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Michelle Wargo Rub's M.S. Degree, 2000

A Novel Landscape Ecology Approach for Determining Microhabitat Correlations and Faunal Patchiness in Extreme Environments: Pilot Study for the Southern East Pacific Rise at 17-18°S

Master of Science, Marine Resource Management, Oregon State University, Fall 2000
Minor in Earth Science Information & Technology

Graduate committee: D. Wright, J. Jones, A.J. Kimerling

A. Michelle Wargo Rub
College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State Univ
Corvallis, OR 97331-5506

Since their discovery in 1977, hydrothermal vent communities have offered scientists a unique glimpse into a world that is supported primarily by chemically derived energy rather than direct energy from the sun. Furthermore, studies of hydrothermal vent ecosystems have introduced scientists to amazing animals that have successfully adapted to living in extreme environments. Although much has been learned about the life histories of vent organisms, due to the difficulty and expense of performing large scale (spatial and temporal) studies at deepsea hydrothermal vent sites, our knowledge of vent faunal dynamics is largely based on observational studies that often lack the support of sound statistical analysis. Furthermore, data sets can be discordant in space and time, making it difficult to piece together the potentially complex life histories of vent animals. The main goal of this thesis is to study the applicability of point pattern analysis, a simple spatial statistical method based on principles of landscape ecology, for characterizing the distributions of organisms at hydrothermal vent sites. The study began as a pilot project, and has focused on an existing high resolution, remotely sensed, data set from the superfast-spreading southern East Pacific Rise at 17-18°S. It was accomplished through an integration of remote sensing technology, landscape ecology principles, and geographic information science. The study was designed to identify: (1) patterns, if present in the arrangement of fauna at hydrothermal vent sites, and the scales at which the patterns are being expressed; and (2) the process or processes that may be influencing the patterns.

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Also available in the ScholarsArchive@OSU permanent collection

Defense Presentation

Download Pre-Print of CBM publication, 2002 (1.6 Mb PDF document)

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