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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 francoanellite is a cave mineral - h6k3al5(po4)8 .13h2o [11].?

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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 cyanobacteria (Keyword) returned 30 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 30
Exploring the secrets of the three-dimensional architecture of phototrophic biofilms in caves, 2009, Roldn M. And Hernndezmarin M.
Caves with dim natural light, and lighted hypogean environments, have been found to host phototrophic microorganisms from various taxonomic groups. These microorganisms group themselves into assemblies known as communities or biofilms, which are associated with rock surfaces. In this work, the phototrophic biofilms that colonise speleothems, walls and floors in three tourist caves (Spain) were studied. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study these organisms and acquire three-dimensional data on their biofilm structure. CLSM was used in a multi-channel mode whereby the different channels map individual biofilm components. Cyanobacteria, green microalgae, diatoms, mosses and lichens were found to be grouped as biofilms that differed according to the sampling sites. The biofilms were classified into six types regarding their environmental conditions. These types were defined by their constituent organisms, the thickness of their photosynthetic layers and their structure. Light-related stress is associated with lower biofilm thickness and species diversity, as is low humidity, and, in the case of artificially illuminated areas, the duration of light exposure

Exploring the secrets of the three-dimensional architecture of phototrophic biofilms in caves, 2009, Roldn M. , Hernndezmarin M.

Caves with dim natural light, and lighted hypogean environments, have been found to host phototrophic microorganisms from various taxonomic groups. These microorganisms group themselves into assemblies known as communities or biofilms, which are associated with rock surfaces. In this work, the phototrophic biofilms that colonise speleothems, walls and floors in three tourist caves (Spain) were studied. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study these organisms and acquire three-dimensional data on their biofilm structure. CLSM was used in a multi-channel mode whereby the different channels map individual biofilm components. Cyanobacteria, green microalgae, diatoms, mosses and lichens were found to be grouped as biofilms that differed according to the sampling sites. The biofilms were classified into six types regarding their environmental conditions. These types were defined by their constituent organisms, the thickness of their photosynthetic layers and their structure. Light-related stress is associated with lower biofilm thickness and species diversity, as is low humidity, and, in the case of artificially illuminated areas, the duration of light exposure.


Distribution of cyanobacteria at the Gelada Cave (Spain) by physical parameters, 2010, Martnez A. And Asencio A. D.
As part of an extensive study of the caves in the Province of Alicante (SE Spain), the distribution of cyanobacteria and physical data for the Gelada Cave are presented. This cave is 9.4 m deep, 0.9 to 5.0 m high, 1.2 m wide, and is located in a karst region. Photon flux density, relative humidity, and temperature were measured, and the environmental ranges of conditions where growth occurred fluctuated between 0.0008 0.06 mE.m22 s 21 , 55.095.0% and 5.418.0 uC, respectively. All the microorganisms determined from the Gelada Cave were cyanobacteria. Other frequently observed groups in caves, such as Bacillariophyta and Chlorophyta, were not detected because the cave was too weakly illuminated and dry. Cyanobacteria were found to be grouped as blue, brown, green, or gray patina according to the sampling sites and their constituent organisms. The primary common stress factor on the distribution of algal communities in the Gelada Cave is light shortage, followed by humidity, lack of nutrients, and temperature. Twenty-two epilithic cyanobacteria were identified, ten of which have not been previously reported in caves. The species studied are included in the Chroococcales order (77.30%), followed by the Oscillatoriales order (13.60%) and by the Nostocales (4.55%) and Stigonematales (4.55%) orders. The extreme values of the environmental parameters are presented for each taxon in this cave.

Isotopic indications of water-rock interaction in the hypogene Tavrskaya cave, Crimea, Ukraine, 2011, Dublyansky Yuri, Klimchouk Alexander, Timokhina Elisaveta, Spö, Tl Christoph

The Inner Range of the Crimea Mountains has recently been identified as an area of previously unrecognized hypogene speleogenesis (Klimchouk et al. 2009). The entrance of the Tavrskaya cave is located in the middle of the 25 m-high scarp of the cuesta built up of Paleocene limestone. The cave comprises two parallel major passages (ca. 180 m long, up to 7-8 m high and up to 5-6 m wide) connected by a smaller passage. The major passages are slightly inclined toward the north-west following the dip of bedding. The morphology of the cave bears strong indications of dissolution at conditions of ascending flow in a confined aquifer setting.
A massive calcite crust, studied in this paper, was first found in a small cave located ca. 200 m from Tavrskaya cave along the cuesta scarp. According to its position and morphology, the cave corresponds to the rift-like “feeder” zone of Tavrskaya cave. Recently, similar calcite crust was found in Tavrskaya cave, in a rift-like passage of the  near-scarp zone. The crust is built up of a brownish translucent calcite whose columnar crystals (bounded by competitive growth surfaces) are arranged in a characteristic radiating pattern. Calcite contains only all-liquid inclusions indicating deposition at less than ca. 50ºC. It also contains filamentous biological material (possibly fungi or cyanobacteria), which sometimes facilitated entrapment of fluid inclusions. This calcite body is tentatively
interpreted as a paleo-spring deposit (ascending flow). In order to characterize the isotopic properties of this calcite and the bedrock limestone we drilled small-diameter cores through the calcite formation, as well as through the wall of a cavity devoid of calcite. Stable isotope analyses were performed along these cores. To provide a basis for comparison several samples from the same lithostratigraphic units were collected far from the cave. Along a 15 cm-long profile, both oxygen and carbon isotopes of the limestone remain stable at 18O = -4.3 0.2
h and 13C = -1.7 0.3 h (1). Only within the 1.5 cm-thick zone immediately underlying the calcite 18O and 13C values plunge to ca. -8 h and -9 h respectively,. It appears from this data that water rock-interaction associated with the deposition of this calcite produced only a thin alteration halo in the limestone. However, when data from the cave-wall cores are compared with those collected far from the cave, it appears that the “constant” values from cave walls are shifted relative to the presumably unaltered limestone values toward lower values by
ca. 1.5-3.0 h (oxygen) and 3-4 h (carbon). On the 18O-13C cross-plot the data for unaltered limestone, cave wall limestone, alteration halo, and secondary calcite plot along a well-defined line (R2=0.99).
We propose that the Paleocene limestone in the vicinity of the Tavrskaya cave has experienced a two-stage alteration. During the first stage, presumably associated with the process of cave excavation, the bedrock has been altered (18O depleted by 1.5 to 3.0 h and 13C by 3 to 4 %). The thickness of this zone of early alteration is unknown but must be larger than 15 cm (length of our cores). The second stage of alteration was associated with the deposition of calcite; during this stage the isotopic composition was further depleted (by 4-5 h in 18O and 8-10 h in 13C). The extent of alteration was much smaller, though, and restricted to zones where calcite was deposited (ca. 15 mm beneath the calcite).


In situ acetylene reduction activity of Scytonema julianum in Vapor cave (Spain), 2011, Asencio A. D. , Aboal M.

Nitrogen fixation was measured in situ for the first time by acetylene reduction for a greyish mat composed of Scytonema julianum in cave-like environments. Mat-specific rates (129.9-215.7 nmol C2 H4 m-2 s-1 for daytime fixation and 65.1-120.6 nmol C2 H4 m-2 s-1 for nighttime fixation) recorded in the Vapor cave differed considerably due to the energy reserves stored during photosynthesis being exhausted and used in the dark phase. The most influential environmental parameter for nitrogen fixation in the Vapor cave is temperature in the daytime and nighttime fixations. Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria may contribute considerably to the overall nitrogen cycle in harsh environments such as caves. Nitrogenase activity in Scytonema julianum was roughly 30 times higher than that of Scytonema mirabile, which also grew in cave environments, which is due to the characteristics of each site. The entrance of Vapour cave (Spain) faces SE, measures 0.75 x 0.6 m and opens to shafts of a total depth of 80 m. Its dimensions and environmental conditions (relative humidity up to 100%; maximum temperature, 43ºC) imply that it is isolated from external influences, and that the microclimate differs substantially from that experienced externally. Nitrogen fixation, photon flux density, relative humidity and temperature in the Vapor cave were taken hourly over a 24-hour period in winter.


A note on the occurrence of a crayback stalagmite at Niah Caves, Borneo, 2011, Lundberg J. , Mcfarlane D. A.

Crayback stalagmites have mainly been reported from New South Wales, Australia. Here we document a small crayback in the entrance of Painted Cave (Kain Hitam), part of the Niah Caves complex in Sarawak, Borneo. Measuring some 65 cm in length and 18 cm in height, this deposit is elongate in the direction of the dominant wind and thus oriented towards the natural tunnel entrance. It shows the classic humpbacked long profile, made up of small transverse segments or plates, in this case the tail extending towards the entrance. The dark blue-green colour down the centre suggests that cyanobacterial growth follows the track of the wind-deflected roof drip. The dry silty cave sediment provides material for accretion onto the biological mat. This is the only example known from Borneo and one of the very few known from outside of Australia.


In situ nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria at the Andragulla Cave, Spain, 2011, Asencio A. D. , Aboal M.

Andragulla Cave is 2 m high, 6 m wide, and 2 m long (deep). Its lack of depth means that it is not isolated from external influences, and the microclimate is very similar to that experienced externally. The common stress factors on the growth of cyanobacterial communities on walls inside of Andragulla Cave include excess light, dryness, lack of nutrients, and cold temperatures. Nitrogen fixation, photon flux, relative humidity, and temperature in Andragulla Cave were measured hourly over 24 hours in winter. Nitrogen fixation by the reddish-brown mat formed by both cyanobacteria Scytonema mirabile and Gloeocapsa sanguinea in cave-like environments was measured in situ for the first time by acetylene reduction. The mat-specific rates (1.6 to 7.5 nmol C2H4
m22 s21) were lower compared to published values from laboratory measurements of rehydrated samples from different environments. Daytime fixation was slightly higher than nighttime fixation, where nitrogen fixation by Gloeocapsa sanguinea played an important role. The most influential parameters for environmental nitrogen fixation in
Andragulla Cave were photon flux for daytime fixation, temperature for nighttime fixation, and relative humidity for both. Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria may be significant in these N-poor ecosystems.


Distribution survey of Cyanobacteria in three Greek caves of Peloponnese, 2012, Lamprinou V. , Danielidis D. B. , Economouamilli A. , Pantazidou A.

Caves and hypogean environments host various phototrophic microorganisms, with Cyanobacteria constituting the major group. The spatial and temporal distribution of Cyanobacteria (156 taxa in total) from three Greek caves, located in the limestone arc of Peloponnese and differing in morphology, was studied. The community patterns in different ecological niches were analyzed in relation to environmental parameters (Photosynthetically Active Radiation, Temperature, and Relative Humidity). Cyanobacterial communities were found to thrive in patchy biofilms and showed known protective strategies against desiccation and irradiation. The nMDS analysis of the cumulative seasonal samples per sampling site showed no general pattern of distribution, with a clear differentiation of cyanobacterial communities among the three caves. Only in the typical cave ‘Kastria’, cyanobacterial taxa showed growth habits in accordance with the gradient of light from entrance inwards.


Flora of a small lava cave near Laki, Iceland, 2012, Pentecost, Allan

Twenty nine phototrophic taxa are reported from a small volcanic cave. These included five cyanobacteria, two of which are heterocystous nitrogen-fixers, and nine diatoms, several of which have previously been reported from caves. Of the five lichen taxa, two are foliose nitrogen-fixers, suggesting that combined nitrogen was in short supply. The aerophytic flora show similarities with communities from limestone caves suggesting that low light and high humidity are of overriding importance for some taxa.


Occurrence and morphology of crayback-like stalagmites in the Painted Cave of Niah (Sarawak, Malaysia), 2012, Dodgewan Dominique, Deng Angela Hui Min, Abbas Mohammad Fadhil

The Painted Cave is a subhorizontal relict tunnel passage which runs through a small karst tower, approximately 30m above the surrounding alluvial plain and adjacent to other large karst towers in Niah National Park (Sarawak, Malaysia). Lundberg and McFarlane (2011) described the occurrence, morphology and mode of formation of a crayback stalagmite close to the north entrance of the cave. The presence of numerous other crayback-like stalagmites in three zones of the same cave is reported here. Their elongated humped-back morphology indicates formation influenced by cave wind. The axial orientations of the crayback-like stalagmites are similar in each of the three cave zones, but differ between the zones. Many of the stalagmite features resemble those of crayback stalagmites, suggesting that cyanobacteria may also have played a role in their formation. The Painted Cave has large entrances at both ends. The natural light levels within the cave are sufficient for cyanobacterial growth and cave wind is noticeable. A suite of stalagmite morphologies ranging from forms that are wind influenced but abiotic, to forms that are also moderately to strongly influenced by cyanobacteria is suggested.


La Serreta endokarst (SE Spain): a sustainable value?, 2013, Asencio A. D. , Espinosa T.

La Serreta endokarst (SE Spain), which UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site in 1998, was considered a sanctuary with cave art and one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean region for both the remains it hosts and the spectacular karstic landscape at the site.

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of its discovery, the La Serreta cave-chasm was adapted for public use with the intention of showing visitors the remains, which date back to prehistoric times. The solution included attempts to minimize contact with the valuables in the cave in order to alter the existing remains as little as possible and to make good use of the magnificent interpretative conditions of such a unique place by showing the spectacular views over the Los Almadenes canyon, where the Segura River flowed, which is now a viewpoint over the void.

In order to determine the sustainability of the endokarst, the Karstic Sustainability Index (KSI) was applied as a standard measure of sustainable development practices in karstic environments, which employs indicators for the three domains: use of social, economic and environmental resources. By applying this index, La Serreta endokarst was found to be progressing towards the sustainable management of karst resources.

 
 

Biologically influenced stalagmites in Niah and Mulu caves (Sarawak, Malaysia), 2013, Dodgewan Dominique, Deng Hui Min Angela

There are two significant karst regions in northern Sarawak (Malaysia): Niah and Mulu. Both are famous worldwide for their well developed caves. Here we document the presence of over twenty unusual stalagmites in six cave entrances in these two regions. One of the stalagmites has been previously described as a crayback stalagmite (Lundberg and McFarlane 2011) and they all show indications of biological influence. Our study aimed to establish the locations within the cave entrances where these stalagmites are present and to provide a preliminary overview of the stalagmite forms. The environment, and especially availability and direction of light, was also studied at several sites. Surface scrapings were examined for the presence of cyanobacteria. The morphology of the unusual stalagmites is variable and includes forms that are elongated and craybacklike and others that show features not previously described in craybacks: flat tops, bulbous protuberances, phototropic rims, irregular grooves and ridges and oriented coralloid growth. Several of these features are not found in abiotic stalagmites and suggest biological control. The findings of light surveys confirm that certain features of the stalagmites are phototropically controlled. Filamentous cyanobacteria with calcified sheaths and coccoid cyanobacteria are present. we propose that this diverse group of stalagmite be named “tufaceous stalagmite” of which craybacks are thought to be a sub­group.


Diatom flora in subterranean ecosystems: a review., 2014, Falasco Elisa, Luc Ector, Marco Isaia, Carlos E. Wetzel, Lucien Hoffmann, Francesca Bona.

In scarcity of light and primary producers, subterranean ecosystems are generally extremely oligotrophic habitats, receiving poor supplies of degradable organic matter from the surface. Human direct impacts on cave ecosystems mainly derive from intensive tourism and recreational caving, causing important alterations to the whole subterranean environment. In particular, artificial lighting systems in show caves support the growth of autotrophic organisms (the so-called lampenflora), mainly composed of cyanobacteria, diatoms, chlorophytes, mosses and ferns producing exocellular polymeric substances (EPSs) made of polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. This anionic EPSs matrix mediates to the intercellular communications and participates to the chemical exchanges with the substratum, inducing the adsorption of cations and dissolved organic molecules from the cave formations (speleothems). Coupled with the metabolic activities of heterotrophic microorganisms colonising such layer (biofilm), this phenomenon may lead to the corrosion of the mineral surfaces. In this review, we investigate the formation of biofilms, especially of diatom-dominated ones, as a consequence of artificial lighting and its impacts on speleothems. Whenever light reaches the subterranean habitat (both artificially and naturally) a relative high number of species of diatoms may indeed colonise it. Cave entrances, artificially illuminated walls and speleothems inside the cave are generally the preferred substrates. This review focuses on the diatom flora colonising subterranean habitats, summarizing the information contained in all the scientific papers published from 1900 up to date. In this review we provide a complete checklist of the diatom taxa recorded in subterranean habitats, including a total of 363 taxa, belonging to 82 genera. The most frequent and abundant species recorded in caves and other low light subterranean habitats are generally aerophilic and cosmopolitan. These are, in order of frequency: Hantzschia amphioxys, Diadesmis contenta, Orthoseira roeseana, Luticola nivalis, Pinnularia borealis, Diadesmis biceps and Luticola mutica. Due to the peculiarity of the subterranean habitats, the record of rare or new species is relatively common. The most important environmental factors driving species composition and morphological modifications observed in subterranean populations are analysed throughout the text and tables. In addition, suggestions to prevent and remove the corrosive biofilms in view of an environmentally sustainable cave management are discussed.


The show cave of Diros vs. wild caves of Peloponnese, Greece - distribution patterns of Cyanobacteria, 2014, Lamprinou Vasiliki, Danielidis Daniel B. , Pantazidou Adriani, Oikonomou Alexandra, Economouamilli Athena.

The karst cave ‘Vlychada’of Diros, one of the oldest show caves in Peloponnese, sustains extended phototrophic biofilms on various substrata – on rocks inside the cave including speleothems, and especially near the artificial lighting installation (‘Lampenflora’). After a survey of the main abiotic parameters (Photosynthetically Active Radiation -PAR, Temperature -T, Relative Humidity -RH, Carbon Dioxide -CO2) three clusters of sampling sites were revealed according to Principal Component Analysis (PCA): i) the water gallery section predominately influenced by CO2, ii) the dry passages influenced by RH and PAR, and iii) the area by the cave exit at the dry section influenced by temperature. The collected samples from the water gallery section and the dry passages of the cave revealed a total of 43 taxa of Cyanobacteria, with the unicellular/colonial forms being the most abundant. The applied non-metric Multi-dimensional Scaling Ordination (nMDS) of the cumulative species composition showed a clear distinction between the water gallery section and the dry passages of the cave. Further comparison with previous data from other wild caves of Peloponnese (‘Kastria’, ‘Francthi’, and ‘Selinitsa’) was conducted revealing a distinction between the show cave and the wild ones. Apart from the human impact on cave ecosystems – through aesthetic alteration (‘greening’) of cave decorations by the ‘Lampenflora’, and by the cleaning treatments and restoration projects on the speleothems – identification of the organisms constituting the ‘Lampenflora’ might provide taxonomically and ecologically significant taxa.


The influence of light attenuation on the biogeomorphology of a marine karst cave: A case study of Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan, the Philippines, 2015, Coombes Martin A. , La Marca Emanuela C. , Naylor Larissa A. , Piccini Leonardo, De Waele Jo, Sauro Francesco

Karst caves are unique biogeomorphological systems. Cave walls offer habitat for microorganisms which in-turn have a geomorphological role via their involvement in rock weathering, erosion and mineralisation. The attenuation of light with distance into caves is known to affect ecology, but the implications of this for biogeomorphological processes and forms have seldom been examined. Here we describe a semi-quantitative microscopy study comparing the extent, structure, and thickness of biocover and depth of endolithic penetration for samples of rock from the Puerto Princesa Underground River system in Palawan, the Philippines, which is a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Organic growth at the entrance of the cave was abundant (100% occurrence) and complex, dominated by phototrophic organisms (green microalgae, diatoms, cyanobacteria, mosses and lichens). Thickness of this layer was 0.28 ± 0.18 mm with active endolith penetration into the limestone (mean depth = 0.13 ± 0.03 mm). In contrast, phototrophs were rare 50 m into the cave and biofilm cover was significantly thinner (0.01 ± 0.01 mm, p b 0.000) and spatially patchy (33% occurrence). Endolithic penetration here was also shallower (b0.01mm, p b 0.000) and non-uniform. Biofilm was found 250 m into the cave, but with a complete absence of phototrophs and no evidence of endolithic bioerosion.

We attribute these findings to light-induced stress gradients, showing that the influence of light on phototroph abundance has knock-on consequences for the development of limestone morphological features. In marine caves this includes notches, which were most well-developed at the sheltered cave entrance of our study site, and for which variability in formation rates between locations is currently poorly understood.


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