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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 fabric is the orientation in space of the elements composing a rock substance.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for cave microbiology (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
Geomicrobiology and redox geochemistry of the karstified Miocene gypsum aquifer, western Ukraine: The study from Zoloushka Cave, 2001, Andrejchuk Vn, Klimchouk Ab,
The gypsum karst of the western Ukraine developed largely under artesian conditions. The Miocene aquifer is presently entrenched and dewatered over much of the territory, while it remains confined in the zone adjacent to the Carpathian Foredeep. The most prominent geochemical features of the Miocene aquifer system in the confined karst zone are: (1) the almost universal presence of a bioepigenetic calcite bed, enriched in the light carbon isotope, at the top of the gypsum (the 'Ratynsky Limestone'), (2) the widespread sulfur mineralization associated with the above calcite bed (the region is one of the world's largest sulfur-bearing basins), and (3) high H2S and CO2 in the groundwater. Intense microbial sulfate-reduction processes occur in the gypsum in this zone. Zoloushka Cave is the third longest (92 km) and the largest by volume (more than 7 x 10(5) m(3)) gypsum cave in the world. It is a unique example of a young artesian cave that only during the Holocene became partly drained and during the last 50 years progressively dewatered due to a quarry operation. These rapid changes have induced a number of transitional geochemical processes, some of which appear to be bacterially mediated. Six groups of microorganisms have been identified in the cave. Our article discusses the aquifer geochemistry during the transitional stage in the light of the microbiological studies

Screening for culturable microorganisms from cave environments (Slovenia), 2002, Mulec Janez, Zalar Polona, Zupan Hajna Nadja , Rupnik Maja

Various microenvironments in three different caves were screened for the presence of indigenous culturable microorganisms: extremely weathered limestone in Pečina v Borštu and Martinska jama, cave silver and calcite rafts on the surface of subterranean ponds in Pečina v Borštu and calcite moonmilk speleotheme in Snežna jama of Raduha mountain. The counts of viable cells collected are supplemented with laboratory data necessary to establish genus or wider taxonomic group level identity of isolates. Besides other bacterial and fungal groups flourescent pseudomonads are prevailing among isolates.

Introduction to cave microbiology: A review for the non-specialist, 2006, Barton, H. A.
Within the past decade there has been an increasing interest in cave microbiota. Such interest has helped many speleologists both recognize and understand the importance of microbial species in caves, which has led to improvements in cave conservation practices to better conserve these unseen ecosystems. While much information on the metabolic properties and functions of such subterranean ecosystems has been published in the microbial ecology literature, is it sometimes unusable by the non-specialist due to technical jargon and unexplained background information. It is the aim of this review to provide such background information and to explain the current technologies available to study cave microbiota. In doing so, it is hoped that this material will make the microbiology literature more accessible to interested non-specialists, and open new areas of inquiry in the study of microbial-mineral interactions.


In caves microorganisms inhabit distinct habitats where they develop various interactions. As an evidence of microbial activity several features can be identified. Microorganisms are involved both in lithogenic and litholitic processes. Besides heterotrophs in caves autotrophic organisms can be also expected. Some cyanobacteria and microalgae in caves can survive even at photon flux densities lower than their photosynthetic compensation point. In the paper up-to-date identified groups of microorganisms (bacteria, cyanobacteria, microalgae, fungi and protozoa) with their localities in Slovenian caves are presented. Especially bacteria from caves, as the most diverse group, offer immense biotechnological and bioremediation potential. In caves microbial biomass can be considered a considerable food source for cave-dwelling higher organisms. Caves in Slovenia offer great chances to discover new species, as was fungus Mucor troglophilus discovered in association with the cave cricket Troglophilus neglectus.

Caves and Karst as Model Systems for Advancing the Microbial Sciences, 2008, Engel A. S. , Northup D. E.

Focus Group on Caves and Karst as Model Systems in Geomicrobiology, 2008, Engel A. S. , Northup D. , Gary M. , Gonzalez B. , Gonzalez J. , Hutchens E. , Jones D. , Macalady J. , Spear J. , Spilde M.

Unique iron-manganese colonies of microorganisms in Zoloushka Cave (Ukraine-Moldova), 2009, Andreychouk V. N. , Klimchouk A. , Boston P. , Galuskin E.

During open-pit quarrying and related lowering of groundwater level in the gypsum karst aquifer (since 1950), large cave Zoloushka became accessible for direct exploration, in which considerable geochemical transformations of environment occurred, accompanied by the formation of specific deposits, as well as by burst of microbial activity. Among microorganisms, some of the most active were various iron bacteria. Microbial activity has resulted in precipitation of black and red biochemical formations – microbialites (coatings, crusts, films, stalactites, stalagmites, etc.), which cover walls and floors of cave passages. Most interesting among the microbialites are iron-rich colonial formations of various shapes (stalagmite-like, tube-like, coral-like, etc.) formed by yet unidentified fungi-like microorganisms which likely are new to science. In this paper, we characterize occurrence and morphology of the colonial aggregates, morphology and chemical composition of microorganisms  and develop working hypotheses of their identification.

Community Structure of Subsurface Biofilms in the Thermal Sulfidic Caves of Acquasanta Terme, Italy, 2010, Jones D. S. , Tobler D. J. , Schaperdoth I. , Mainiero M. , Macalady J. L.

We performed a microbial community analysis of biofilms inhabiting thermal (35 to 50°C) waters more than 60m below the ground surface near Acquasanta Terme, Italy. The groundwater hosting the biofilms has 400 to 830 mkM sulfide, <10 mkM O2, pH of 6.3 to 6.7, and specific conductivity of 8,500 to 10,500 mkS/cm. Based on the results of 16S rRNA gene cloning and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), the biofilms have low species richness, and lithoautotrophic (or possibly mixotrophic) Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria are the principle biofilm architects. Deltaproteobacteria sequences retrieved from the biofilms have <90% 16S rRNA similarity to their closest relatives in public databases and may represent novel sulfate-reducing bacteria. The Acquasanta biofilms share few species in common with Frasassi cave biofilms (13°C, 80 km distant) but have a similar community structure, with representatives in the same major clades. The ecological success of Sulfurovumales-group Epsilonproteobacteria in the Acquasanta biofilms is consistent with previous observations of their dominance in sulfidic cave waters with turbulent water flow and high dissolved sulfide/oxygen ratios.

Cure from the cave: volcanic cave actinomycetes and their potential in drug discovery, 2013, Cheeptham N. , Sadoway T. , Rule D. , Watson K. , Moote P. , Soliman L. C. , Azad N. , Donkor K. K. , Horne D.

Volcanic caves have been little studied for their potential as sources of novel microbial species and bioactive compounds with new scaffolds. We present the first study of volcanic cave microbiology from Canada and suggest that this habitat has great potential for the isolation of novel bioactive substances. Sample locations were plotted on a contour map that was compiled in ArcView 3.2. Over 400 bacterial isolates were obtained from the Helmcken Falls cave in Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia. From our preliminary screen, of 400 isolates tested, 1% showed activity against extended spectrum ß-lactamase E. coli, 1.75% against Escherichia coli, 2.25% against Acinetobacter baumannii, and 26.50% against Klebsiella pneumoniae. In addition, 10.25% showed activity against Micrococcus luteus, 2% against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, 9.25% against Mycobacterium smegmatis, 6.25% Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 7.5% against Candida albicans. Chemical and physical characteristics of three rock wall samples were studied using scanning electron microscopy and f lame atomic absorption spectrometry. Calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), and aluminum (Al) were the most abundant components while magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), and barium (Ba) were second most abundant with cadmium (Cd) and potassium (K) were the least abundant in our samples. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the presence of microscopic life forms in all three rock wall samples. 16S rRNA gene sequencing of 82 isolates revealed that 65 (79.3%) of the strains belong to the Streptomyces genus and 5 (6.1%) were members of Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Nocardia and Erwinia genera. Interestingly, twelve (14.6%) of the 16S rRNA sequences showed similarity to unidentif ied ribosomal RNA sequences in the library databases, the sequences of these isolates need to be further investigated using the EzTaxon-e database (http://eztaxon-e. to determine whether or not these are novel species. Nevertheless, this suggests the possibility that they could be unstudied or rare bacteria. The Helmcken Falls cave microbiome possesses a great diversity of microbes with the potential for studies of novel microbial interactions and the isolation of new types of antimicrobial agents.

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