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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 Fickian diffusion is the spreading of solutes from regions of highest to regions of lower concentrations caused by the concentration gradient. in slow moving ground water, this is the dominant mixing process [22].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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
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Your search for nutrients (Keyword) returned 27 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 27
The animal population of the hyporheic interstitial in a primary rock stream under the influence of the supply of allochthonous organic matter., 1976, Pieper Hansgerd
The Mettma, a mountain stream in the Black Forest, W. Germany, was investigated for effects of input of nutrients and energy by domestic waste water and effluent from a brewery introduced at one specific point. The investigation time ranged from May 1970 to February 1971. Initially, there is an impoverishment and structural changes of the biocoenosis in the hyporheic interstitial. There is an almost complete O2-depletion immediately after the waste water has been added. In winter, temperatures in the interstitial were higher than those in the current. No direct correlation between population densities and amount of organic matter were observed where allochthonous nutrients had been added. Population densities of multicellular animals were from 0 to 1.2 X 105 per 0.1 m3 of sediment. 4.1 km further downstream the fauna is similar to that above the waste water inlet, while at 7.35 km downstream of it is slightly less dense.

Mayan Urbanism: Impact on a Tropical Karst Environment, 1979, Deevey Es, Rice Ds, Rice Pm, Vaughan Hh, Brenner M, Flannery Ms,
From the first millennium B.C. through the 9th-century A.D. Classic Maya collapse, nonurban populations grew exponentially, doubling every 408 years, in the twin-lake (Yaxha-Sacnab) basin that contained the Classic urban center of Yaxha. Pollen data show that forests were essentially cleared by Early Classic time. Sharply accelerated slopewash and colluviation, amplified in the Yaxha subbasin by urban construction, transferred nutrients plus calcareous, silty clay to both lakes. Except for the urban silt, colluvium appearing as lake sediments has a mean total phosphorus concentration close to that of basin soils. From this fact, from abundance and distribution of soil phosphorus, and from continuing post-Maya influxes (80 to 86 milligrams of phosphorus per square meter each year), which have no other apparent source, we conclude that riparian soils are anthrosols and that the mechanism of long-term phosphorus loading in lakes is mass transport of soil. Per capita deliveries of phosphorus match physiological outputs, approximately 0.5 kilogram of phosphorus per capita per year. Smaller apparent deliveries reflect the nonphosphatic composition of urban silt; larger societal outputs, expressing excess phosphorus from deforestation and from food waste and mortuary disposal, are probable but cannot be evaluated from our data. Eutrophication is not demonstrable and was probably impeded, even in less-impacted lakes, by suspended Maya silt. Environmental strain, the product of accelerating agroengineering demand and sequestering of nutrients in colluvium, developed too slowly to act as a servomechanism, damping population growth, at least until Late Classic time

Carbonate chemistry of surface waters in a temperate karst region: the southern Yorkshire Dales, UK, 1992, Pentecost Allan,
A detailed study of surface water chemistry is described from an important limestone region in northern England. Major ions and pH were determined for 485 sites (springs, seeps, streams, rivers and lakes) during summertime. The saturation state of the waters with respect to calcite was determined as the calcite saturation ratio ([Omega]). An unexpectedly large number of samples were found to be supersaturated (65.5% of the 268 km of watercourses surveyed). As a consequence, several streams entering major cave systems were incapable of further limestone solution, at least during periods of low flow. Many waters were supersaturated from their source and some deposited travertine. A significant negative correlation was found between spring discharge and both ([Omega]) and pH. Supersaturation was caused primarily by atmospheric degassing, with some contribution from aquatic plant photosynthesis.The median total dissolved inorganic carbon and Ca concentrations were 2.49 and 1.35 millimoles 1-1 respectively. Calcium originated exclusively from limestone, and carbon dioxide mainly from the soil and dissolved limestone. South facing catchments provided springwaters with significantly higher levels of TDIC and Ca when compared with north facing catchments. The study suggests that acid rain made a measurable contribution to limestone dissolution.Carboniferous limestone denudation rates were estimated as 54 to 63 m3 km-2 a-1 (54 to 63 mm 1000 years-1). About 50% of the Mg came from limestone and the remainder, together with most K, Na, SO4 and Cl from precipitation.Concentrations of dissolved nutrients were low, medians for NO3, NH4, total PO4 and SiO3 were 24 [mu]mol, 1.4 [mu]mol, 0.64 [mu]mol and 15.5 [mu]mol 1-1 respectively. The concentration of a further 23 trace elements was determined

The nutritional status of healthy and declining stands of Banksia integrifolia on the Yanakie Isthmus, Victoria, 1997, Bennett Lt, Attiwill Pm,
Banksia integrifolia L.f. has been in decline an calcareous sands of the Yanakie Isthmus, southern Victoria, since early 1980. Early studies indicated that the decline is associated with a particular soil condition possibly a nutritional imbalance involving Fe. However, in foliage samples collected from the three main soil types of the Isthmus, declining trees had similar concentrations of Fe but lower concentrations of Ca than healthy trees. Comparisons were made of seasonal variation in concentrations of macro- and micro-nutrients in foliage and litterfall from healthy trees (to minimise secondary changes associated with decline) within healthy and declining sites on the same soil type. On average, litterfall and the nutrient content of litterfall was greatest within the canopy area of B. integrifolia of the healthy stand. Banksias of the healthy stand also had greater concentrations of N, P, K and Na in fully-expanded leaves, resorbed greater proportions of phloem-mobile nutrients from senescent leaves and accumulated more Ca in senescent leaves. However, there was no evidence of nutritional imbalance in healthy trees within declining stands. It is argued that the lower foliar Ca in declining trees on three soil types and lower nutritional status of healthy trees within declining stands were due to lower productivity and lower water use and were therefore a result or an indication of decline rather than a cause

Interactions between ground water and surface water in the Suwannee River Basin, Florida, 1997, Katz B. G. , Dehan R. S. , Hirten J. J. , Catches J. S. ,
Ground water and surface water constitute a single dynamic system in most parts of the Suwannee River basin due to the presence of karst features that facilitate the interaction between the surface and subsurface. Low radon-222 concentrations (below background levels) and enriched amounts of oxygen-18 and deuterium in ground water indicate mixing with surface water in parts of the basin. Comparison of surface water and regional ground water flow patterns indicate that boundaries for ground water basins typically do not coincide with surface water drainage subbasins. There are several areas in the basin where around water flow that originates outside of the Suwannee River basin crosses surface water basin boundaries during both low-flow and high-flow conditions. In a study area adjacent to the Suwannee River that consists predominantly of agricultural land use, 18 wells tapping the Upper Floridan aquifer and 7 springs were sampled three times during 1990 through 1994 for major dissolved inorganic constituents, trace elements, and nutrients. During a period of above normal rainfall that resulted in high river stage and high ground water levels in 1991, the combination of increased amounts of dissolved organic carbon and decreased levels of dissolved oxygen in ground water created conditions favorable for the natural reduction of nitrate by denitrification reactions in the aquifer. As a result, less nitrate was discharged by ground water to the Suwannee River

Bats of Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona, 1999, Buecher, D. C. , Sidner, R. M.
Kartchner Caverns, in southeastern Arizona, is a summer maternity roost for approximately 1000-2000 cave myotis (Myotis velifer). The pregnant females first arrive at the cave in late April, give birth in June, and have left by mid- September. These bats are an important element in the cave ecosystem because their excrement introduces nutrients, which support a complex invertebrate cave fauna. Bat population densities and emergence behavior was monitored between 1988-1991. Other bat species seen using the entrance areas of the cave include Corynorhinus townsendi and Choeronycteris mexicana. Because bats are easily disturbed by human intrusion into the roost, the baseline study was accomplished using low-disturbance techniques in an effort to provide the greatest amount of data with the least disturbance to the bat colony. These techniques included limited visual observations in the roost and netting bats only on the surface at a nearby water tank. During the baseline study, an episode of predation by a carnivore (Bassariscus astutus) caused the bats to abandon the site for a short time. Carbon-14 dating of guano from the Throne and Rotunda Rooms suggests that Myotis velifer used the Back Section of Kartchner Caverns 50-45 years Ka.

Carbonate platform systems: components and interactions -- an introduction, 2000, Insalaco Enzo, Skelton Peter, Palmer Tim J. ,
Carbonate platforms are open systems with natural boundaries in space and time. Across their spatial boundaries there are fluxes of energy (e.g. light, chemical energy in compounds, and kinetic energy in currents and mass flows) and matter (e.g. nutrients, dissolved gases such as CO2, and sediment -- especially, of course, carbonates). Internally, these fluxes are regulated by myriads of interactions and feedbacks (Masse 1995), and the residue is consigned to the geological record. The most distinctive aspect of carbonate platforms is the predominant role of organisms in producing, processing and/or trapping carbonate sediment, even in Precambrian examples. Because of evolutionary changes in this strong biotic input, it is harder to generalize about carbonate platforms than about most other sedimentary systems. Evolution has altered both the constructive and destructive effects of platform-dwelling organisms on carbonate fabrics, with profound consequences for facies development. Moreover, changing patterns in the provision of accommodation space (e.g. between greenhouse and icehouse climatic regimes) have also left their stamp on facies geometries, in turn feeding back to the evolution of the platform biotas. Hence simplistic analogies between modern and ancient platforms may give rise to misleading interpretations of what the latter were like and how they formed. Although a number of carbonate platform and reef specialists have warned of the dangers of such misplaced uniformitarianism (e.g. Braithwaite 1973; Gili et al. 1995; Wood 1999), it remains depressingly commonplace in the literature on ancient carbonate platforms. The endless quest in the literature for an allpurpose definition of reefs' ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Mn-Fe deposits in shallow cryptic marine environment: examples in northwestern Mediterranean submarine caves, 2001, Allouc J, Harmelin Jg,
Black coating of hard substrates by Mn and Fe oxides has long been reported from shallow, dark, submarine caves. However, these littoral metallic deposits have never been studied in detail, despite expected analogies with deep-sea polymetallic crusts. Submarine caves are characterized by darkness and low rates of exchanges with the open sea. Lack of primary production and confinement of inner water bodies result in marked oligotrophy and extremely reduced biomass, i.e. conditions close to those prevailing in deep-sea habitats. Field evidences suggested that the formation of Mn-Fe coatings was closely tied to these particular environmental conditions. The goal of this study was to examine the detailed features of Mn-Fe coatings from dark caves with different local conditions, and to try to identify the processes responsible for their deposition. Study sites and methods Three sublittoral, single-entrance, caves were sampled by scuba diving along the coasts of Provence (France, Mediterranean Sea) (fig. 1). The first site is a large karstic cave (Tremies Cave, 16 m depth at entrance floor, 60 m long; Marseille-Cassis area) with an ascending profile which results in a buffered thermal regime and markedly oligotrophic conditions due to warm water trapping in its upper part (fig. 1 and 2). Wall fragments were sampled at 30 m (medium confinement : zone B) and 60 in (strong confinement : zone C) from the cave entrance. The second site is a large tubular cavity open in conglomerate formations (3PP Cave, 15 m depth at entrance floor, 120 m long; La Ciotat) with a descending profile which results in relative permanence of winter temperatures within the inner parts, complex water circulation and presumed greater input of sedimented particles than in the preceding cave (fig.1 and 2). Wall samples were taken at 25 m, 70 in and 100 m from entrance. The third site is a small, horizontal, cave open in quartzite formations (Bagaud Cave, 7 in depth at entrance floor, about 10 m long; WNW of Port-Cros Island, bay of Hyeres). Sampling was performed on walls of a narrow corridor between an anterior room and a smaller inner room. A sporadic outflow of continental waters is located in the inner room. The samples were preserved in 50% ethylic alcohol or studied soon after their sampling. Before carbon coating and SEM examination, or microanalyses with SEM-associated spectrometers, they were treated in a 33% Chlorox solution and thereafter washed in demineralized water and dried. Micromorphology At low-medium magnification (<20,000), the aspect of coatings varies between caves and, especially, between inner-cave locations. All the described structures are made up of Mn and Fe oxides. In Tremies Cave, coatings of walls from zone B are composed of irregular erected constructions (height : 10s to 100s μm) formed by the aggregation of roughly ovoid primary concretions of about 10 μm (fig. 3). The surface of those primary concretions displays numerous lacunose to reticulate films (pores, about 0.5 μm in diameter, are often subrounded). Remnants of these films and organomorphic corpuscles occur also within the primary concretions (fig. 4). On younger substrates (broken wall exposed since 1970), primary concretions are poorly developed and no prominent construction is visible (fig. 5). In more confined conditions (zone C), the erected constructions of ancient coatings are smaller and less numerous than in zone B but are well individualized (fig. 6). In this zone: C, besides some remnants of lacunose to reticulate films (fig. 7), there is an appearance of filaments and ovoid corpuscles (height/width : 10-30/5-15 μm), which seem to be linked to filaments by a short stalk (fig. 8). In 3 PP Cave, at 25-70 m from entrance, wall coatings present porous heaps of primary concretions (fig. 9). The surface and the inside of the latter comprise remnants of lacunose to reticulate films that evoke those observed in Tremies Cave (fig. 10 and 11). On younger substrates (hard parts of sessile invertebrates), coatings are restricted to micrometric organomorphic corpuscles with some remnants of lacunose or fibrous films (fig. 12). At 100 in from the entrance, coatings are shaped by numerous erected constructions, more or less coalescing (fig. 13). Besides remnants of lacunose films, the primary concretions contain interlacing filaments (diameter : 0.2-0.3 μm) forming cords or veils (fig. 14). In Bagaud Cave, the primary concretions are aggregated in irregular heaps (fig. 15). Lacunose films are particularly frequent and tend to form three-dimensional mamillated structures that were not observed in the other caves (fig. 16). In particular, there is an appearance of tubular structures (fig. 17) and of numerous hemispheroidal structures (diameter : 4-5 μm) with an upper orifice (fig. 18 and 19). At higher magnification (20,000), whatever the cave and inner-cave location, the aspect of oxide deposits is rather smooth or, especially, microgranular (fig. 20). Mineral composition The composition of coatings is different between caves and according to their inner-cave location. In both large caves (Tremies and 3 PP), the Mn/Fe ratio increases with the distance from the cave entrance, i.e. when exchanges with the open sea diminish (fig. 21a). This trend is particularly clear in Tremies Cave, where the confinement gradient is strongly marked. Besides, the Mn/Fe ratio also seems to increase when films are present in the analysed volume (some cubic micrometers) (fig. 21b). In Bagaud Cave, the Mn/Fe ratio reaches high values despite the small size of this cave and its low confinement level. Discussion and conclusions SEM observations suggest that in each studied cave, the Mn-Fe coatings are biosedimentary deposits. Genesis of these deposits is assumed to result mainly from the replacement of biofilms (composed of cells and slime, i.e, of extracellular polymeric substance produced by microorganisms) generated by microbial populations colonizing the cave walls. Considering the darkness of the cave-locations, microbes consist mainly in bacteria, but fungi are probably responsible for the filaments and ovoids corpuscules (evoking sporocysts) occurring in innermost parts. Observations at different scales of the morphological features of oxide deposits reveal a structured organisation which varies along the strong environmental gradients (particularly the confinement level) that occur from the entrance to the innermost parts : erected constructions made up of primary concretions become more and more defined and acquire a pseudo-columnar shape. The aspect of biofilms appears to be controlled by the same environmental parameters. In open or relatively open environments, they frequently show a three-dimensional development (with frequent skullcape-like shapes), while in more confined conditions they exhibit a planar layout. These changes reflect either the adaptation of the slime-producing bacteria to the local trophic resources (correlated to the rate of exchange with the open sea) and water movements, or spatial replacement of taxa. It is assumed that slime (mainly composed of water and exopolysaccharides) induces a local increase of the concentration in dissolved Mn and acts as an ion exchange resin that allows the retention of Mn on the functional groups of EPS. These conditions promote the nucleation of Mn oxide crystallites in the slime. Then. the anionic character of Mn oxides in seawater, and their capacity to catalyse the oxydation of Mn2 to Mn4, allow the process to go on without any other biological intervention; thus, the process of crystal growth becomes possible. In caves where Mn is only supplied by seawater (Tremies and 3 PP), the average value of the Mn/Fe ratio of coatings is negatively correlated to the local availability of nutrients. This trend is probably linked to changes in the selectivity of slimes towards the processes of retention of cations, because this ratio is clearly influenced by the occurrence of biofilms. However, independently from trophic resources, the Mn/Fe ratio can be notably increased when additional Mn is provided by the seeping or flowing of continental waters (Bagaud Cave)

The Barremian-Aptian Evolution of The Eastern Arabian Carbonate Platform Margin (Northern Oman), 2003, Hillgartner Heiko, Van Buchem Frans S. P. , Gaumet Fabrice, Razin Philippe, Pittet Bernard, Grotsch Jurgen, Droste Henk,
Carbonate platform margins are sensitive recorders of changes in sea level and climate and can reveal the relative importance of global and regional controls on platform evolution. This paper focuses on the Barremian to Aptian interval (mid Cretaceous), which is known for climatic and environmental changes towards more intensified greenhouse conditions. The study area in the northern Oman mountains offers one of the very few locations where the Cretaceous carbonate margin of the Arabian Plate can be studied along continuous outcrops. Our detailed sedimentological and sequence stratigraphic model of the platform margin demonstrates how major environmental and ecological changes controlled the stratigraphic architecture. The Early Cretaceous platform margin shows high rates of progradation in Berriasian to Hauterivian times followed by lower rates and some aggradation in the Late Hauterivian to Barremian. High-energy bioclastic and oolitic sands were the dominant deposits at the margin. Turbidites were deposited at the slope and in the basin. The Early Aptian platform margin shows a marked change to purely aggradational geometries and a welldeveloped platform barrier that was formed mainly by microbial buildups. The sudden dominance in microbial activity led to cementation and stabilization of the margin and slope and, therefore, a decrease of downslope sediment transport by turbidites. In the Late Aptian, large parts of the Arabian craton were subaerially exposed and a fringing carbonate platform formed. Seven Barremian to Early Albian large-scale depositional sequences reflecting relative sea-level changes are identified on the basis of time lines constrained by physical correlation and biostratigraphy. The reconstruction of the margin geometries suggests that tectonic activity played an important role in the Early Aptian. This was most likely related to global plate reorganization that was accompanied by increased volcanic activity in many parts of the world. Along the northeastern Arabian platform the associated global changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation are recorded with a change in platform-margin ecology from an ooid-bioclast dominated to a microbial dominated margin. Time-equivalent argillaceous deposits suggest an increase in rainfall and elevated input of nutrients onto the platform. This process contributed to the strongly diminished carbonate production by other organisms and favored microbial activity. The platform margin may thus represent a shallow-marine response to the Early Aptian global changes, commonly associated with an oceanic anoxic event in basinal environments

Lithuanian karst region rivers' water ecology: hydrochemical and hydrobiological evaluation, 2004, Tumas R. ,
The Lithuanian karst region covers about 1000 km(3) in the northern part of the country. This is the most vulnerable area from a pollution point of view. The structure of the total dissolved solids (TDS) shows that the flow of rivers in the karst region is from hydraulically interconnected aquifers. For the last decade (1991-2000) TDS has varied considerably, from 529 to 732 mg/l. The predominant sources of nitrogen and phosphorus within the headwaters of the monitored rivers were diffuse and agricultural in nature. Downstream from the towns nitrogen and especially phosphorus showed both diffuse and point source signals. Contributions of point sources to the stream pollution by nutrients prevail. The time series of monthly dissolved oxygen (O-2) in the main karst region river - the Musa - shows the existence of multiplicative seasonality. The trend cycle (1991-1999) shows low levels of dissolved oxygen in 1991-1993, with a similar fluctuation in 1994, 1995 and 1996 (due to point pollution from the town of Siauliai) and a gradually improving situation since 1997. The general multiplicative trend of dissolved oxygen in the lower reaches of the Musa river (near the border with Latvia) is decreasing (within the accuracy limits). The abundance and species of zoo benthos are suitable criteria (biotic index - 131) for evaluation of a river's biological water quality. Zoo benthos demonstrates tolerances that vary among species, the oxygen regime and the pollution with nitrogen. The best living conditions for invertebrates are in the riverhead of the karst region rivers - 131 = 5.62-6.74 (1991-1999), where pollution with nutrients is caused mostly by agricultural activity. Rare and asynchronous data of biological water quality shows up tendencies that invertebrates prefer less contaminated reaches of rivers

Discriminating Sources and Flowpaths of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Discharges to Florida Springs, Streams and Lakes, 2005, Bacchus St, Barile Pj,
Surface discharges of anthropogenic nutrients historically have been the focus of Florida's water-quality regulations. Groundwater contributions to eutrophication of Florida's surface waters are a more recent focus. Florida's naturally oligotrophic springs, streams, and lakes are experiencing significant anthropogenic nutrient contamination resulting from groundwater discharges with elevated nitrate. Sources of nitrate contamination to these surface-water ecosystems include sewage effluent, industrial animal waste (concentrated animal feedlot operations) and inorganic fertilizers. In this study, stable nitrogen isotope ({delta}15N) analysis of freshwater macrophytes was combined with basic knowledge of watershed and springshed land use and aquifer characteristics to provide evidence of nitrogen contamination sources and groundwater flowpaths. Selected naturally oligotrophic ecosystems included springs and a spring-run stream within the Ocala National Forest (ONF) and springs, a blackwater stream, and a sinkhole lake on or adjacent to state lands. Elevated {delta}15N values ([~] 8 to 12{per thousand}) in ONF macrophytes indicated nitrogen contamination from sewage effluent. Underground injections of effluent and other wastes at ONF's Alexander and Juniper Springs Recreation Areas are the sole source of contaminants flowing through the sandy, surficial aquifer at those study areas. Samples from springs on state lands indicated nitrogen contamination from various sources via regional groundwater flowpaths. At Lake Placid's state lands, a dairy-waste lagoon was the groundwater source of nitrogen contamination via the sandy, surficial aquifer. Bulow Creek {delta}15N macrophyte values ([~] 5 to 8{per thousand}) suggested contamination from both cattle and septic tank leachate. Results indicated that uptake of anthropogenic nitrogen occurred in invasive alien and nuisance native macrophytes in the four freshwater ecosystem types evaluated

Observations on the biodiversity of sulfidic karst habitats, 2007, Engel Annette Summers
Recognition of the metabolic process of chemosynthesis has recently overthrown the ecological dogma that all life on earth is dependent on sunlight. In complete darkness, complex ecosystems can be sustained by the energy and nutrients provided by chemosynthetic microorganisms. Many of these chemosynthetically-based ecosystems result from microbial manipulation of energy-rich sulfur compounds that can be found in high concentrations in groundwater. Subsurface environments in general can be highly stressful habitats (i.e., darkness, limited food, etc.), but in the case of sulfidic groundwater habitats, organisms must also tolerate and adapt to different stresses (e.g., toxic levels of gases or lethally low oxygen concentrations). Nevertheless, these habitats, and specifically cave and karst aquifers, have a richly diverse fauna. This review focuses on the biodiversity (as the number and types of species) of sulfur-based cave and karst aquifer systems. The relationships among ecosystem productivity, biodiversity, and habitat and ecosystem stresses are explored. The relatively high numbers of species and complex trophic levels could be attributed to the rich and plentiful, chemosyntheticallyproduced food source that has permitted organisms to survive in and to adapt to harsh habitat conditions. The geologic age and the hydrological and geochemical stability of the cave and karst aquifer systems may have also influenced the types of ecosystems observed. However, similar to non-sulfidic karst systems, more descriptions of the functional roles of karst aquifer microbes and macroscopic organisms are needed. As subterranean ecosystems are becoming increasingly more impacted by environmental and anthropogenic pressures, this review and the questions raised within it will lead to an improved understanding of the vulnerability, management, and sustainability challenges facing these unique ecosystems.

The impact of host rock geochemistry on bacterial community structure in oligotrophic cave environments, 2007, Barton Hazel A. , Taylor Nicholas M. , Kreate Michael P. , Springer Austin C. , Oehrle Stuart A. And Bertog Janet L.
Despite extremely starved conditions, caves contain surprisingly diverse microbial communities. Our research is geared toward understanding what ecosystems drivers are responsible for this high diversity. To asses the effect of rock fabric and mineralogy, we carried out a comparative geomicrobiology study within Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA. Samples were collected from two different geologic locations within the cave: WF1 in the Massive Member of the Capitan Formation and sF88 in the calcareous siltstones of the Yates Formation. We examined the organic content at each location using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy and analyzed microbial community structure using molecular phylogenetic analyses. In order to assess whether microbial activity was leading to changes in the bedrock at each location, the samples were also examined by petrology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Our results suggest that on the chemically complex Yates Formation (sF88), the microbial community was significantly more diverse than on the limestone surfaces of the Capitan (WF1), despite a higher total number of cells on the latter. Further, the broader diversity of bacterial species at sF88 reflected a larger range of potential metabolic capabilities, presumably due to opportunities to use ions within the rock as nutrients and for chemolithotrophic energy production. The use of these ions at sF88 is supported by the formation of a corrosion residue, presumably through microbial scavenging activities. Our results suggest that rock fabric and mineralogy may be an important driver of ecosystem function and should be carefully reviewed when carrying out microbial community analysis in cave environments.

The impact of host rock geochemistry on bacterial community structure in oligotrophic cave environments., 2007, Barton Hazel A. , Taylor Nicholas M. , Kreate Michael P. , Springer Austin C. , Oehrle Stuart A, Bertog Janet L.
Despite extremely starved conditions, caves contain surprisingly diverse microbial communities. Our research is geared toward understanding what ecosystems drivers are responsible for this high diversity. To asses the effect of rock fabric and mineralogy, we carried out a comparative geomicrobiology study within Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA. Samples were collected from two different geologic locations within the cave: WF1 in the Massive Member of the Capitan Formation and sF88 in the calcareous siltstones of the Yates Formation. We examined the organic content at each location using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy and analyzed microbial community structure using molecular phylogenetic analyses. In order to assess whether microbial activity was leading to changes in the bedrock at each location, the samples were also examined by petrology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Our results suggest that on the chemically complex Yates Formation (sF88), the microbial community was significantly more diverse than on the limestone surfaces of the Capitan (WF1), despite a higher total number of cells on the latter. Further, the broader diversity of bacterial species at sF88 reflected a larger range of potential metabolic capabilities, presumably due to opportunities to use ions within the rock as nutrients and for chemolithotrophic energy production. The use of these ions at sF88 is supported by the formation of a corrosion residue, presumably through microbial scavenging activities. Our results suggest that rock fabric and mineralogy may be an important driver of ecosystem function and should be carefully reviewed when carrying out microbial community analysis in cave environments.

The impact of host rock geochemistry on bacterial community structure in oligotrophic cave environments, 2007, Barton H. A. , Taylor N. M. , Kreate M. P. , Springer A. C. , Oehrle S. A. , Bertog J. L.

Despite extremely starved conditions, caves contain surprisingly diverse microbial communities. Our research is geared toward understanding what ecosystems drivers are responsible for this high diversity. To asses the effect of rock fabric and mineralogy, we carried out a comparative geomicrobiology study within Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA. Samples were collected from two different geologic locations within the cave: WF1 in the Massive Member of the Capitan Formation and sF88 in the calcareous siltstones of the Yates Formation. We examined the organic content at each location using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy and analyzed microbial community structure using molecular phylogenetic analyses. In order to assess whether microbial activity was leading to changes in the bedrock at each location, the samples were also examined by petrology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Our results suggest that on the chemically complex Yates Formation (sF88), the microbial community was significantly more diverse than on the limestone surfaces of the Capitan (WF1), despite a higher total number of cells on the latter. Further, the broader diversity of bacterial species at sF88
reflected a larger range of potential metabolic capabilities, presumably due to opportunities to use ions within the rock as nutrients and for chemolithotrophic energy production. The use of these ions at sF88 is supported by the formation of a corrosion residue, presumably through microbial scavenging activities. Our results suggest that rock fabric and mineralogy may be an important driver of ecosystem function and should be carefully reviewed when carrying out microbial community analysis in cave environments.


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