Hotspots of subterranean biodiversity in caves and wells

  • Culver D
  • Sket B
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Abstract

We documented 18 caves and two karst wells that have 20 or more stygobites and troglobites. Crustacea dominated the aquatic fauna. Taxonomic composition of the terrestrial fauna varied, but Arachnida and Insecta together usually dominated. Geographically, the sites were concentrated in the Dinaric Karst (6 caves). Sites tended to have high primary productivity or rich organic input from the surface, be large caves, or have permanent groundwater (phreatic water).

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Authors

  • David C. Culver

  • Boris Sket

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