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Community news

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 mine drainage is waters coming from or passing through surface or subsurface mine workings [16].?

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


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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 refuge (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
The meaning of Pleistocene birdfauna of Hungarian Middle Mountain caves., 1964,
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Farkas Tibor
In the present study, the fossil bird fauna of the caves of the Hungarian Middle Mountains is examined for evidence in support of the hypothesis that the Carpathian Basin may have served as a faunal refugee during the last Quaternary glacial period. As an introduction, the reasons for the refugee hypothesis, including paleobotanical and glacial theoretical aspects, are discussed. Since the first bird fossils of the cave fauna considered in this paper belong to the Wrm I-II, the faunistic conditions of the Riss glacial period are not discussed in detail, The known faunas up to the Wrm II are interstadial, which seems to serve only as indirect support for the refugee hypothesis. Paleobotanical evidence, both for and against the hypothesis, is also considered. In conclusion, the abundant cave faunas of all phases of the Wrm III are cited as being; at least at the present time; the most convincing argument for the refugee hypothesis. The heterogeneous composition of these faunas permits certain tentative conclusions regarding the faunas of Wurm I and II.

Stenasellus skopljensis thermalis ssp. n. (Crustacea, Isopoda) of a hot spring in Bosnia., 1971,
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Lattingerpenko Romana, Mestrov Milan
The new subspecies Stenasellus skopljensis thermalis, from Banja Luka (Bosnie, Yugoslavia) is described. From the ecological point of view this form differs from the others because it inhabits underground waters of elevated temperature (240C). Another constantly abundant species, St. hungaricus thermalis Mestrov, also occurs in Yugoslavia under the same ecological conditions, in the warm springs of Podsused near Zagreb. This indicates that these underground waters at elevated temperature are not accidental but preferred habitats for these forms, and confirms once again that thermal waters of this type are the biotopes-refuges in which certain relic forms are retained.

Stenasellus skopljensis thermalis ssp. n. (Crustacea, Isopoda) of a hot spring in Bosnia., 1971,
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Lattingerpenko Romana, Mestrov Milan
The new subspecies Stenasellus skopljensis thermalis, from Banja Luka (Bosnie, Yugoslavia) is described. From the ecological point of view this form differs from the others because it inhabits underground waters of elevated temperature (240C). Another constantly abundant species, St. hungaricus thermalis Mestrov, also occurs in Yugoslavia under the same ecological conditions, in the warm springs of Podsused near Zagreb. This indicates that these underground waters at elevated temperature are not accidental but preferred habitats for these forms, and confirms once again that thermal waters of this type are the biotopes-refuges in which certain relic forms are retained.

Les montagnes refuges calcaires de Mditerrane orientale et du Moyen-Orient (Grce, Crte, Turquie, Iran), 1990,
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Maire, R.
The mountain shelters in the karst regions of Greece, Crete, Turkey and Iran - The concept of mountain shelters in karst region exists from the Prehistory, especially with rock-shelters and karstic caves. In the high karsts of Greece, Crete, Taurus (Turkey) and Zagros (Iran), the highlanders have survived during the invasions and wars because of their natural bastions. At the junction of civilisations and religions (Christians and Moslems), the karst biotope, one of the natural environment the most used by human people to guard against enemy and to breed (sheep-farming). Because of grazing and destruction of forests (particularly by Byzantine people and Venitians), the mediterranean karst mountain grew poorer.

Some 19th century visitors to caves in Peninsular Malaysia, 2002,
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Price, Liz

Malaysian caves have been known to man since prehistoric times, when they were used as shelters, campsites or places of refuge. The oldest remains found in Peninsular Malaysia are a human skeleton dated at 11.000 years old. But it wasnot until the 19th century that records appear of caves being visited, generally by European visitors for recreation, curiosity or research. Research generally began in the 1880's, mainly by British colonial officers stationed in Malaya. The caves at Batu Caves were "discovered' and made known to Europeans in 1878. This article lists some of the visitors and describes some of the early research.


Palaeoenvironments in semi-arid northeastern Brazil inferred from high precision mass spectrometric speleothem and travertine ages and the dynamics of South American rainforests, 2004,
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Auler A. S. , Wang X. , Edwards R. L. , Cheng H. , Cristalli P. S. , Smart P. L. , Richards D. A.

Understanding past environmental changes in tropical rainforests is extremely important in order to assess the response of such environments to present and future climatic changes and understand causes and the present patterns of biodiversity.
Earlier hypothesis on the origin of biodiversity have stressed the role of past climatic changes in promoting speciation. According to the “refuge hypothesis” (Haffer, 1982), dry periods could have led to forest fragmentation, isolating more humid forested zones (called refuges) within an environment largely dominated by savannas. The refuge hypothesis does not assign timescales for rainforest fragmentation, although recent studies have suggested that speciation could have occurred over timescales of millions of years (Knapp and Mallet, 2003). Although the focus of heavy criticism (Colinvaux, et a., 2000), the refuge hypothesis has generated a large amount of research. In general, pollen studies (Colinvaux, et a., 1996, Haberle and Maslin, 1999) tend to support a continuous forest cover throughout late Quaternary climatic shifts, although large variations in rainfall have also been demonstrated by other pollen and isotopic studies (van der Hammen and Absy, 1994; Maslin and Burns, 2000).
Amazon and Atlantic rainforests are the two major forested zones in South America. Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, comprise a total original area of 4.1 million km2 and is renowned for hosting the large biodiversity in the world (30% of all the world’s known plant and animal species). Atlantic rainforest, also a biodiversity hotspot, occurs along the coast and has been subjected to heavy deforestation since European arrival. Nowadays only c. 7% of its original forested area of 1.3 million km2 remains. These two rainforests are separated by drought-prone semi-arid northeastern (NE) Brazil. Our study does not address the refuge hypothesis directly although it sheds new light on the dynamics of forest expansion in the past as well as indicates alternative ways of promoting speciation. It has long been hypothesized, due to botanical (Mori, 1989; Andrade-Lima, 1982) and faunistic (Costa, 2003) similarities, that the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests were once linked in the past. Although numerous connecting routes have been postulated (Bigarella, et al, 1975; Por, 1992; De Oliveira, et al, 1999), the timing of forest expansion and their possible recurrence have remained elusive.
The study area lies in the driest portion of NE Brazil “dry corridor”, close to the village of Laje dos Negros, northern state of Bahia. Mean annual precipitation is around 480 mm and potential evapotranspiration is in excess of 1,400 mm/year (Fig.1). Present vegetation comprises a low arbustive scrubland known locally as caatinga. The area contains a well-developed underground karst (Auler and Smart, 2003) with abundant secondary calcite precipitates, both underground (speleothems) and on the surface (travertines).


DO TURLOUGHS OCCUR IN SLOVENIA?, 2008,
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Sheehy Skeffington Micheline, Scott Nick. E.
Micheline Shehy Skeffington & Nick. E. Scott: Do turloughs occur in Slovenia? Turloughs are karst basins that fill seasonally with mostly groundwater and drain, usually in summer, to reveal a sedge or grassland community. They are often described as being virtually unique to Ireland. The much larger seasonal poljes of the Slovenian karst are considered different to turloughs. However, a series of small temporary karst lakes in the Slovenian Pivka valley seem remarkably similar to Irish turloughs. Like turloughs, they fill and empty largely through estavelles connecting to underground water systems, which rise and fall with high seasonal rainfall. The Slovenian sites, however, support less wetland communities than Irish turloughs, probably due to drier summer conditions. The plant communities of both systems occur in zones around the basin, related to flood duration. Relevs taken at five Slovenian sites revealed that Petelinjsko jezero, which floods longest each year, is the most similar to turloughs, with, in the lower basin, Eleocharis palustris, potentilla reptans and the unusual form of Ranuculus repens commonly found in Irish turloughs. The difference in climate and terrain means that the Slovenian sites are managed for hay or silage, while the Irish turloughs are under pasture. However, for both, regular flooding precludes much agricultural improvement, so that they are now refuges for flora and fauna. A revised definition for turloughs is proposed and a case made for these Slovenian wetland systems to be recognised as turloughs and for the EU Habitats Directive to be amended to include poljes and other similar temporary karst wetland systems as well as turloughs.

HUMAN INTERACTION WITH CARIBBEAN KARST LANDSCAPES: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, 2010,
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Day Mick
Karst provides a critical physical backdrop for much of the Caribbeans history and many of its existing environmental, agricultural, economic and cultural issues. The karstlands are challenging to human habitation, since they possess a broad array of natural hazards, but they are also at risk of degradation and vulnerable to environmental change. The karst has a rich legacy of pre-Colombian settlement and contains many regional archaeological sites. Unsustainable European colonial agricultural practices degraded the vegetation and landscape severely. The karstlands also played a major role in resistance to colonial authority, and were used by Maroons as both refuges and bases for harassment and guerilla actions. Following emancipation and independence, the karst became a basis for subsistence agriculture, increasingly yielding to commercial agriculture, urbanization and industrial activities, and tourism. Despite hazards such as drought and flooding, human impacts on the karstlands have been long-term and severe. Regional predictions are that anthropogenic climatic change will lead to rising sea levels, changing precipitation totals and the increasing frequency of extreme events, such as droughts and hurricanes. The effects of all these changes will be magnified in the karst, particularly with respect to karst hydrology. Climate change and other human impacts will increasingly threaten already at-risk and vulnerable ecosystems and human communities, necessitating integration of climate change parameters and the adoption of appropriate risk management measures.

Multi-tracer investigation of groundwater residence time in a karstic aquifer: Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA, 2010,
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Land Lewis, Huff G. F.


Vascular plant biodiversity richness and endemo relictness of the karst mountains Prenj-Čvrsnica-Čabulja in Bosnia and Herzegovina (W. Balkan) , 2011,
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Redhić, Sulejman, Barudanović, Senka, Trakić, Sabina, Kulijer Dejan
The complex of karstic mountains Prenj-Čvrsnica and Čabulja in Herzegovina (w. Balkan) is characterized by high level of both geomorphology and biodiversity richness. This has been confirmed by a research of plant communities, their structure and dynamics, which took place throughout several seasons from 2005 to 2008. In the investigated area the vegetation cover, as a reliable indicator for specific karstic circumstances, is being differentiated in a great number of syntaxa (plant communities) that encompass over 2,500 vascular plants. On the surface of about 100,000 ha identified were up to 236 plant associations, 116 alliances and 63 vegetation orders that belong to 34 classes. This amounts 34% of total of vegetation classes at the European level and 100% of so far known vegetation classes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, over 80% of classes at the level of Montenegro and Croatia.There have been identified nearly 450 endemic and relict species, which is why most of the identified communities are endemic and relict ones, not only at the level of association but also at the level of higher syntaxonomic categories, such as alliance and order. The highest diversity level characterizes those communities that make a direct contact with the calcareous geological foundation either in rock crevices or screes on limestone. That high level of floristic and vegetation richness places this area among the most diverse areas both in Europe and whole Mediterranean.That high level of floristic and vegetation richness places this area among the most diverse areas both in Europe and whole Mediterranean. Such pattern of vegetation (syntaxonomy) and floristic diversity confirms the unique role of dinaric-herzegovina karst as a complex of unrepeatable ecological factors on global scale.

Management in a neotropical show cave: planning for invertebrates conservation, 2012,
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Pellegrini T. G. , Ferreira R. L.

Lapa Nova is a dolomitic cave about 4.5 km long located in northwestern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The cave experiences intense tourism, concentrated over a single period of the year, during the Feast of Our Lady of Lapa. In order to evaluate the impacts felt by the invertebrate community from this tourism, a new methodology was proposed. Four types of areas (intense visitation area, outlying visitation areas, moderate visitation areas and no-visitation areas) were sampled for invertebrates. There was one sampling prior and another on the last day of the 128th feast, to evaluate the effects of visitation on cave-dwelling invertebrates. Results show that invertebrate populations residing in more intensely visited areas of the cave undergo changes in distribution following the event. As a consequence of tourism, invertebrates shift to outlying locations from the visited area, which serve as refuges to the communities. Apparently, the fact that there are places inside Lapa Nova inaccessible to tourists reduces the impact suffered by the invertebrate community, as those sites serve as refuges for cave-dwelling organisms during the pilgrimage. A proper management plan was devised for the tourism/religious use of the cave. It consists basically of delimiting marked pathways for tourists, allowing invertebrates to seek shelter at locations outside visited areas and keeping no-visitation areas off-limits to tourism based on the results of the visitation effects on cave-dwelling invertebrates.


Importance of karst Sinkholes in Preserving Relict, Mountain, and Wet-Woodland Plant Species under Sub-Mediterranean Climate: A Case Study from Souther Hungary, 2012,
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Btori Z. , Krmczi L. , Erds L. , Zalatnai M. , Csiky J.

 

Species composition and the vegetation pattern of the understory were investigated in different sized solution sinkholes in a woodland area of the Mecsek Mountains (southern Hungary). Vegetation data together with topographic variables were collected along transects to reveal the vegetation patterns on the slopes, and a species list was compiled for each sinkhole. The results indicate that the vegetation pattern significantly correlates with sinkhole size. In smaller sinkholes, vegetation does not change substantially along the transects; in larger sinkholes, however, vegetation inversion is pronounced. We also found that sinkhole size clearly influences the number of vascular plant species, in accordance with the well-known relationship between species number and area. In the forest landscape, many medium-sized and large sinkholes have developed into excellent refuge areas for glacial relicts, mountain, and wet-woodland plant species.


Biodiversity and conservation of subterranean fauna fromPortuguese karst. Ph.D. Thesis, 2012,
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Ana Sofia Reboleira

This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.


Biodiversity and conservation of subterranean fauna of Portuguese karst. Ph.D. thesis, 2012,
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Ana Sofia P. S. Reboleira

This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.


Karst environment, 2016,
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Culver D. C.

Karst environments can be grouped into three broad categories, based on their vertical position in the landscape. There are surface habitats, ones exposed to light; there are shallow subterranean (aphotic) habitats oft en with small to intermediate sized spaces; there are deep subterranean habitats (caves) with large sized spaces. Faunal records are most complete for caves, and on a global basis, more than 10,000 species are limited to this habitat. Hundreds of other species, especially bats, depend on caves for some part of their life cycle. A large, but most unknown number of species are limited to shallow subterranean habitats in karst, such as epikarst and the milieu souterrain superficiel. Species in both these categories of habitats typically show a number of morphological adaptations for life in darkness, including loss of eyes and pigment, and elaboration of extra-optic sensory structures. Surface habitats, such as sinkholes, karst springs, thin soils, and rock faces, are habitats, but not always recognized as karst habitats. Both aphotic karst habitats and twilight habitats (such as open air pits) may serve as important temporary refuges for organisms avoiding temperature extremes on the surface.


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