Following up on Alexander's response, I read a little more on the subject by looking at some of the references in the Johnson et al. paper.
This paper discusses an interesting case where researchers could study a hydrothermal vent ecology before and after a catastrophic eruption giving a "natural clearance" experiment. Since endemic organisms were eradicated, any pioneer species must come from other vent systems.
A number of species, in the form of larvae caught in larval traps, were observed to arrive at the vent. These species, including Cyathermia naticoides, Lepetodrilus spp and Gorgoleptis spiralis, arrived at a significantly different (P < 0.05, MANOVA and ANOVA) rate to the pre-eruption larval source population rate. Larvae of one gastropod species, Ctenopelta porifera, which had been seen only once pre-eruption, arrived in significant numbers post eruption. The source of these larvae may have been from a vent 300 km away.
These authors associate this change in the populations pre- and post-eruption with the specifics of the hydrodynamic transport processes operating in the region.
A more general sequence of vent re-population is given in this article.
However, the interesting thing for me was the significant, but changing fluxes of larval species at these deep-sea vents.