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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 hydrozincite is a cave mineral - zn(co3)2(oh)6 [11].?

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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 food (Keyword) returned 70 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 61 to 70 of 70
Cave fauna of southeast Asia, 2008, Price, Liz.
Many caves in tropical southeast Asia support a variety of cave fauna, ranging from small invertebrates through to small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and bats. Many cave faunal communities are dependent on bats that import large volumes of organic matter (guano) into the subterranean environment. Guano is the primary food resource for many cave inhabitants, and forms the basis of the cave food web. Humans frequently harvest guano and cave swiftlet nests from tropical caves in the region but these activities may degrade the wider ecosystem.

A new species of cave adapted Nicoletiid (Zygentoma: Insecta) from Sistema Huautla, Oaxaca, Mexico: the tenth deepest cave in the world, 2008, Espinasa L. And Vuong N. H.
Anelpistina specusprofundi, n. sp., is described and separated from other species of the subfamily Cubacubaninae (Nicoletiidae: Zygentoma: Insecta). The specimens were collected in Sotano de San Agustin and in Nita Ka (Huautla system) in Oaxaca, Mexico. This cave system is currently the tenth deepest in the world. It is likely that A. specusprofundi is the sister species of A. asymmetrica from nearby caves in Sierra Negra, Puebla. The new species of nicoletiid described here may be the key link that allows for a deep underground food chain with specialized, troglobitic, and comparatively large predators such as the tarantula spider Schizopelma grieta and the 70 mm long scorpion Alaeran tartarus that inhabit the bottom of Huautla system.

MICROORGANISMS IN HYPOGEON: EXAMPLES FROM SLOVENIAN KARST CAVES, 2008, Mulec, Janez

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.


Effectiveness and adequacy of well sampling using baited traps for monitoring the distribution and abundance of an aquatic subterranean isopod, 2009, Hutchins B. And Orndorff W.
Land-use practices in karst can threaten aquatic subterranean species (stygobionts). However, since their habitat is mostly inaccessible, baseline ecological data such as distribution and population size are not known, making monitoring and risk assessment difficult. Wells provide easy and inexpensive access for sampling subterranean aquatic habitats. Over three years, including a two-month period of intensive sampling, the authors sampled sixteen wells (ten repeatedly) in Jefferson County, West Virginia, USA, for a threatened stygobiont, the isopod crustacean Antrolana lira Bowman, in two areas where the species was known to occur. A. lira was collected during 21 of 54 sampling events. A. lira was collected from 6 wells in which a total of 31 of the sampling events took place. Borehole logs suggest that only these 6 wells intersected appropriate habitat. Using the binomial approximation, the authors conclude that a random well has a 29% to 91% chance of intersecting appropriate habitat. In a well that intersects appropriate habitat, a single sampling event has a 51% to 85% chance of successful capture. The species occurs heterogeneously throughout the aquifer both in space and time, and thus, repeated sampling of multiple wells is needed to confidently establish presence or absence. In a contiguous block of phreatic carbonate- aquifer habitat analogous to that in the study area, at least 6 wells need to be sampled at least one time each to determine absence or presence of A. lira with 95% confidence. Additional studies with larger sample size would better constrain confidence intervals and facilitate refinement of minimum sampling requirements. In one well that consistently yielded from 8 to 19 animals, the population was estimated by mark- recapture methods. The limited data only allowed a very rough result of 112.3 6 110 (95% CI) individuals. Successful recapture suggests that animals are largely stationary when a food source is present. Animals were collected at depths below the water surface from ,1m (hand-dug well and cave) to , 30 meters in drilled wells. No migration of animals between wells was observed.

A New foodweb based on microbes in calcitic caves: The Cansiliella (Beetles) case in Northern Italy, 2011, Paoletti Maurizio G. , Beggio Mattia, Dreon Angelo Leandro, Pamio Alberto, Gomiero Tiziano, Brilli Mauro, Dorigo Luca, Concheri Giuseppe, Squartini Andrea, Engel Annette Summers

The troglobitic beetle, Cansiliella servadeii percolating water on moonmilk, a speleothem formation in Grotta della Foos, Italy. Results from analyses of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen suggest that acquires and assimilates dissolved allochthonous organic carbon, inorganic nitrogen, and possibly phosphorus and other nutrients from the microbial fauna associated with moonmilk.


The first record of external abnormalities in the subterranean Aegla marginata Bond-Buckup & Buckup, 1994 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Aeglidae), from a karst area of Southeastern Brazil, 2011, Camile Fernandes, Rafael Gregati, Maria Bichuette

The occurrence of a morphologically altered individual identifi ed as Aegla marginata is reported in this note. The specimen was found in the subterranean environment, as part of wider bioespeleological study. The observed abnormalities consist mainly of deformities in abdominal epimera, pleopods, telson and uropods, which could results in diffi culties for reproduction and escape from predators. Genetic or nutritional factors related to the scarce food supply observed in the cave environment are admitted as being the most probable cause of the deformities reported here. We emphasize the need of new studies in the area as well as efforts to preserve subterranean environment.


Trophic Dynamics in a Neotropical Limestone Cave, 2011, Marconi Silva, Rogrio Parentoni Martins, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira

The temporal budgets of the input, retainment and use by invertebrates of detritus and root tufts were evaluated in a short tropical limestone cave (337 m long). Detritus penetrate only through the stream in lower quantities in the dry season, contrary to what happens in the rainy season. However, water transport energies in the rainy season prevent detritus retainment. Roots tufts that emerge from the bottom of the stream provide shelter and food for several species. The abundance (log10) (R2 = 0.63; P < 0.02) and richness (log10) (R2 = 0.63; P < 0.01) related positively with the root tuft biomass (log10). In the terrestrial environment (ground), guano is the main secondary resource available for the invertebrates; the constant production of this resource has shown to influence the structure and distribution of invertebrates. Unfavorable temperature conditions and, especially low soil moisture, promote low plant detritus consumption rates. Historically, different authors assumed that organic resources imported by water are more available in caves in rainy seasons. It is clear that the importation of organic detritus in the rainy season is higher than in the dry season, but as shown in this work, the stochastic pulse flows continually disturb and remove the previously accumulated resource. So, the food that is truly used by the cave communities is that transported at the end of the rainy season (and during all the dry season) that becomes available for the cave fauna. The cave functionality depends, so, directly of the epigean food resources.


The cave environment inf luencing the lipid prof ile and hepatic lipogenesis of the f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus Reis, 1987 (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), 2013, Bastos V. A. A. , Lopes Ferreira R. , Carvalho D. C. , Pugedo M. L. , De Matos Alves Pinto L.

The metabolism of hypogean organisms is frequently molded by the cave environment traits, especially food scarcity. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the inf luence of such environment on lipid composition and hepatic lipogenesis in the f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus. For this, the species was compared to an epigean population of the species. A greater accumulation of total lipids was observed in the cave-dwelling f ish (18.36 g/100 g tissue) compared to the surface f ish (14.09 g/100 g tissue). The muscle fatty acid prof ile also varied between the populations. Arachidonic acid was only detected in the epigean f ish, while docosahexaenoic acid was present in the cave f ish. In the lipid prof ile of Ancistrus cryptophthalmus there was a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids, followed by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; Ancistrus sp. showed a predominance of monounsaturated fatty acids. Signif icant differences were also observed in the activities of the hepatic enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme. The activities of these two enzymes were greater in the epigean animals. The differences could be related to different food availability observed in the two environments. An ecotone zone was observed, located next to the entrance of the Lapa do Angélica cave (Goiás State, Brazil), where the f ishes showed characteristics that were intermediate between those of hypogean f ishes from deeper within the cave, and the epigean population. It could be concluded that the characteristics of the cave environment signif icantly inf luenced the composition of muscle fatty acids and lipogenesis in the hypogean f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus.


Comparative microbial community composition from secondary carbonate (moonmilk) deposits: implications for the Cansiliella servadeii cave hygropetric food web, 2013, Summers Engel A. , Paoletti M. G. , Beggio M. , Dorigo L. , Pamio A. , Gomiero T. , Furlan C. , Brilli M. , Leandro Dreon A. , Bertoni R. , Squartini A.

The microbial diversity of moonmilk, a hydrated calcium carbonate speleothem, was evaluated from two Italian caves to provide context for the food web of highly-specialized troglobitic beetles, Cansiliella spp. (Leptodirinae), with distinctive carbon and nitrogen isotope values indicative of a novel food source. The moonmilk and associated percolating waters had low to no extractable chlorophyll, with an average organic C:N ratio of 9, indicating limited allochthonous input and a significant contribution from microbial biomass. The biomass from moonmilk was estimated to be ~104 micro- and meiofaunal individuals per m2 and ~107 microbial cells/ml. Proteobacteria dominated the 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from the moonmilk from both caves. The distribution of other proteobacterial classes and phyla in the moonmilk were statistically similar to each other, even though the two caves are geographically separated from each other. Comparing the moonmilk gene sequences to sequences from previously described environmental clones or cultured strains revealed the uniqueness of the moonmilk habitat, as ~15% of all of the moonmilk sequences were more closely related to each other than to sequences retrieved from any other habitat. However, comparative analyses confirmed that as much as ~34% of the clones sequences were also closely related to environmental clones and cultured strains derived from soil and freshwater habitats, which is likely due to the fact that the putative inoculation source for the moonmilk bacterial communities is from overlying soil and percolating fluids from the surface. Prior to our studies of Cansiliella spp., moonmilk has not been considered a food source for cave animals. Our findings provide unique insight into moonmilk microbial diversity that could reveal the underpinnings of the moonmilk carbon and nitrogen cycle that influences the isotopic composition and the morphological adaptations of the troglobitic beetles associated with the moonmilk.


Detritus processing in lentic cave habitats in the neotropics, 2013, Marconi Souza Silva, Rafaelly Karina Sales Rezende, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira

Lentic cave habitatsare almost always heterotrophic habitats where there are food and oxygen input from the surface. This hydrological exchange seems to be the key factor shaping most groundwater communities. Litter processing in cave water environments has not been experimentally studied as much as it has in lotic subterranean systems, although detritus is likely a critical resource for organisms inhabiting shallow groundwater habitats. The present study sought to evaluate the processing rates and the nitrogen and phosphorous dynamics in plant debris deposited in lentic habitats of two Neotropical limestone caves during 99 days. 84–10×10 cm2 litterbags with mesh sizes of 0.04 mm2 and 9 mm2 were used. In each weighed litter bag, 50 green, intact plant leaf disks (± 2.0 gr/bag) were conditioned. At the end of the experiment, the average weight loss was only 17.4%. No macroinvertebrates were found associated to the debris, but significant differences in the processing rate in relation to the cave and mesh size were observed. The weight loss rate of the plant debris was considered slow (average 0.003 K-day). The amount of nitrogen and remaining phosphorous in the plant debris in the two caves showed variations over time with a tendency to increase probably due to the development of microorganisms which assimilate nitrogen and phosphorus. The slow processing rate of the plant debris can be due mainly to the fact that these lentic cave habitats are restrictive to colonization by shredder invertebrates. Furthermore, the abrasive force of the water, which plays an important role in the processing and availability of fragmented debris for colonization by microorganisms, is absent.


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