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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 paleokarstic surface is a surface, preserved within a carbonate succession, that was formed by the effects of karst erosion. the presence of a paleokarstic surface indicates that during the deposition of the full rock sequence the young rocks were exposed to the effects of surface (subaerial) erosion. during such a nondepositional and erosional phase a full suite of karst features, including caves, could develop [9].?

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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 wyoming (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Badland Caves of Wyoming, 1970, Clausen, Eric N.

Silica Deposits in Eastern Wyoming Caves, 1974, Broughton, Paul L.

Karst of western Wyoming; an alpine karst in Tosi Creek basin, Gros Ventre Mountains, 1974, Werner Eberhard,

Solutional Landforms on Carbonates of the Southern Teton Range, Wyoming, 1979, Medville Douglas M. , Hempel John C. , Plantz Charles, Werner Eberhard

Gypsum-karst collapse in the Black Hills, South Dakota-Wyoming, USA, 2000, Epstein, Jack B.

Intrastratal dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite in four stratigraphic units of Pennsylvanian to Jurassic age in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming has resulted in many collapse features that have developed primarily in the non-soluble overlying rocks. Subsidence has affected several areas that are undergoing urban development. Subsurface intrastratal dissolution of anhydrite in the Minnelusa Formation has produced a regional collapse breccia, extensive disruption of bedding, many dolines, and breccia pipes and pinnacles, some of which extend upwards more than 300 m into overlying strata. Recent collapse is evidenced by steep-walled dolines more than 20 m deep, collapse in water wells and natural springs resulting in sediment disruption and contamination, and fresh circular scarps surrounding shallow depressions. Many beds of gypsum are contorted because of expansion due to its hydration from anhydrite, and many gypsum veinlets extend downward along random fractures from parent gypsum beds. Several dolines are sites of resurgent springs. As the anhydrite dissolution front in the subsurface Minnelusa moves downdip and radially away from the center of the Black Hills uplift, these resurgent springs will dry up and new ones will form as the geomorphology of the Black Hills evolves. Old dolines and breccia pipes, preserved in cross section on canyon walls, attest to the former position of the dissolution front. Mirror Lake, which is expanding northwestward in a downdip direction, is a local analog of a migrating dissolution front.


Hydrology, Hazards, and Geomorphic Development of Gypsum Karst in the Northern Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, 2001, Epstein, J. B.

Dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite in four stratigraphic units in the Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, has resulted in development of sinkholes and has affected formational hydrologic characteristics. Subsidence has caused damage to houses and water and sewage retention sites. Substratal anhydrite dissolution in the Minnelusa Formation (Pennsylvanian and Permian) has produced breccia pipes and pinnacles, a regional collapse breccia, sinkholes, and extensive disruption of bedding. Anhydrite removal in the Minnelusa probably dates back to the early Tertiary when the Black Hills was uplifted and continues today. Evidence of recent collapse includes fresh scarps surrounding shallow depressions, sinkholes more than 60 feet deep, and sediment disruption and contamination in water wells and springs. Proof of sinkhole development to 26,000 years ago includes the Vore Buffalo Jump, near Sundance, WY, and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. Several sinkholes in the Spearfish Formation west of Spearfish, SD, which support fish hatcheries and are used for local agricultural water supply, probably originated 500 feet below in the Minnelusa Formation. As the anhydrite dissolution front in the subsurface Minnelusa moves down dip and radially away from the center of the Black Hills uplift, these resurgent springs will dry up and new ones will form as the geomorphology of the Black Hills evolves. Abandoned sinkholes and breccia pipes, preserved in cross section on canyon walls, attest to the former position of the dissolution front. The Spearfish Formation, mostly comprising red shale and siltstone, is generally considered to be a confining layer. However, secondary fracture porosity has developed in the lower Spearfish due to considerable expansion during the hydration of anhydrite to gypsum. Thus, the lower Spearfish yields water to wells and springs making it a respectable aquifer. Processes involved in the formation of gypsum ka 


Stable Isotope Values of Bone Organic Matter: Artificial Diagenesis Experiments and Paleoecology of Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming, 2002, Mcnulty T. H. O. M. , Calkins A. N. D. E. , Ostrom P. E. G. G. , Gandhi H. A. S. A. , Gottfried M. I. C. H. , Martin L. A. R. R. , Gage D. O. U. G. ,
The presence of original organic matter and retention of an indigenous isotopic signal in fossils have been disputed for years. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of diagenesis on bone-protein isotope values, analyses were conducted on Holocene and Pleistocene fossils from Natural Trap Cave (NTC), Wyoming. Modern cow, Bos taurus, bone was heated with and without excess water for up to 195 hours at 100{degrees}C in an inert atmosphere. Collagen and non-collagenous proteins (NCP) were extracted and analyzed isotopically. Under dry conditions, carbon and nitrogen isotope values change by less than 0.4{per thousand} during the 0 to 195 hour interval. In the presence of excess water, carbon and nitrogen isotope values change by no more than 1.0{per thousand} and 0.5{per thousand}, respectively, over 192 hours. The relative abundance of amino acids of collagen from heated bone differs by less than 10% from that of unheated collagen. Protein preservation is indicated by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) that strongly indicates a portion of the original osteocalcin exists intact in samples heated for 195 hours. Good preservation of collagen in NTC fossils is implied by high collagen yields, C:N, and realistic trophic structures based on isotope values. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of ancient collagen increase with trophic level, allow dietary assessments to be made, and differentiate between ruminant and non-ruminants. The results indicate that isotope values are resilient during simulated diagenesis and suggest that an indigenous isotopic signal can exist in well-preserved fossils such as those from NTC

Filamentous 'Epsilonproteobacteria' dominate microbial mats from sulfidic cave springs, 2003, Engel As, Lee N, Porter Ml, Stern La, Bennett Pc, Wagner M,
Hydrogen sulfide-rich groundwater discharges from springs into Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, where microbial mats dominated by filamentous morphotypes are found. The full-cycle rRNA approach, including 16S rRNA gene retrieval and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), was used to identify these filaments. The majority of the obtained 16S rRNA gene clones from the mats were affiliated with the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' and formed two distinct clusters, designated LKC group I and LKC group II, within this class. Group I was closely related to uncultured environmental clones from petroleum-contaminated groundwater, sulfidic springs, and sulfidic caves (97 to 99% sequence similarity), while group II formed a novel clade moderately related to deep-sea hydrothermal vent symbionts (90 to 94% sequence similarity). FISH with newly designed probes for both groups specifically stained filamentous bacteria within the mats. FISH-based quantification of the two filament groups in six different microbial mat samples from Lower Kane Cave showed that LKC group II dominated five of the six mat communities. This study further expands our perceptions of the diversity and geographic distribution of 'Epsilonproteobacteria' in extreme environments and demonstrates their biogeochemical importance in subterranean ecosystems

Bacterial diversity and ecosystem function of filamentous microbial mats from aphotic (cave) sulfidic springs dominated by chemolithoautotrophic 'Epsilonproteobacteria', 2004, Engel As, Porter Ml, Stern La, Quinlan S, Bennett Pc,
Filamentous microbial mats from three aphotic sulfidic springs in Lower Kane Cave. Wyoming. were assessed with regard to bacterial diversity, community structure, and ecosystem function using a 16S rDNA-based phylogenetic approach combined with elemental content and stable carbon isotope ratio analyses. The most prevalent mat morphotype consisted of while filament bundles, with low C:N ratios (3.5-5.4) and high sulfur content (16.1-51.2%). White filament bundles and two other mat morphotypes organic carbon isotope values (mean delta(13)C = -34.7parts per thousand: 1sigma = 3.6) consistent with chemolithoautotrophic carbon fixation from a dissolved inorganic carbon reservoir (cave water, mean delta(13)C = -7.47parts per thousand for two springs, n = 8). Bacterial diversity was as low overall in the clone libraries, and the most abundant taxonomic group was affiliated with the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' (68%) with other bacterial sequences affiliated with Gammaproteobacteria (12.2%), Betaproteobacteria (11.7%), Deltaproteobacteria (0.8%), and the Acidobacterium (5.6%) and Bacteriodetes/Chlorobi (1.7%) divisions. Six distinct epsilonproteobacterial taxonomic groups were identified from the microbial mats. Epsilonproteobacterial and bacterial group abundances and community structure shifted front the spring orifices downstream. corresponding to changes in dissolved sulfide and oxygen concentrations and metabolic requirements of certain bacterial groups. Most of the clone sequences for epsilonproteobacterial groups were retrieved from areas with high sulfide and low oxygen concentrations, whereas Thiothrix spp. and Thiobacillus spp. had higher retrieved clone abundances where conditions of low sulfide and high oxygen concentrations were measured. Genetic and metabolic diversity among the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' maximizes overall cave ecosystem function, and these organisms play a significant role in providing chemolithoautotrophic energy to the otherwise nutrient-poor cave habitat. Our results demonstrate that sulfur cycling supports subsurface ecosystem through chemolithoautotrophy and expand the evolutionary and ecological views of 'Epsilonproteobacteria' in terrestrial habitats. (C) 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier BY. All rights reserved

Microbial contributions to cave formation: New insights into sulfuric acid speleogenesis, 2004, Engel As, Stern La, Bennett Pc,
The sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) model was introduced in the early 1970s from observations of Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, and was proposed as a cave-enlargement process due to primarily H2S autoxidation to sulfuric acid and subaerial replacement of carbonate by gypsum. Here we present a reexamination of the SAS type locality in which we make use of uniquely applied geochemical and microbiological methods. Little H2S escapes to the cave atmosphere, or is lost by abiotic autoxidation, and instead the primary H2S loss mechanism is by subaqueous sulfur-oxidizing bacterial communities that consume H2S. Filamentous 'Epsilonproteobacteria' and Gammaproteobacteria, characterized by fluorescence in situ hybridization, colonize carbonate surfaces and generate sulfuric acid as a metabolic byproduct. The bacteria focus carbonate dissolution by locally depressing pH, compared to bulk cave waters near equilibrium or slightly supersaturated with calcite. These findings show that SAS occurs in subaqueous environments and potentially at much greater phreatic depths in carbonate aquifers, thereby offering new insights into the microbial roles in subsurface karstification

Reservoir characterization of the Mississippian Madison Formation, Wind River basin, Wyoming, 2004, Westphal H. , Eberli G. P. , Smith L. B. , Grammer G. M. , Kislak J.

Significant heterogeneity in petrophysical properties, including variations in porosity and permeability, are well documented from carbonate systems. These variations in physical properties are typically influenced by original facies heterogeneity, the early diagenetic environment, and later stage diagenetic overprint. The heterogeneities in the Mississippian Madison Formation in the Wind River basin of Wyoming are a complex interplay between these three factors whereby differences from the facies arrangement are first reduced by pervasive dolomitization, but late-stage hydrothermal diagenesis introduces additional heterogeneity. The dolomitized portions of theMadison Formation formhighly productive gas reservoirs at Madden Deep field with typical initial production rates in excess of 50 MMCFGD. In the study area, the Madison Formation is composed of four third-order depositional sequences that contain several small-scale, higher frequency cycles. The cycles and sequences display a facies partitioning with mudstone to wackestone units in the transgressive portion and skeletal and oolitic packstone and grainstone in the regressive portions. The grainstone packages are amalgamated tidally influenced skeletal and oolitic shoals that cover the entire study area. The basal three sequences are completely dolomitized, whereas the fourth sequence is limestone. The distribution of petrophysical properties in the system is influenced only in a limited manner by the smaller scale stratigraphic architecture. Porosity and permeability are controlled by the sequence-scale stratigraphic units, where uniform facies belts and pervasive dolomitization result in flow units that are basically tied to third-order depositional sequences with a thickness of 65– 100 ft (20–30 m). The best reservoir rocks are found in regressive, coarse-grained dolomites of the lower two sequences. Although the amalgamated shoal facies is heterogeneous, dolomitization decompartmentalized these cycles. Fine-grained sediments in the basal transgressive parts of these sequences, along with caliche and chert layers on top of the underlying sequences, are responsible for a decrease of porosity toward the sequence boundaries and potential flow separation. Good reservoir quality is also found in the third sequence, which is composed of dolomitized carbonate mud. However, reservoir-quality predictions in these dolomudstones are complicated by several phases of brecciation. The most influential of these brecciations is hydrothermal in origin and partly shattered the entire unit. The breccia is healed by calcite that isolates individual dolomite clasts. As a result, the permeability decreases in zones of brecciation. The late-stage calcite cementation related to the hydrothermal activity is the most important factor to create reservoir heterogeneity in the uniform third sequence, but it is also influential in the grainstone units of the first two sequences. In these sequences, the calcifying fluids invade the dolomite and partly occlude the interparticle porosity and decrease permeability to create heterogeneity in a rock in which the pervasive dolomitization previously reduced much of the influence of facies heterogeneity 


Age constraints on cave development and landscape evolution in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, USA., 2006, Stock, G. M. , Riihimaki C. A. , Anderson R. S.
Cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial dating and tephrochronology of cave deposits provide minimum estimates for the timing of cave development in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Spence Cave is a linear phreatic passage formed along the fold axis of the Sheep Mountain anticline and subsequently truncated by 119 m of Bighorn River incision. A fine-grained eolian (windblown) sand deposit just inside the entrance yields a 26Al/10Be burial age of 0.31 0.19 million years (Ma). This represents a minimum age for the development of Spence Cave, and provides a maximum incision rate for the Bighorn River of 0.38 0.19 mm/yr. Horsethief Cave is a complex phreatic cave system located 43 km north of Spence Cave on a plateau surface ~340 m above the Bighorn River. Electron microprobe analyses of white, fine-grained sediment in the Powder Mountain section of Horsethief Cave confirm that this deposit is Lava Creek B fallout ash, erupted from the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field ca. 0.64 Ma. Assuming this as a minimum age for the development of Horsethief Cave, extrapolation of the cave profile gradient westward to the Bighorn River gorge suggests a maximum incision rate of 0.35 0.19 mm/yr. Incision rates from both caves match well, and are broadly similar to other estimates of regional incision, suggesting that they record lowering of the Bighorn Basin during the late Pleistocene. However, we caution that deposition of both the Spence Cave sand and the Horsethief Cave volcanic ash may postdate the actual timing of cave development. Thus, these ages place upper limits on landscape evolution rates in the Bighorn Basin

Tectonic-hydrothermal brecciation associated with calcite precipitation and permeability destruction in Mississippian carbonate reservoirs, Montana and Wyoming , 2006, Katz D. A. , Eberli G. P. , Swart P. K. , Smith Jr. L. B.

The Mississippian Madison Formation contains abundant fracture zones and breccias that are hydrothermal in origin based on their morphology, distribution, and geochemical signature. The hydrothermal activity is related to crustal shortening during the Laramide orogeny. Brecciation is accompanied by dedolomitization, late-stage calcite precipitation, and porosity occlusion, especially in outcrop dolomites. The tectonic-hydrothermal late-stage calcite reduces permeability in outcrops and, potentially, high-quality subsurface reservoir rocks of the subsurface Madison Formation, Bighorn Basin. The reduction of permeability and porosity is increased along the margins of the Bighorn Basin but not predictable at outcrop scale. The destruction of porosity and permeability by hydrothermal activity in the Madison Formation is unique in comparison to studies that document enhanced porosity and permeability and invoke hydrothermal dolomitization models. Hydrothermal breccias from the Owl Creek thrust sheet are classified into four categories based on fracture density, calcite volume, and clast orientation. Shattered breccias dominate the leading edge of the tip of the Owl Creek thrust sheet in the eastern Owl Creek Mountains, where tectonic deformation is greatest, whereas fracture, mosaic, and chaotic breccias occur throughout the Bighorn Basin. The breccias are healed by calcite cements with d18O values ranging between _26.5 and _15.1xPeedee belemnite (PDB), indicating that the cements were derived from isotopically depleted fluids with elevated temperatures. In the chaotic and mosaic breccia types, large rotated and angular clasts of the host rock float in the matrix of coarse and nonzoned late-stage calcite. This appearance, combined with similar d18O values across even large calcite veins, indicates that the calcite precipitated rapidly after brecciation. Values for d13C(_5–12xPDB) from the frontal part of the Owl Creek thrust sheet indicate equilibrium between methane and CO2-bearing fluids at about 180jC. Fluid inclusions from the eastern basin margin show that these cements are in equilibrium with fluids having minimum temperatures between 120 and 140jC and formed from relatively low-salinity fluids, less than 5 wt.% NaCl. Strontium isotope ratios of these hydrothermal fluids are more radiogenic than proposed values for Mississippian seawater, suggesting that the fluids mixed with felsic-rich basement before migrating vertically into the Madison Formation. We envisage that the tectonic-hydrothermal late-stage calcitecemented breccias and fractures originated from undersaturated meteoric ground waters that migrated into the burial environment while dissolving and incorporating Ca2+ and CO3 2_ and radiogenic Sr from the dissolution of the surrounding carbonates and the felsic basement, respectively. In the burial environment, these fluids were heated and mixed with hypersaline brines from deeply buried parts of the basement. Expulsion of these fluids along basementrooted thrust faults into the overlying strata, including the Madison Formation, occurred most likely during shortening episodes of the Laramide orogeny by earthquake-induced rupturing of the host rock. The fluids were injected forcefully and in an explosive manner into the Madison Formation, causing brecciation and fracturing of the host rock, whereas the subsequent and sudden decrease in the partial pressure of CO2 caused the rapid precipitation of calcite cements. The explosive nature of hydrothermal fluid migration ultimately produces heterogeneities in reservoir-quality carbonates. In general, flow units in the Madison Formation are related to sequence boundaries, which create vertical subdivisions in the porous dolomite. The late-stage calcite cement surrounds hydrothermal breccia clasts and invades the dolomite, reducing porosity and permeability of the reservoir-quality rock. As a consequence, horizontal flow barriers and compartments are established that are locally unpredictable in their location and extent and regionally predictable along the margins of the Bighorn Basin. 


Productivity-Diversity Relationships from Chemolithoautotrophically Based Sulfidic Karst Systems, 2009, Porter M. L. , Summers Engel A. , Kane T. C. And Kinkle B. K.
Although ecosystems thriving in the absence of photosynthetic processes are no longer considered unique phenomena, we have yet to understand how these ecosystems are energetically sustained via chemosynthesis. Ecosystem energetics were measured in microbial mats from active sulfidic caves (Movile Cave, Romania; Frasassi Caves, Italy; Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, USA; and Cesspool Cave, Virginia, USA) using radiotracer techniques. We also estimated bacterial diversity using 16S rRNA sequences to relate the productivity measurements to the composition of the microbial communities. All of the microbial communities investigated were dominated by chemolithoautotrophic productivity, with the highest rates from Movile Cave at 281 g C/m2/yr. Heterotrophic productivities were at least one order of magnitude less than autotrophy from all of the caves. We generated 414 new 16S rRNA gene sequences that represented 173 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with 99% sequence similarity. Although 13% of these OTUs were found in more than one cave, the compositions of each community were significantly different from each other (P?0.001). Autotrophic productivity was positively correlated with overall species richness and with the number of bacterial OTUs affiliated with the Epsilonproteobacteria, a group known for sulfur cycling and chemolithoautotrophy. Higher rates of autotrophy were also strongly positively correlated to available metabolic energy sources, and specifically to dissolved sulfide concentrations. The relationship of autotrophic productivity and heterotrophic cycling rates to bacterial species richness can significantly impact the diversity of higher trophic levels in chemolithoautotrophically-based cave ecosystems, with the systems possessing the highest productivity supporting abundant and diverse macro-invertebrate communities.

Productivity-Diversity Relationships from Chemolithoautotrophically Based Sulfidic Karst Systems, 2009, Porter M. L. , Summers Engel A. , Kane T. C. , Kinkle B. K.

Although ecosystems thriving in the absence of photosynthetic processes are no longer considered unique phenomena, we have yet to understand how these ecosystems are energetically sustained via chemosynthesis. Ecosystem energetics were measured in microbial mats from active sulfidic caves (Movile Cave, Romania; Frasassi Caves, Italy; Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, USA; and Cesspool Cave, Virginia, USA) using radiotracer techniques. We also estimated bacterial diversity using 16S rRNA sequences to relate the productivity measurements to the composition of the microbial communities. All of the microbial communities investigated were dominated by chemolithoautotrophic productivity, with the highest rates from Movile Cave at 281 g C/m2/yr. Heterotrophic productivities were at least one order of magnitude less than autotrophy from all of the caves. We generated 414 new 16S rRNA gene sequences that represented 173 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with 99% sequence similarity. Although 13% of these OTUs were found in more than one cave, the compositions of each community were significantly different from each other (P≤0.001). Autotrophic productivity was positively correlated with overall species richness and with the number of bacterial OTUs affiliated with the Epsilonproteobacteria, a group known for sulfur cycling and chemolithoautotrophy. Higher rates of autotrophy were also strongly positively correlated to available metabolic energy sources, and specifically to dissolved sulfide concentrations. The relationship of autotrophic productivity and heterotrophic cycling rates to bacterial species richness can significantly impact the diversity of higher trophic levels in chemolithoautotrophically-based cave ecosystems, with the systems possessing the highest productivity supporting abundant and diverse macro-invertebrate communities.


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