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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 accumulation is building of new land by addition of sedimentary deposits [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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 tropical cave (Keyword) returned 26 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 26
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

Unusual speleothems resembling giant mushrooms occur in Cueva Grande de Santa
Catalina, Cuba. Although these mineral buildups are considered a natural heritage, their
composition and formation mechanism remain poorly understood. Here we characterize
their morphology and mineralogy and present a model for their genesis. We propose that
the mushrooms, which are mainly comprised of calcite and aragonite, formed during four
different phases within an evolving cave environment. The stipe of the mushroom is an
assemblage of three well-known speleothems: a stalagmite surrounded by calcite rafts
that were subsequently encrusted by cave clouds (mammillaries). More peculiar is the
cap of the mushroom, which is morphologically similar to cerebroid stromatolites and
thrombolites of microbial origin occurring in marine environments. Scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) investigations of this last unit revealed the presence of fossilized
extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)—the constituents of biofilms and microbial
mats. These organic microstructures are mineralized with Ca-carbonate, suggesting that
the mushroom cap formed through a microbially-influenced mineralization process. The
existence of cerebroid Ca-carbonate buildups forming in dark caves (i.e., in the absence
of phototrophs) has interesting implications for the study of fossil microbialites preserved
in ancient rocks, which are today considered as one of the earliest evidence for life on
Earth.


Observations on the aquatic subterranean fauna of Cuba., 1973, Botosaneanu Lazare
A short account on some achievements of the cubano-romanian biospeleological expeditions to Cuba in the study of the aquatic subterranean faunas. The following divisions of the aquatic subterranean realm are reviewed together with their most characteristic faunal elements: "guano pools" and rimstone pools in the vadose zone of the caves; underground streams; water table (and other) lakes in the caves; "pozzos" carved in the limestone, and "grietas" which are vertical clefts in the limestone of marine terraces, giving access to fresh- or to brackish water; the interstitial of the marine beaches; the underflow of running waters. At present, thorough biospeleological research is being carried out almost everywhere in Central America; Cuba, which remained until recently rather poorly investigated, proves to be one of the most remarkable areas from this point of view. A few of the most interesting problems rose in the course of the study of the underground aquatic fauna of Cuba are listed. An interesting biogeographical problem is the following: some of the subterranean aquatic elements prove to be related to elements belonging to the fauna of the other Antilles and of Mexico, but not to the South-American fauna (as is the case for some terrestrial groups). The research undertaken will be a contribution to the problem of the divisions of the aquatic subterranean realm and of their reciprocal relations, in a warm and humid climate; it will also contribute an answer to the problem of the differences between temperate and tropical cave communities; finally, it allows one to perceive in its very progress the process of colonization of the subterranean freshwaters by elements of marine origin, either through the interstitial realm or through the fissures of the littoral limestones.

The Spider communities in tropical caves (Aranaea)., 1973, Brignoli Paolo Marcello
The so called "tropical" caves (most of which are also geographically "tropical") are distinguished from the "temperate" caves by the much larger trophic resources. Spiders are common in both kinds of caves, but the groups present in one kind are mostly absent in the other (notwithstanding that many families are distributed over at least one temperate and one tropical region). As in all temperate caves more or less the same groups of spiders can be found, so the tropical caves have a typical spider fauna, composed of different groups (often also more than those present in the temperate caves). In the temperate caves the most typical groups are the Leptonetidae, the Dysderidae, many Araneoidea and some Agelenidae; these groups are either absent or rare in the tropical caves. In these the typical groups are some Orthognatha and many primitive spiders of the Haplogynae (Oonopidae, Tetrablemmidae, Ochyroceratidae, Scytodidae, Pholcidae, Telemidae) with a few Araneoidea (Theridiosomatidae and Symphytognathidae). From an ecological point of view, the detriticolous groups are not common in temperate caves, but are exceedingly common in tropical caves. In these live also often some groups which could be considered not strictly detriticolous, but more exactly "microcavernicolous" (i.e. living "normally" in more or less permanent crevices etc. of soil and rocks). In temperate caves are on the other hand more common groups living typically on vegetation, not very close to the soil. Ethologically, in tropical caves the existence of groups is possible which either ambush their prey or search for it actively whereas most spiders of temperate caves capture it with a web.

Ecological and evolutive aspects of the communities of temperate and tropical caves: observations on the biological cycles of some species of Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1973, Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Sbordoni Valerio
Differences between tropical and temperate cave communities are an important topic in the actual biospeleological thinking. Among the most striking differences is the paucity of terrestrial troglobites in tropical caves. This fact may depend on the higher energy input into tropical caves which lessens the selection pressures for energy-economizing troglobite adaptations. Consequently evolutionary rates would be slowed in tropical caves and, in a date group, troglobites would appear later in such caves than in temperate ones with lower energy input. In order to investigate this point the authors studied the degree of adaptation to the cave environment in two species of Mexican Ptomaphagus which, being phylogenetically related, probably descend from the same epigean ancestor. Among these species the first one, P. troglomexicanus Peck, lives in a typical temperate cave (i.e. cold, high altitude cave, with scarce food supply) in the Sierra de Guatemala (Tamaulipas), the other one, P. spelaeus (Bilimek), populates tropical caves (i.e. warm, lowland cave, with rich food supply) in the State of Guerrero. In addition a comparison is made with P. pius Seidlitz, an epigean species from southern Europe. The results show a striking difference between P. troglomexicanus on a side and the other two species. Differences chiefly concern morphological features such as relative antenna length, structural complexity (i.e. the number of sensilla) of the antenna chemioreceptor organs in the 70, 90, 100 segments, degree of reduction of eye, wing and pigmentation and physiological ones such as the length of the life cycle. The possible causes of these differences are discussed. According to the authors these differences appear due to the different selection pressures acting in the two types of caves. In addition a comparison between the "tropical cave" species, P. spelaeus, with the epigean one, P. pius, does not point out the differences that one could expect by the diverse ecology of these species. These observations support the idea that evolutionary rates in cavernicoles are strongly affected by the ecology of the cave, mainly depending on the degree of energy input, and are poorly consistent with the hypothesis that mutations affecting degenerative processes are selectively neutral.

Present state of the knowledge on hypogean Histeridae., 1973, Vomero Vincenzo
The author makes some considerations on troglobitic and endogeous world Histeridae. All these species present extreme reduction of eyes or are completely blind; all are wingless and only one is brachipterous. The Histeridae described here belong to the following genera: Speleacritus Jeannel and Spelaeabraeus Moro (Abraeinae), Sardulus Patrizi, Bacanius Le Conte, Troglobacanius Vomero and Geoculus Wenzel. (Dendrophilinae, Bacanius group). Finally some considerations on troglophylic and guanobitic Histeridae are made, reporting the recent discovery of a new genus and of some new species belonging to guanobitic biocoenosis of Mexican tropical caves.

Observations on the aquatic subterranean fauna of Cuba., 1973, Botosaneanu Lazare
A short account on some achievements of the cubano-romanian biospeleological expeditions to Cuba in the study of the aquatic subterranean faunas. The following divisions of the aquatic subterranean realm are reviewed together with their most characteristic faunal elements: "guano pools" and rimstone pools in the vadose zone of the caves; underground streams; water table (and other) lakes in the caves; "pozzos" carved in the limestone, and "grietas" which are vertical clefts in the limestone of marine terraces, giving access to fresh- or to brackish water; the interstitial of the marine beaches; the underflow of running waters. At present, thorough biospeleological research is being carried out almost everywhere in Central America; Cuba, which remained until recently rather poorly investigated, proves to be one of the most remarkable areas from this point of view. A few of the most interesting problems rose in the course of the study of the underground aquatic fauna of Cuba are listed. An interesting biogeographical problem is the following: some of the subterranean aquatic elements prove to be related to elements belonging to the fauna of the other Antilles and of Mexico, but not to the South-American fauna (as is the case for some terrestrial groups). The research undertaken will be a contribution to the problem of the divisions of the aquatic subterranean realm and of their reciprocal relations, in a warm and humid climate; it will also contribute an answer to the problem of the differences between temperate and tropical cave communities; finally, it allows one to perceive in its very progress the process of colonization of the subterranean freshwaters by elements of marine origin, either through the interstitial realm or through the fissures of the littoral limestones.

The Spider communities in tropical caves (Aranaea)., 1973, Brignoli Paolo Marcello
The so called "tropical" caves (most of which are also geographically "tropical") are distinguished from the "temperate" caves by the much larger trophic resources. Spiders are common in both kinds of caves, but the groups present in one kind are mostly absent in the other (notwithstanding that many families are distributed over at least one temperate and one tropical region). As in all temperate caves more or less the same groups of spiders can be found, so the tropical caves have a typical spider fauna, composed of different groups (often also more than those present in the temperate caves). In the temperate caves the most typical groups are the Leptonetidae, the Dysderidae, many Araneoidea and some Agelenidae; these groups are either absent or rare in the tropical caves. In these the typical groups are some Orthognatha and many primitive spiders of the Haplogynae (Oonopidae, Tetrablemmidae, Ochyroceratidae, Scytodidae, Pholcidae, Telemidae) with a few Araneoidea (Theridiosomatidae and Symphytognathidae). From an ecological point of view, the detriticolous groups are not common in temperate caves, but are exceedingly common in tropical caves. In these live also often some groups which could be considered not strictly detriticolous, but more exactly "microcavernicolous" (i.e. living "normally" in more or less permanent crevices etc. of soil and rocks). In temperate caves are on the other hand more common groups living typically on vegetation, not very close to the soil. Ethologically, in tropical caves the existence of groups is possible which either ambush their prey or search for it actively whereas most spiders of temperate caves capture it with a web.

Ecological and evolutive aspects of the communities of temperate and tropical caves: observations on the biological cycles of some species of Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1973, Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Sbordoni Valerio
Differences between tropical and temperate cave communities are an important topic in the actual biospeleological thinking. Among the most striking differences is the paucity of terrestrial troglobites in tropical caves. This fact may depend on the higher energy input into tropical caves which lessens the selection pressures for energy-economizing troglobite adaptations. Consequently evolutionary rates would be slowed in tropical caves and, in a date group, troglobites would appear later in such caves than in temperate ones with lower energy input. In order to investigate this point the authors studied the degree of adaptation to the cave environment in two species of Mexican Ptomaphagus which, being phylogenetically related, probably descend from the same epigean ancestor. Among these species the first one, P. troglomexicanus Peck, lives in a typical temperate cave (i.e. cold, high altitude cave, with scarce food supply) in the Sierra de Guatemala (Tamaulipas), the other one, P. spelaeus (Bilimek), populates tropical caves (i.e. warm, lowland cave, with rich food supply) in the State of Guerrero. In addition a comparison is made with P. pius Seidlitz, an epigean species from southern Europe. The results show a striking difference between P. troglomexicanus on a side and the other two species. Differences chiefly concern morphological features such as relative antenna length, structural complexity (i.e. the number of sensilla) of the antenna chemioreceptor organs in the 70, 90, 100 segments, degree of reduction of eye, wing and pigmentation and physiological ones such as the length of the life cycle. The possible causes of these differences are discussed. According to the authors these differences appear due to the different selection pressures acting in the two types of caves. In addition a comparison between the "tropical cave" species, P. spelaeus, with the epigean one, P. pius, does not point out the differences that one could expect by the diverse ecology of these species. These observations support the idea that evolutionary rates in cavernicoles are strongly affected by the ecology of the cave, mainly depending on the degree of energy input, and are poorly consistent with the hypothesis that mutations affecting degenerative processes are selectively neutral.

Present state of the knowledge on hypogean Histeridae., 1973, Vomero Vincenzo
The author makes some considerations on troglobitic and endogeous world Histeridae. All these species present extreme reduction of eyes or are completely blind; all are wingless and only one is brachipterous. The Histeridae described here belong to the following genera: Speleacritus Jeannel and Spelaeabraeus Moro (Abraeinae), Sardulus Patrizi, Bacanius Le Conte, Troglobacanius Vomero and Geoculus Wenzel. (Dendrophilinae, Bacanius group). Finally some considerations on troglophylic and guanobitic Histeridae are made, reporting the recent discovery of a new genus and of some new species belonging to guanobitic biocoenosis of Mexican tropical caves.

Histoplasmosis: A Hazard to New Tropical Cavers, 1989, Lewis, Md, Warren C.

Discussion - Histoplasmosis: A Hazard to New Tropical Cavers - A Reply, 1991, Lewis, Warren C.

Geology of a Large, High-Relief, Sub-Tropical Cave System: sistema Purificacin, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1996, Hose, Louise D.

Hydrology of a Large, High-Relief, Sub-Tropical Cave System: sistema Purificacin, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1996, Hose, Louise D.
Streams in the upper portion of the system mostly follow the dip of bedding near the Tamabra-Tamaulipas contact until trapped in the trough of a third-order syncline. Vadose flow in the middle part of the cave system follows axial plane fractures. The trough of the north-trending Infiernillo syncline, and the impervious underlying La Joya beds act as a local hydrologic barrier perching water in the lower carbonates and filling chambers in the lowest parts of Sistema Purificacin.

Geographical variation in the tropical cave cockroach Paratemnopteryx stonei Roth (Blattellidae) in North Queensland, Australia., 1996, Slaney David Paul, Weinstein Philip
Observations of cave dwelling organisms in both tropical and temperate caves often reveal morphological modifications, which may reflect various stages of adaptation to cave life. From April 1994 to June 1995 a number of adult Paratemnopteryx stonei were collected from 7 caves in tropical North Queensland to investigate the degree of geographical variation in such troglomorphies between cave populations. Results of morphometric analyses showed the occurrence of a morphological discontinuity between cave populations from the different geographic regions. The body dimensions particularly important in discriminating between each cave population were tegmen length (both sexes), and secondly, tegmen width and tarsus length for males and females respectively. Morphological differences between populations are discussed in relation to stages of adaptation to cave live.

The Cave-inhabiting Beetles of Cuba (Insecta: Coleoptera): Diversity, Distribution and Ecology, 1998, Peck, S. B. , Ruizbali, A. E. , Gonzalez, G. F. G.
The known cave-inhabiting beetle fauna of Cuba is summarized. Fifty-three species have been found in 70 low elevation caves in 11 provinces. Distribution of species by family is: Carabidae, 10; Dytiscidae, 4; Gyrinidae, 2; Hydrophilidae, 2; Histeridae, 5; Leiodidae, 2; Ptiliidae, 3; Staphylinidae, 1; Scarabaeidae, 4; Elateridae, 2; Lampyridae, 1; Nitidulidae, 1; Cerylonidae, 1; Tenebrionidae, 12; and Curculionidae, 3. Twenty-four of the species are judged to be accidental cave inhabitants. The remaining 29 species can be placed in the following ecological-evolutionary categories: trogloxenes, 3 species; first-level troglophiles, 21 species; second-level troglophiles (=unmodified neotroglobites), 5 species. No true troglobites are known (i.e., none of the species is morphologically specialized for cave life). About 59% of the non-accidental inhabitants are endemic to Cuba. The taxonomic composition is similar to that in caves in other West Indian Islands, and impoverished when compared to Neotropical continental caves. The abundance of food (bat guano) seems a prime factor preventing selection for cave-specialization in lowland West Indian and continental Neotropical cave beetles.

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