Without chemosynthesis, most animals near hydrothermal vents would not be able to live.
Chemosynthesis can only occur where there is lack of sunlight with the proper bacteria and chemicals needed to perform chemosynthesis.
Chemosynthesis does not occur in the water near hydrothermal vents, it occurs within the actual animal itself.
For example, some are sulfur oxidizers, sulfate reducers, nitrifiers, and nitrogen fixers (Cottrell & Cary, 1998).
Chemosynthesis is the method by which creature that lurk at the very bottom of the ocean are able to survive and thrive and continue doing their job in the ecosystem, whatever it may be.
Autotrophic bacteria make their own food, either by photosynthesis (which uses sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to make food) or by chemosynthesis (which uses carbon dioxide, water and chemicals like ammonia to make food - these bacteria are called nitrogen fixers and include the bacteria found living in legume roots and in ocean vents).
Most bacteria and archaea cannot survive in the superheated hydrothermal fluids of the chimneys or “black smokers.” But hydrothermal microorganisms are able to thrive just outside the hottest waters, in the temperature gradients that form between the hot venting fluid and cold seawater. These microbes are the foundation for life in hydrothermal vent ecosystems. Instead of using light energy to turn carbon dioxide into sugar like plants do, they harvest chemical energy from the minerals and chemical compounds that spew from the vents—a process known as . These compounds—such as hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen gas, ferrous iron and ammonia—lack carbon. The microbes release new compounds after chemosynthesis, some of which are toxic, but others can be taken in nutritionally by other organisms.
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Rift where life thrives around superheated water spewing from deep inside the Earth. Discovered only in 1977, are home to dozens of previously unknown species. Huge red-tipped , ghostly fish, strange shrimp with eyes on their backs and other unique species thrive in these extreme found near undersea volcanic chains. How is life possible here? In a process called chemosynthesis, microbes at the base of the foodchain convert chemicals from the vents into usable energy. See closeup footage of hydrothermal vents and species in this clip from the IMAX film "Volcanoes of the Deep."
In order for one to understand the chemosynthesis, you must know the why, where and how of it.
Animals found near hydrothermal vents have very few options for food.