March 2021 • 2021A&A...647A.156S
Abstract • We investigate how the galaxy reservoirs of molecular gas fuelling star formation are transformed while the host galaxies infall onto galaxy cluster cores. As part of the Spatially Extended ESO Distant Cluster Survey (SEEDisCS), we present CO(3-2) observations of 27 star-forming galaxies obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. These sources are located inside and around CL1411.1−1148 at z = 0.5195, within five times the cluster virial radius. These targets were selected to have stellar masses (Mstar), colours, and magnitudes similar to those of a field comparison sample at similar redshift drawn from the Plateau de Bure high-z Blue Sequence Survey (PHIBSS2). We compare the cold gas fraction (μH2 = MH2/Mstar), specific star formation rates (SFR/Mstar) and depletion timescales (tdepl = MH2/SFR) of our main-sequence galaxies to the PHIBSS2 subsample. While the most of our galaxies (63%) are consistent with PHIBSS2, the remainder fall below the relation between μH2 and Mstar of the PHIBSS2 galaxies at z ∼ 0.5. These low-μH2 galaxies are not compatible with the tail of a Gaussian distribution, hence they correspond to a new population of galaxies with normal SFRs but low gas content and low depletion times (≲1 Gyr), absent from previous surveys. We suggest that the star formation activity of these galaxies has not yet been diminished by their low fraction of cold molecular gas.