decisions.

Keywords: Polymetallic sulfides, Seafloor massive sulfides, hydrothermal vent, deep-sea mining, Environmental Management, Microbiology, Ecology, chemosynthesis

Received: 15 Mar 2019; Accepted: 10 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

DANIELA ZEPPILLI, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), France

Reviewed by:

Eva Ramirez-Llodra, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway
Malcolm R. Clark, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand
Antje Boetius, MPI for Marine Microbiology  

Copyright: © 2019 Van Dover. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Cindy L. Van Dover, Duke University Marine Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment, Beaufort, United States, clv3@duke.edu