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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That thief zone is the zone through which drilling fluid is lost into a formation through the borehole wall [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for endemic species (Keyword) returned 17 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 17
Biospeologica sovietica. XLIX. The first troglobite representative of Trechinae (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in Ciscaucasia., 1972, Ljovuschkin S. I.
During a recent exploration of caves in western Ciscaucasia there was collected, among others, a new species representing a new genus of Trechini (Coleoptera, Caraboidea), the description of which is given here; it has been named Birsteiniotrechus ciscaucasiens n.gen., n.sp., in memory of Prof. J.A. Birstein, famous Soviet biospeleologist, the founder and promotor of the "Biospeologica sovietica" series who passed away recently (cf. I.J.S., 4, part.2). The interest of Birsteiniotrechus lies in the fact that, until now no troglobite or endemic species of Trechini was known from the Ciscaucasian mountains; this genus belongs to the phyletic series of Neotrechus and is nearly allied to Troglocimmerites, but differs from it by its labial characters.

Biospeologica sovietica. XLIX. The first troglobite representative of Trechinae (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in Ciscaucasia., 1972, Ljovuschkin S. I.
During a recent exploration of caves in western Ciscaucasia there was collected, among others, a new species representing a new genus of Trechini (Coleoptera, Caraboidea), the description of which is given here; it has been named Birsteiniotrechus ciscaucasiens n.gen., n.sp., in memory of Prof. J.A. Birstein, famous Soviet biospeleologist, the founder and promotor of the "Biospeologica sovietica" series who passed away recently (cf. I.J.S., 4, part.2). The interest of Birsteiniotrechus lies in the fact that, until now no troglobite or endemic species of Trechini was known from the Ciscaucasian mountains; this genus belongs to the phyletic series of Neotrechus and is nearly allied to Troglocimmerites, but differs from it by its labial characters.

A new cavernicolous species of the Pseudoscorpion Genus Roncus L. Koch, 1873 (Neobisiidae, Pseudoscorpiones) from the Balkan peninsula., 1973, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
Roncus (Parablothrus) pljakici, a new species of cave living pseudoscorpions, is described from the cave 'Pecina u selu Vrelo' on Mt. Stara Planina, East Serbia. The problem of its taxonomic position in the subgenus is discussed. The new species is the first representative of Parablothrus to be found in Serbia. It seems possible that R. (P..) pljakici represents an endemic species, specialized for a cavernicolous way of living. The analogies of this and other species of the subgenus point to some similar phenomena which occur in other genera of Balkan false scorpions (Curcic 1972). In all these cases, a close relationship among the species inhabiting East Serbia, Macedonia and Herzegovina was noticed. It is probable, therefore, that the three regions represent the autochthonous areas of the original populations of the analysed groups of species, out of which new species came into existence.

A new cavernicolous species of the Pseudoscorpion Genus Roncus L. Koch, 1873 (Neobisiidae, Pseudoscorpiones) from the Balkan peninsula., 1973, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
Roncus (Parablothrus) pljakici, a new species of cave living pseudoscorpions, is described from the cave 'Pecina u selu Vrelo' on Mt. Stara Planina, East Serbia. The problem of its taxonomic position in the subgenus is discussed. The new species is the first representative of Parablothrus to be found in Serbia. It seems possible that R. (P..) pljakici represents an endemic species, specialized for a cavernicolous way of living. The analogies of this and other species of the subgenus point to some similar phenomena which occur in other genera of Balkan false scorpions (Curcic 1972). In all these cases, a close relationship among the species inhabiting East Serbia, Macedonia and Herzegovina was noticed. It is probable, therefore, that the three regions represent the autochthonous areas of the original populations of the analysed groups of species, out of which new species came into existence.

Cavernicolous Pseudoscorpions from Macedonia., 1974, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
A cavernicolous pseudoscorpion of the genus Neobisium Chamberlin 1930 is living in Kalina Dupka cave in the Bistra Highland of western Macedonia. This pseudoscorpion clearly differs from the other members of the subgenus Blothrus Schiodte 1849, and belongs to the new species N. (B.) princeps, the principal features of which are described in this study. The nearest relatives of this species are N. (B.} spelaeum (Schiodte) 1849, and N. (B.) stygium Beier 1931, both from Slovenian and Croatian caves. From chelal dentition N. (B.) princeps may be considered as the most primitive element of the princeps-stygium-spelaeum series. This new species is in a subterranean mode of life of extreme specialization. Relating to biogeography, it belongs to the endemic pseudoscorpion fauna in Macedonia. After finding pseudoscorpions in Zmejovica cave (Porece mountainous area), we confirmed the presence of the species N. (E.) karamani (Hadli) 1929 in west Macedonia. Morphologic analysis of male specimens from that new locality enabled us to complete description of this species previously based on a single female specimen. The comparison of Hadzis species with N. (E.) remyi Beier 1939 from west Serbian caves, with N. (E.) brevipes (Frivaldsky) 1866 and N. (E.) leruthi Beier 1931 from Turda and Bihar caves in southern Carpathians, leads to the conclusion that these pseudoscorpions belong to a closely related species group. Judging by actual distribution of these species, the possibility exists that a wide area in the ancient Balkanic dry land had been populated by the initial form of that series. As for its preferences for habitat N. (E.) karamani is an exclusive inhabitant of subterranean environment. Relating to biogeography, it may be considered as a relic of Mediterranean Tertiary fauna and its endemic differentiation as developed under the conditions of the evolution of karst relief in southern countries of the Balkan Peninsula. In conclusion, from actual knowledge and the results of this study caves in Macedonia are inhabited by three endemic species of pseudoscorpions of genus Neobisium (Blothrus), namely: N.(B.) ohridanum Hadzi 1940,N. (B.) karamani (Hadzi) 1929, and N. (B.) princeps Curcic 1974. Judging by known blothroid pseudoscorpions, it is possible Macedonia represents one of the centres of origin and genesis for autochthonous and residual fauna of the Tertiary age.

The Hawaiian cave planthoppers (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Cixiidae); A model for rapid subterranean speciation?, 1997, Hoch Hannelore
After the successful colonization of a single ancestral species in the Hawaiian Islands, planthoppers of the cixiid genus Oliarus underwent intensive adaptive radiation resulting in 80 described endemic species. Oliarus habitats range from montaneous rain forests to dry coastal biotopes and subterranean environments. At least 7 independant evolutionary lines represented by different species have adapted to lava tubes on Molokai (1), Maui (3), and Hawaii Island (3). Behavioral and morphological studies on one of these evolutionary lines on Hawaii Island, the blind, flight- and pigmentless Oliarus polyphentus have provided evidence for reproductive isolation between allopatric populations which may in fact be separate species. Significant differences in song parameters were observed even between populations from neighbouring lava tubes, although the planthoppers are capable of underground migration through the voids and cracks of the mesocavernous rock system which is extant in young basalt: after a little more than 20 years, lava tubes within the Mauna Ulu 1974 flow had been colonized by O. 'polyphenius" individuals, most probably originating from a near-by forestkipuka. Amazingly, this species complex is found on the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, with probably less than 0.5 m.y., which suggests rapid speciation processes. Field observations have led to the development of a hypothesis to match underground speciation with the dynamics of vegetational succession on the surface of active volcanoes. Planthopper range partitioning and geographic separation of populations by young lava flows, founder events and small population size may be important factors involved in rapid divergence.

Characteristics of karst ecosystems of Vietnam and their vulnerability to human impact, 2001, Tuyet D. ,
Karst in Vietnam covers an area of about 60,000 km(2), i.e. 18 % of the surface of the country. The country has an annual average temperature of 24 degreesC, an annual average rainfall of 2300 nun and a relative humidity of about 90%. Karst in Vietnam is typified by peak cluster-depression landscapes ranging in elevation from 200 to over 2000 m. Tower and coastal karst landscapes also exit. Because of naturally favourable conditions, karst ecosystems are diverse and very rich. Higher plants(cormophytes) are abundant. They are represented by approximately 2000 species, 908 genera, 224 families, 86 orders and 7 phyla. They form a thick vegetation cover of evergreen tropical rainforest. Knowledge about lower plants is limited. The fauna is rich and diverse. Phyla such as Protozoa, Vermes, Mollusca and Arthropoda are yet ill known. Preliminary results show that the phylum Chordata is represented by 541 species from 80 families, 40 orders and 5 classes. There exist many precious and rare mammals, in particular some endemic species such as Trachypithecus poliocephalus, T. delacouri, Rhinopithecus avanculus, Rhinolophus rouxi, Seotoma dineties and Silurus cuephuongensis. The class Insecta has about 2000 species. The fast population growth, particularly in the mountainous areas of the country, triggers an increasing demand for land and therefore threatens the ecosystem. To obtain land for farming, people have cut, burned and destroyed natural forest cover; resulting in occurrence of hazards such as soil-loss, water-loss, flash floods, mud-rock flows, rock-falls, severe drought, water logging and changes of karstic aquifers etc. Poaching precious animals and illegal logging are increasing. In contrast to other natural systems, karst ecosystems cannot be reestablished once damaged. Living karst landscapes will become rocky desert ones without life. Conservation of karstic environmental systems in general and karstic ecosystems in particular should not be the sole vocation of scientists but also a duty and responsibility of authorities and people from all levels. A good example of a multidisciplinary approach to karst-related problems is the implementation of the Vietnamese-Belgian Karst Project (VBEKAP): 'Rural development in the mountain karst area of NW Vietnam by sustainable water and land management and social learning: its conditions and facilitation'. The aim of this project is to improve living conditions of local people and sustained protection and management of the karst environment and ecosystem

Subterranean Fauna of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, 2001, Humphreys W. F. , Eberhard Stefan

The subterranean environment of Christmas Island is diverse and includes freshwater, marine, anchialine, and terrestrial habitats. The cave fauna comprises swiftlets, and a diverse assemblage of invertebrates, both terrestrial and aquatic, which includes a number of rare and endemic species of high conservation signicance. At least twelve species are probably restricted to subterranean habitats and are endemic to Christmas Island. Previously poorly known, the cave fauna of Christmas Island is a signicant component of the island's biodiversity, and a signicant cave fauna province in an international context. The cave fauna and habitats are sensitive to disturbance from a number of threatening processes, including pollution, deforestation, mining, feral species and human visitors.


Systematic composition and distribution of Australian cave collembolan faunas with notes on exotic taxa, 2002, Greenslade, Penelope
Collembola (springtails) have been collected from caves in Tasmania, northwestern Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland more intensively in recent years than in the past. A sharp boundary in the composition of faunas of southern and northern Australia was found with the highest diversity of troglobitic forms in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. No extreme examples of troglobitic genera have yet been found in Western Australia. A single record of Cyphoderopsis was made from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, a common genus in caves in Sumatra. The Jenolan cave system has been most completely sampled with nearly 100 samples from fourteen caves. This system contains over twenty species of which three genera, Adelphoderia, Oncopodura and a new genus near Kenyura, are exclusively troglobitic with locally endemic species of conservation and phylogenetic interest. Compared with some Tasmanian caves, the Jenolan fauna appears to harbour more species that are likely to have been introduced.

The hypogenic caves: a powerful tool for the study of seeps and their environmental effects, 2002, Forti P, Galdenzi S, Sarbu Sm,
Research performed in caves has shown the existence of significant effects of gas seeps, especially CO2 and H2S, within subterranean voids. Carbon dioxide causes important corrosive effects and creates characteristic morphologies (e.g., bell-shaped domes, bubble's trails), but is not involved in the deposition of specific cave minerals. On the other hand, in carbonate environments, hydrogen sulfide when oxidized in the shallow sections of the aquifer generates important corrosion effects and is also responsible for the deposition of specific minerals of which gypsum is the most common.Studies performed in the last few years have shown that H2S seeps in caves are associated with rich and diverse biological communities, consisting of large numbers of endemic species. Stable isotope studies (carbon and nitrogen) have demonstrated that these hypogean ecosystems are entirely based on in situ production of food by chemoautotrophic microorganisms using energy resulting from the oxidation of H2S.Although located only 20 m under the surface, Movile Cave does not receive meteoric waters due to a layer of impermeable clays and loess that covers the Miocene limestone in which the cave is developed. In the Frasassi caves, where certain amounts of meteoric water seep into the limestone, the subterranean ecosystems are still isolated from the surface. As the deep sulfidic waters mix with the oxigenated meteoric waters, sulfuric acid limestone corrosion is accelerated resulting in widespread deposition of gypsum onto the cave walls.Both these caves have raised a lot of interest for biological investigations regarding the chemoautotrophically based ecosystems, demonstrating the possibility of performing such studies in environments that are easily accessible and easy to monitor compared to the deep-sea environments where the first gas seeps were discovered

Systematic composition and distribution of Australian cave collembolan faunas with notes on exotic taxa, 2002, Greenslade, Penelope

Collembola (springtails) have been collected from caves in Tasmania, northwestern Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland more intensively in recent years than in the past. A sharp boundary in the composition of faunas of southern and northern Australia was found with the highest diversity of troglobitic forms in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. No extreme examples of troglobitic genera have yet been found in Western Australia. A single record of Cyphoderopsis was made from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, a common genus in caves in Sumatra. The Jenolan cave system has been most completely sampled with nearly 100 samples from fourteen caves. This system contains over twenty species of which three genera, Adelphoderia, Oncopodura and a new genus near Kenyura, are exclusively troglobitic with locally endemic species of conservation and phylogenetic interest. Compared with some Tasmanian caves, the Jenolan fauna appears to harbour more species that are likely to have been introduced.


A conservation focused inventory of subterranean invertebrates of the southwest Illinois karst, 2003, Lewis, J. J. , Moss, Ph. , Tecic, D. , Nelson, M. E.
In 1998-1999 The Nature Conservancy conducted a bioinventory of caves in Monroe and St. Clair counties in southwestern Illinois. This karst area comprises a small section of the Ozark Plateau isolated from the Missouri Ozarks by the Mississippi River. In the 71 sites that were sampled, 41 species thought to be globally rare were found and were assigned state (S) and global (G) ranks of rarity for conservation use. The list includes 10 species considered to be new to science and 12 species previously unreported from Illinois. Twenty four taxa were classified as obligate subterranean species, including four endemic species: the pseudoscorpion Mundochthonius cavernicolus, the amphipod Gammarus acherondytes, the milliped Chaetaspis sp. (undescribed), and the dipluran Eumesocampa sp. (undescribed). Gammarus acherondytes, recently listed as an endangered species, was found in six previously unsampled caves. All sites were rank-ordered according to the number of global and state rare species. The greatest single site diversity was found in Fogelpole Cave with 18 global and 20 state rare species. The highest subterranean drainage system diversity was found in the Danes/Pautler Cave System with 20 globally rare species. Fogelpole Cave also had the highest number of troglobites with 14 species. The Danes/Pautler Cave System again had the highest number of troglobites found in a groundwater system with 16 species.

Fauna of the Pivka intermittent lakes , 2005, Pipan, T.

The present contribution deals with aquatic fauna of the Pivka intermittent lakes. Due to their intermittent character some interesting crustaceans from the groups of fairy shrimps (Anostraca), water fleas (Cladocera) and copepods (Copepoda) are found there. Petelinjsko jezero is the only known location in the world for the endemic species Chirocephalus croaticus. Copepod species Diaptomus cyaneus and Diacyclops charon are relatively abundant in Europe, but Petelinjsko jezero and Veliko Drskovško jezero are the only two locations known in Slovenia for both species. All the species are threatened due to destruction of their natural habitats.


Sensitivity of ancient Lake Ohrid to local anthropogenic impacts and global warming, 2006, Matzinger A. , Spirkovski Z. , Patceva S. , Wuest A. ,
Human impacts on the few ancient lakes of the world must be assessed, as any change can lead to an irreversible loss of endemic communities. In such an assessment, the sensitivity of Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania; surface area A = 358 km(2), volume V = 55 km(3), > 200 endemic species) to three major human impacts-water abstraction, eutrophication, and global warming-is evaluated. It is shown that ongoing eutrophication presents the major threat to this unique lake system, even under the conservative assumption of an increase in phosphorus (P) concentration from the current 4.5 to a potential future 9 mg P m(-3). Eutrophication would lead to a significant reduction in light penetration, which is a prerequisite for endemic, deep living plankton communities. Moreover, a P increase to 9 mg P m(-3) would create deep water anoxia through elevated oxygen consumption and increase in the water column stability due to more mineralization of organic material. Such anoxic conditions would severely threaten the endemic bottom fauna. The trend toward anoxia is further amplified by the predicted global warming of 0.04 degrees C yr(-1), which significantly reduces the frequency of complete seasonal deep convective mixing compared to the current warming of 0.006 degrees C yr(-1). This reduction in deep water exchange is triggered by the warming process rather than by overall higher temperatures in the lake. In contrast, deep convective mixing would be even more frequent than today under a higher temperature equilibrium, as a result of the temperature dependence of the thermal expansivity of water. Although water abstraction may change local habitats, e.g., karst spring areas, its effects on overall lake properties was shown to be of minor importance

A new eyeless species of cave-dwelling trechine beetle from northeastern Guizhou Province, China (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae: Trechinae), 2012, Tian Mingyi, Clarke Arthur

Qianaphaenops emersoni n. sp. is described from Gan Dong, a limestone cave in Yanhe Xian, northeastern Guizhou Province, China. Likely to be a narrow range endemic species, Q. emersoni is only known from two almost adjacent type locality sites in Gan Dong cave. Q. emersoni is the fifth species to be described in this genus of eyeless troglobitic trechine beetles, known only from caves in northeastern Guizhou; a distributional map of the genus Qianaphaenops Uéno is provided. Q. emersoni belongs to the Qianaphaenops tenuis species group which contains two described species: Q. tenuis and Q. rotundicollis (Uéno, 2000). Q. emersoni is very similar to Q. rotundicollis Uéno, but easily distinguished from the latter by its broader head and elytra, narrower pronotum and its more elongate and slender aedeagus. Some explanation of the exploration of Gan Dong is provided, along with habitat details of the trechine beetle Type Locality sites located approximately 950 metres into the cave. The subsequent discovery of an efflux cave, presumed to be the Gan Dong Resurgence, is also discussed.


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