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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 station is a survey point in a chain of such points in a survey [25].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 fungi (Keyword) returned 39 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 39
Microscopic fungi isolated from the Domica Cave system (Slovak Karst National Park, Slovakia). A review, 2009, Novakova A.
A broad spectrum, total of 195 microfungal taxa, were isolated from various cave substrates (cave air, cave sediments, bat droppings and/or guano, earthworm casts, isopods and diplopods faeces, mammalian dung, cadavers, vermiculations, insect bodies, plant material, etc.) from the cave system of the Domica Cave (Slovak Karst National Park, Slovakia) using dilution, direct and gravity settling culture plate methods and several isolation media. Penicillium glandicola, Trichoderma polysporum, Oidiodendron cerealis, Mucor spp., Talaromyces flavus and species of the genus Doratomyces were isolated frequently during our study. Estimated microfungal species diversity was compared with literature records from the same substrates published in the past.

Unique iron-manganese colonies of microorganisms in Zoloushka Cave (Ukraine-Moldova), 2009, Andreychouk V. N. , Klimchouk A. , Boston P. , Galuskin E.

During open-pit quarrying and related lowering of groundwater level in the gypsum karst aquifer (since 1950), large cave Zoloushka became accessible for direct exploration, in which considerable geochemical transformations of environment occurred, accompanied by the formation of specific deposits, as well as by burst of microbial activity. Among microorganisms, some of the most active were various iron bacteria. Microbial activity has resulted in precipitation of black and red biochemical formations – microbialites (coatings, crusts, films, stalactites, stalagmites, etc.), which cover walls and floors of cave passages. Most interesting among the microbialites are iron-rich colonial formations of various shapes (stalagmite-like, tube-like, coral-like, etc.) formed by yet unidentified fungi-like microorganisms which likely are new to science. In this paper, we characterize occurrence and morphology of the colonial aggregates, morphology and chemical composition of microorganisms  and develop working hypotheses of their identification.


Lights and shadows on the conservation of a rock art cave: The case of Lascaux Cave, 2009, Bastian F. , Alabouvette C.

Lascaux Cave was discovered in 1940. Twenty years after the first microbial contamination signs appeared. In the last forty years the cave suffered different fungal invasions. Here we discuss the past, present and future of the cave and the conservation of its rock art paintings to the light of data obtained using culture-dependent and –independent methods.


Guanophilic fungi in three caves of southwestern Puerto Rico, 2009, Nievesrivera . M. , Santosflores C. J. , Dugan F. M. , Miller T. E.

Fifty species of guanophilic (bat guano-loving) fungi were isolated from field-collected samples within three caves in southwestern Puerto Rico; most were mitosporic fungi (23 species). The caves studied were Cueva La Tuna (Cabo Rojo), Cueva de Malano (Sistema de Los Chorros, San Germán), and Cueva Viento (El Convento Cave-Spring System, Guayanilla-Peñuelas). The most conspicuous fungus by far was the zygomycete Circinella umbellata (Mucorales). Circinella umbellata dominated the bat guano incubation chambers (Petri dishes lined with sterile filter paper moistened with sterile water) at ambient laboratory conditions. Nineteen species of basidiomycetes (e.g., Ganoderma cf. resinaceum, Geastrum cf. minimum, Lepiota sp., Polyporus sp., Ramaria sp.) and three species of ascomycetes (Hypoxylon sp., Xylaria anisopleura, and X. kegeliana) were also recorded. They were found on soil, rotting leaves, bark and rotting wood, buried in bat guano located below natural skylights or sinkholes.


Guanophilic fungi in three caves of southwestern Puerto Rico, 2009, Nievesrivera . M. , Santosflores C. J. , Dugan F. M. , Miller T. E.

Fifty species of guanophilic (bat guano-loving) fungi were isolated from field-collected samples within three caves in southwestern Puerto Rico; most were mitosporic fungi (23 species). The caves studied were Cueva La Tuna (Cabo Rojo), Cueva de Malano (Sistema de Los Chorros, San Germán), and Cueva Viento (El Convento Cave-Spring System, Guayanilla-Peñuelas). The most conspicuous fungus by far was the zygomycete Circinella umbellata (Mucorales). Circinella umbellata dominated the bat guano incubation chambers (Petri dishes lined with sterile filter paper moistened with sterile water) at ambient laboratory conditions. Nineteen species of basidiomycetes (e.g., Ganoderma cf. resinaceum, Geastrum cf. minimum, Lepiota sp., Polyporus sp., Ramaria sp.) and three species of ascomycetes (Hypoxylon sp., Xylaria anisopleura, and X. kegeliana) were also recorded. They were found on soil, rotting leaves, bark and rotting wood, buried in bat guano located below natural skylights or sinkholes.


Microscopic fungi isolated from the Domica Cave system (Slovak Karst National Park, Slovakia). A review, 2009, Novkov, A.

A broad spectrum, total of 195 microfungal taxa, were isolated from various cave substrates (cave air, cave sediments, bat droppings and/or guano, earthworm casts, isopods and diplopods faeces, mammalian dung, cadavers, vermiculations, insect bodies, plant material, etc.) from the cave system of the Domica Cave (Slovak Karst National Park, Slovakia) using dilution, direct and gravity settling culture plate methods and several isolation media. Penicillium glandicola, Trichoderma polysporum, Oidiodendron cerealis, Mucor spp., Talaromyces flavus and species of the genus Doratomyces were isolated frequently during our study. Estimated microfungal species diversity was compared with literature records from the same substrates published in the past.


Pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms in caves, 2010, Jurado V. , Laiz L. , Rodrigueznava V. , Boiron P. , Hermosin H. , Sanchezmoral S. , Saizjimenez C.
With todays leisure tourism, the frequency of visits to many caves makes it necessary to know about possible potentially pathogenic microorganisms in caves, determine their reservoirs, and inform the public about the consequences of such visits. Our data reveal that caves could be a potential danger to visitors because of the presence of opportunistic microorganisms, whose existence and possible development in humans is currently unknown.

Pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms in caves, 2010, Jurado V. Laiz L. Rodrigueznava V. Boiron P. , Hermosin H. , Sanchezmoral S. , Saizjimenez C.

With today`s leisure tourism, the frequency of visits to many caves makes it necessary to know about possible potentially pathogenic microorganisms in caves, determine their reservoirs, and inform the public about the consequences of such visits. Our data reveal that caves could be a potential danger to visitors because of the presence of opportunistic microorganisms, whose existence and possible development in humans is currently unknown.


Candoluminescence of cave gypsum, 2010, Sweet J. R. , Hess J. W. , White W. B.

A selection of gypsum specimens from a variety of caves as well as CaSO4 synthesized in the laboratory emit
both a green and yellow candoluminescence when excited by a hydrogen diffusion flame. The green emission
is attributed to dehydration of gypsum to bassanite and the yellow emission appears upon further dehydration
to anhydrite. The source of the luminescence is ascribed to minor concentrations of Mn2+ in the gypsum


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).


Fungal communities on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, USA, 2011, Vaughan M. J. , Maier R. M. , Pryor B. M.

Kartchner Caverns, located near Benson, Arizona, USA, is an active carbonate cave that serves as the major attraction for Kartchner
Caverns State Park. Low-impact development and maintenance have preserved prediscovery macroscopic cavern features and
minimized disturbances to biological communities within the cave.. The goal of this study was to examine fungal diversity in Kartchner
Caverns on actively-forming speleothem surfaces. Fifteen formations were sampled from five sites across the cave. Richness
was assessed using standard culture-based fungal isolation techniques. A culture-independent analysis using denaturing gradient
gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to assay evidence of community homogeneity across the cave through the separation of
18S rDNA amplicons from speleothem community DNA. The culturing effort recovered 53 distinct morphological taxonomic units
(MTUs), corresponding to 43 genetic taxonomic units (GTUs) that represented 21 genera. From the observed MTU accumulation
curve and the projected total MTU richness curve, it is estimated that 51 percent of the actual MTU richness was recovered. The
most commonly isolated fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Phialophora, and Aspergillus. This culturebased
analysis did not reveal significant differences in fungal richness or number of fungi recovered across sites. Cluster analysis
using DGGE band profiles did not reveal distinctive groupings of speleothems by sample site. However, canonical correspondence
analysis (CCA) analysis of culture-independent DGGE profiles showed a significant effect of sampling site and formation type on
fungal community structure. Taken together, these results reveal that diverse fungal communities exist on speleothem surfaces in
Kartchner Caverns, and that these communities are not uniformly distributed spatially. Analysis of sample saturation indicated that
more sampling depth is required to uncover the full scale of mycological richness across spelothem surfaces.


Development of a Specific Quantitative Real-Time PCR Assay to Monitor Chlorella DNA: A Case Study from Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, USA , 2011, Fowler, Richard F.

Estimates of phytoplankton abundance are important parameters
watched by stewards of water quality and freshwater ecology in rivers, streams, and reservoirs. A targeted phytoplankton assay
for Chlorella DNA was developed to estimate the abundance of the predominant species of green algae in surface waters of Mammoth Cave National Park (MACA) in Kentucky, USA. The phytoplankton community in the Green River in MACA has been shown to consist of 95% Chlorella sp. (Wullschlegger et al., 2003). Chlorella 18S rRNA gene sequences were amplified and quantified using Quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) with primers
specific for the family Chlorellaceae in the class Trebouxiophyceae,
order Chlorellales. Concentrations of Chlorella DNA in river water samples were measured by comparison to a standard curve generated by DNA extracted from a live laboratory culture of C. vulgaris. DNA isolated from other sources including bacteria,
amoebae, fungi, decapods, insects, cave sediment, and a different
green alga, Chlamydomonas, produced no PCR products and thus did not interfere with the detection and quantification of Chlorella DNA. The assay proved quantitative over more than four orders of magnitude with a method detection limit (MDL) of approximately 2.3 x104 cells/L. Presence or absence of Chlorella
DNA could be demonstrated at concentrations ten to 100 times lower than the calculated MDL. Chlorella was detected in lampenflora samples from three tourist trails, and Chlorella was absent from sediment samples off tourist trails that were known to contain high concentrations of bacterial DNA. Demonstration of the utility of the technique was illustrated by a case study in Mammoth Cave National Park to determine Chlorella concentrations
at various sampling sites of karst surface streams where invasive zebra mussels are a threat to native species.


Comparative microbial sampling from eutrophic caves in Slovenia and Slovakia using RIDA COUNT test kits, 2012, Mulec Janez, Kritů, Fek Vclav, Chroň, kov Alica

RIDA®COUNT test plates were used as an easy-to-handle and rapid indicator of microbial counts in karst ecosystems of several caves in Slovakia and Slovenia. All of the caves had a high organic input from water streams, tourists, roosting bat colonies or terrestrial surroundings. We sampled swabs, water and air samples to test robustness and universality of the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany, http://www.r-biopharm.com/) for quantification of total bacteria, coliforms, yeast and mold. Using data from swabs (colony-forming units per cm2) we proposed a scale for description of biocontamination level or superficial microbial load of cave niches. Based on this scale, surfaces of Ardovská Cave, Drienovská Cave and Stará Brzotínská Cave (Slovakia) were moderately colonized by microbes, with total microbial counts (sum of total bacterial count and total yeast and molds count) in the range of 1 001-10 000 CFU/100 cm2, while some surfaces from the show cave Postojna Cave (Slovenia) can be considered highly colonized by microbes (total microbial counts ≥ 10 001 CFU/100 cm2). Ardovská Cave also had a high concentration of air-borne microbes, which can be explained by restricted air circulation and regular bat activity. The ratio of coliform to total counts of bacteria in the 9 km of underground Pivka River flow in Postojna Cave dropped approximately 4-fold from the entrance, indicating the high anthropogenic pollution in the most exposed site in the show cave. The RIDA®COUNT test kit was proven to be applicable for regular monitoring of eutrophication and human influence in eutrophic karst caves.


Zur Mikrobiologie von Bergmilch, 2012, Reitschuler C. , Schwarzenauer T. Lins P. , Wagner A. O. , Sptl C. , Illmer P.
Moonmilk is a plastic mineral formation, which can be found inside cave systems all around the world. These deposits mainly consist of microscopic calcite crystals and show a very high water content. However, the association of microorganisms is remarkable, which seem to play a crucial role in the formation process. The present study applies a combination of culture-based methods and DNA analysis and is to our knowledge the first attempt to investigate this phenomenon in an Alpine cave, in Austria. Central questions include (i) the origin of the occurring microorganisms, (ii) their supply with energy and nutrients, (iii) their role in course of the formation of the deposits, and (iv) their structure and organization. The investigations within the Hundalm Eis- und Tropfsteinhhle in Tyrol revealed that a complex, heterotroph-dominated, psychrophilic microbial com munity, con - sisting of archaea, bacteria and fungi is associated with moonmilk, with partly high microbial abundances. Via living cultivation microorganisms could be proved in all 29 samples, with individual (bacterial) numbers of up to one million per ml moonmilk. The remarkable number of pigmented species could be an indication for the origin from a light-exposed surficial habitat. Molecular biological methods proved that even more organisms inhabit this habitat as was suggested after the culture-based investigations. One million archaea per ml were detected in some samples. The detection of different organic acids partially in appreciable amounts is an indication for biological activity and could also give a hint to the energy and nutrient inputin this system.

A world review of fungi, yeasts, and slime molds in caves, 2013, Vanderwolf K. , Malloch D. , Mcalpine D. F. , Forbes G. J.

We provide a review of fungi, yeasts, and slime molds that have been found in natural solution caves and mines worldwide. Such habitats provide frequent roost sites for bats, and in eastern North America the environmental conditions that support white-nose syndrome, a lethal fungal disease currently devastating bat populations. A list of 1029 species of fungi, slime moulds, and yeasts in 518 genera have been documented from caves and mines worldwide in 225 articles. Ascomycota dominate the cave environment. Most research has been conducted in temperate climates, especially in Europe. A mean of 17.9±24.4SD fungal species are reported per study. Questions remain about the origin and ecological roles of fungi in caves, and which, if any, are cave-specialists. In the northern hemisphere, caves are generally characterized by relatively stable, low temperatures and a lack of organic substrates. This environment favors communities of oligotrophic, psychrotolerant fungi. Data that may help explain how cave environmental features and faunas inf luence the introduction and transmission of cave fungi remains scant.


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