International Journal of Speleology (Edizione Italiana)

Online ISSN: 1827-806X
Print ISSN: 0392-6672
Publications
Luminescence of speleothem calcite under excitation by 365 nm (up) and 405 nm (down) lines of Hg-lamp. The narrow lines of luminescence in both spectra are produced by uranil-ion (UO 2 2+ ) while the broadband luminescence is due to organics. UV excitation of UO 2 2+ is far more efficient than this of organics so it predominates in the spectra at 365 nm excitation.
Activators of Luminescence of Speleothems
This work summarizes the main results of the operation of the International Program Luminescence of Cave Minerals of the commission on Physical Chemistry and Hydrogeology of Karst of UIS of UNESCO in the field of activators of speleothem luminescence. It discusses Activators of Luminescence in Speleothems as a source of major mistakes in the interpretation of luminescent paleoclimatic records. It demonstrates the existence of 6 types of luminescence of speleothems and cave minerals in dependence of the type of the luminescence center and its incorporation in the mineral. 24 different activators of photoluminescence of speleothem calcite and 11 of aragonite are studied. This paper demonstrates that it is impossible to produce reliable Paleotemperature or Past Precipitation records from luminescence of speleothems without establishing the organic origin of the entire luminescence of the particular sample.
 
This investigation reports on the comparison between ICP-MS U-Th and AMS 14C ages of Phreatic Overgrowths on Speleothems (POS) from two different caves on the island of Mallorca (Spain). These speleothem encrustations form at the water table of coastal caves in a low-amplitude tide-controlled microenvironment and are used to reconstruct past sea level changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate if this particular type of speleothem is datable using 14C method and to investigate possible problems connected with the incorporation of dead carbon inherited from the dissolution of 14C-free limestone. The results show that 14C ages are strongly site dependent and appear related to local residence time of water infiltration through the soil and epikarst. When short transit time and limited interaction with soil and bedrock, as in Cova de Cala Varques A, the so-called “reservoir” effect is negligible and 14C and U-Th ages corresponds within the error range. When the residence time is longer, as in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, 14C ages are steadily 2,300-2,400 years older than the U-Th data, as shown by the mean value (25%) of estimated percent dead carbon proportions and by higher and better correlated contents of major and trace elements in the vadose support of this speleothem encrustation. The potential use of this multi-method approach to paleoenvironmental studies is also suggested.
 
-Artificial caves in Oupliz-Tzike (page 235)  
The news concerning caves and karst reported in a Martel’s book on his voyage to Russia in 1903 are here listed and the cave maps are reproduced.
 
Martel’s own copy of the Hovey 1912 guidebook to Mammoth Cave has his routes marked faintly in pencil on the printed cave plans. These plans are reproduced here, with his routes indicated on them. He generally followed the four standard tourist routes which now included Kaemper’s 1908 discoveries to Violet City, but instead of visiting the Maelstrom he went to Hovey’s Cathedral and Gerta’s Grotto.
 
Description of a new stygobitic and troglomorphic species of Stenobermuda from a Blue Hole in the Bahamas, is an opportunity for speculation about hypogean colonization by this and by another cave-dwelling species from Bermuda, starting from populations of a widely distributed Western Atlantic shallow water marine species.
 
This paper is targeted to an analysis of features common to various fissure caves on Mt. Etna, Sicily. The Authors report the preliminary results of the exploration carried out in the 1981 eruptive fissure, the technical problems met during the exploration, the flow trends and the different courses of the molten material inside the fissure, the particular morphologies. A genetic model is proposed, different from those characterising the lava tube cave genesis, and links are suggested between the various fissures and the main tectonic stress systems operating on Mt. Etna, as well as the morpho-structural conditions of the volcanic edifice of Mt. Etna.
 
The great November 5, 1985 Potomac Valley flood was responsible for the release of 1800 m3 of alluvial and colluvial sediment from the walls of the entrance doline of Mystic Cave. Flood waters were sufficiently powerful to flush the entire mass of sediment not only into the cave but through the cave. Remnants of the sediment mass in the form of sand bars and a few cobbles wedged in speleothems were the only evidence in the cave that the huge mass of sediment had moved through. The sediment moved as a suspended mass in water moving at peak velocities of many meters per second. Present day cave sediments must be interpreted with the understanding that entire sediment fillings can be transported or rearranged by single extreme events.
 
Lava Cave linear Moroni-Ilahaia Airport-exploration incomplete.
Nymaoui Panga (13), a lava cave ncar Village of Fassi. Grande Comore-exploration incomplete.
-The COIllOroS Archipcligo.  
What are believed to have been the first speleological investigations in the Comoros Islands were carried out on Grande Comore island between 7 and 13 September 1997. A number of caves were located with the help of local informants and the more significant ones surveyed. Exploration of some caves was not able to be completed. The potential for further significant discoveries is believed to be high.
 
During the last decenniums ecological investigations of subterranean waters received an increasing interest from many sides. The cause is that the young field of limnological activities produced new problems for all scientists working on biotopes and biocenoses of groundwater organisms. For example, hydrogeology, speleology, stygochemistry and groundwater ecology have many common problems because groundwater fills a system of interstices and caverns of different volumes in various petrological materials. Moreover many common problems of groundwater ecology and groundwater hygienics arose from the fact that groundwater in layers of sand and gravel represents the characteristic biotope for groundwater organisms as well as being the most important reservoir of drinking water. Until now the knowledge of groundwater organisms as well as information about the effectivity of ecological factors in ground waters were still relatively limited. Nearly all disciplines of scientific research on subterranean waters, which in the future will form "groundwater ecology", are still in the initial stages of development. The term "groundwater ecology" as used here is to be considered as describing a program rather than an established science. A more comprehensive knowledge of the groundwater ecosystem may only be achieved by integrating the results of zoosystematics, biocoenology, physiology, hydrogeology, chemistry, hygienics, zoogeography and other aspects of the subject. All students working in these fields may be called "groundwater ecologists" because their studies form the elements of "groundwater ecology". Both krms, "groundwater ecology" as well as "groundwater ecologists" shall here be used in such a broad sense. In order to perceive distinct contours of "groundwater ecology" most stygolimnologists are obviously interested about results obtained by other
 
Study area and location of the estavelles Les Grandes-Combes and Puits de l'Aven.  
Cross section and map of Les Grandes-Combes estavelle  
CO 2 and 222 Rn temporal variations measured in the Les Grandes Combes estavelle. Rainfall at la Tour.
Carbon dioxide and 222Rn monitoring of the atmosphere of a Mediterranean sink hole - spring (SE France) during two hydrological cycles (from September 2004 to September 2006) showed seasonal variations with very high concentrations during summer (greater than 6% and 20 000 Bq/m3, respectively). Gas dynamics in caves often show seasonal variations.Meteorological parameters (barometric pressure and temperature mainly), cave geometry and fracture networks control exchanges between the cavity and outside atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and 222Rn may have different sources (atmosphere, soil, bedrock, deep gas diffusion, in situ oxidation of organic matter and, in some caves, the key role of swift underground streams).For a CO2 origin, 13C measurements on water and gas samples taken into the cavity suggest a superficial origin. Radon-222 appears to be locally produced and transported by biogenic CO2. Further investigations will be carried out in order to study the relationship of gas-level variations with barometric pressure variations and piezometric level fluctuations within the aquifer.
 
Locations maps for four caves, (A) Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, and Cesspool Cave, Virginia; (B) the Frasassi Caves, Italy, and (C) Movile Cave, Romania. 
Rarefaction curves for 16S rRNA sequence richness within clone libraries derived from cave microbial mats. OTUs were defined as groups sharing 99% sequence identities. The Lower Kane Cave clone library and OTUs were defined from RFLP patterns.
Proportion of bacterial groups within clone libraries obtained from cave microbial mats. Numbers after bars represent the number of OTUs (>1 ) per taxonomic group. The table lists the diversity indices for the sequences retrieved from the caves. Estimates of richness were calculated according to the abundance-based coverage estimate (ACE) and the classic form Chao1 estimator. The Shannon-Weiner Index accounts for species richness and evenness, and the Simpson's Index estimates the evenness of the population.
Neighbor-joining phylogeny of a representative sequence for each site from each OTU, including the closest isolate to each sequence determined by Greengenes. Sequences representing OTUs from this study are colored according to location. Major groups are indicated as follows: APB = Alphaproteobacteria; BPB = Betaproteobacteria; DPB = Deltaproteobacteria; EPB = Epsilonproteobacteria; GPB = Gammaproteobacteria; CFB = Bacteroidetes / Chlorobi group; Firmi = Firmicutes; Ac = Acidobacteria; Pl = Planctomycetes; Verr = Verrucomicrobia; Other = candidate division SR1 and Nitrospirae. The tree was rooted using the following outgroups, Deinococcus geothermalis (Y13038) and 
(Panel A) The relationship between primary and heterotrophic productivity and diversity, as operational taxonomic units (OTUs), of bacteria from four sulfidic cave microbial communities. (Panel B) The relationship between primary and heterotrophic productivity and the concentration of dissolved sulfide. In both panels, primary productivity was estimated from [ 14 C]-bicarbonate incorporation (solid diamonds) and heterotrophic productivity was estimated from [ 14 C]-leucine (solid squares) and [ 14 C]-acetate (solid triangles) incorporation. The line, and associated R 2 value, represents the correlation analysis for the relationship between primary productivity and either diversity (Panel A) or dissolved sulfide (Panel B).
Although ecosystems thriving in the absence of photosynthetic processes are no longer considered unique phenomena, we haveyet to understand how these ecosystems are energetically sustained via chemosynthesis. Ecosystem energetics were measuredin microbial mats from active sulfidic caves (Movile Cave, Romania; Frasassi Caves, Italy; Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, USA; andCesspool Cave, Virginia, USA) using radiotracer techniques. We also estimated bacterial diversity using 16S rRNA sequences torelate the productivity measurements to the composition of the microbial communities. All of the microbial communities investigatedwere dominated by chemolithoautotrophic productivity, with the highest rates from Movile Cave at 281 g C/m2/yr. Heterotrophicproductivities were at least one order of magnitude less than autotrophy from all of the caves. We generated 414 new 16S rRNAgene sequences that represented 173 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with 99% sequence similarity. Although 13% of theseOTUs were found in more than one cave, the compositions of each community were significantly different from each other (P≤0.001).Autotrophic productivity was positively correlated with overall species richness and with the number of bacterial OTUs affiliated withthe Epsilonproteobacteria, a group known for sulfur cycling and chemolithoautotrophy. Higher rates of autotrophy were also stronglypositively correlated to available metabolic energy sources, and specifically to dissolved sulfide concentrations. The relationship ofautotrophic productivity and heterotrophic cycling rates to bacterial species richness can significantly impact the diversity of highertrophic levels in chemolithoautotrophically-based cave ecosystems, with the systems possessing the highest productivity supportingabundant and diverse macro-invertebrate communities.
 
In February 1998 the 8h International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology was hosted by CEGEA (Cave Exploration Group of East Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya: it was attended by 16 scientists coming from 4 continents. Pre- and Post- Symposium excursions allowed the participants to have an overview on the most important and famous volcanic cave of that area.
 
Bacteriological investigations were carried out in the groundwater of sandy and gravelly deposits of the river Fulda valley in an area named "Johannesaue" near the town Fulda (Hesse, Fed. Rep. of Germany). In January 1979 water samples were collected from 16 pumping tubes distributed in organically polluted and unpolluted areas. For characterizing the bacterial populations, methods used for surface waters were modified and, as far as the author is aware, these methods were used for the first time for investigations pertaining subterranean waters. The bacteria were counted by means of epifluorescence microscopy after staining the bacteria with the fluorochrome acridine orange. This technique renders possible the simultaneous registration of shape and size of bacteria. Parameters characterizing the heterotrophic bacterial activity were measured with ¹⁴C-labelled glucose. The number of bacteria in the groundwater collected through pumping tubes, varied from 1.4 to 11.3 million bacteria per ml. The relative glucose uptake potential vr, which was measured at one substrate concentration (600 microg glucose .1⁻¹) where the maximum uptake velocity is almost reached, was 0.12 - 0.74 microg glucose 1⁻¹ .h⁻¹. The corresponding specific potential was 0.02-0.18 microg glucose h⁻¹ cell⁻¹. The results agreed with the values of maximum uptake velocity Vmax which was measured at the same time in some of the groundwater samples. The data give first information about distribution of the number of bacteria and of heterotrophic bacterial activity in the groundwater of the investigation area. Relationships could be shown between the bacteriological parameters on the one hand and the concentration of oxygen and the values of COD measured with KMnO4 on the other hand.
 
This paper reports the results of the study of a huge collapse that occurred in June 1986 within the area of the 3rd Berezniki potash mine (the Verkhnekamsky potash deposit, Ural). Processes that took place between the first appearance of a water inflow through the mine roof and the eventual collapse are reconstructed in detail. The origin and development of a cavity that induced the collapse are revealed. Two factors played a major role in the formation of the collapse: the presence of a tectonic fold/rupture zone with in both the salt sequence and the overburden (the zone of crush and enhanced permeability), and the ductile pillars mining system.
 
Location Map of the Olimpos National Park Area
Layers Used in SCI Mapping in the Olimpos National Park Area
Layers Used in Intrinsic Vulnerability Mapping in Olimpos National Park Area
Redistributed Intrinsic Vulnerability Values for the Olimpos National Park Area
Karst is a hydrogeological environment of importance not only for its water resources potential but also for its scenic and economic potential, thereby increasing the intensity of human impact. The uniqueness of karst in this regard stems from its high sensitivity and vulnerability to imposed pressures and its distinctive response to these pressures. Therefore, a clear definition and formulation of the concept of ‘intrinsic vulnerability’ is essential for the design of vulnerability and/or management criteria of the karstic system as a resource. In this regard, the recharge rate, the amount of water passing through the unsaturated zone into the aquifer, is among the principal attributes of the intrinsic vulnerability. Where data and measurements are available for even large areas, recharge can be evaluated quantitatively on the basis of field measurements and the water balance equation. However, particularly for countries suffering from lack of essential data for a quantitative evaluation of the net recharge rate, the recharge can be estimated using some derived parameters such as the so called ‘Surface Cover Infiltration Index’ proposed in this paper. The DRASTIC method which is modified by using SCI, soil thickness and precipitation, allows the unique hydrological behavior of karst to be considered by redistributing of the intrinsic vulnerability values on the basis of hydrologic connections between neighboring cells. Following a detailed description of the SCI index and the modification of DRASTIC method for karst aquifers, a case study carried out to demonstrate this method is presented in this paper whose objective is to discuss and thus elaborate the suggested methodology. The Olimpos National Park area was selected because the great variation in lithology, landuse and topography. It was found that the relative vulnerability may vary particularly in the neighborhood of the highly vulnerable cells covered by carbonate rocks. The methodology was applied using ARC-GIS software. All spatial features used in computations were classified by the appropriate functions built into the software.
 
The Tongass National Forest is known for its world-class karst features and contains the largest concentration of dissolutional cavesin Alaska. Within these karst systems exist unusual and possibly unique formations exhibiting possible biological origin or influence.Cataract Cave is an example of such a system. This cave hosts a unique depositional setting in which so-called “cottonballs”line two permanent pools. The cottonballs are a calcitic deposit heavily entwined within a mass of microbial filaments. They arejuxtaposed with extensive subaerial calcitic moonmilk wall deposit of a more conventional nature but of an extraordinary thicknessand abundance.Both the cottonballs and moonmilk are composed of microcrystalline aggregates (0.20 wt.%) compared to the cottonballs (0.12 wt.%).However, the cottonballs are dominated by monocrystalline needles, whereas the moonmilk is mainly composed of polycrystallineneedles. The microbial environments of both displayed similar total microbial cell counts; however, culturable microbial counts variedbetween the deposits and among the various media. For both, in situ cultures and isolates inoculated in a calcium salt mediumproduced calcium carbonate mineralization within biofilms. Geochemical variations existed between the deposits. Moonmilk displayeda slightly higher abundance of organic carbon (0.20 wt%) compared to the cottonballs (0.12 wt%). Stable isotopic analysis revealedthat the moonmilk (δ13C = -1.6‰) was isotopically heavier compared to the cottonballs (δ13C = -8.1‰) but both are lighter than thehost rock (δ13C = +1.1‰). However, the organic carbon δ13C values of both deposits were similar (δ13C = -27.4 and –26.7‰) andisotopically lighter compared to other overlying surface organic carbon sources.Due to the similarities between the deposits, we infer that both the cottonballs and moonmilk are subject to a set of related processesthat could collectively be accommodated by the term “moonmilk”. Thus, the cottonball pool formation can be characterized as atype of subaqueous moonmilk. The differences observed between the moonmilk and cottonballs may be largely attributable to thechanges in the depositional environment, namely in air or water.
 
The vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, environment and habitats of caves and disused mines in Nova Scotia and southern NewBrunswick are provisionally catalogued and described, based on field collections made over many years. The area was glaciatedand the subterranean fauna consists of non-troglobites all of which have arrived and colonised the caves during or following finalrecession of the Pleistocene glaciers. The statistical composition of the fauna at the higher taxonomic level is similar to that inOntario, but is less species rich and there are some notable ecological and other differences. Porcupine dung accumulations are animportant habitat in the region, constituting a cold-temperate analogue of the diverse guano habitats of southern and tropical caves.Parietal assemblages are, as in other cold temperate regions, an important component of the invertebrate fauna but here includespecies derived directly from dung communities: another parallel with tropical guano caves. An unanticipated finding is the numberof non-indigenous species now utilising local caves. These appear to have colonised unfilled ecological niches, suggesting thatpost-glacial recolonisation of the subterranean habitat in Nova Scotia has been relatively delayed. Finally the general and regionalsignificance of the subterranean fauna is briefly discussed.
 
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.
 
Luminescence of speleothem calcite under excitation by 365 nm (up) and 405 nm (down) lines of Hg-lamp. The narrow lines of luminescence in both spectra are produced by uranil-ion (UO 2 2+ ) while the broadband luminescence is due to organics. UV excitation of UO 2 2+ is far more efficient than this of organics so it predominates in the spectra at 365 nm excitation. 
Activators of Luminescence of Speleothems 
This work summarizes the main results of the operation of the International Program “Luminescence of Cave Minerals” of the commission on Physical Chemistry and Hydrogeology of Karst of UIS of UNESCO in the field of activators of speleothem luminescence. It discusses Activators of Luminescence in Speleothems as a source of major mistakes in the interpretation of luminescent paleoclimatic records. It demonstrates the existence of 6 types of luminescence of speleothems and cave minerals in dependence of the type of the luminescence center and its incorporation in the mineral. 24 different activators of photoluminescence of speleothem calcite and 11 of aragonite are studied. This paper demonstrates that it is impossible to produce reliable Paleotemperature or Past Precipitation records from luminescence of speleothems without establishing the organic origin of the entire luminescence of the particular sample.
 
Bubble trails are subaqueous features in carbonate caves, which are made by the corrosion of ascending carbon dioxide bubbles.Folia are calcite deposits resembling inverted rimstone dams in saturated pools. Based on morphological studies in Adaouste Cave(Provence, France) and on studies elsewhere in the world, we propose a new genetic model for folia, close to the model of Green(1991). The association of bubble trails and folia, occurring on overhanging walls, is interpreted to be an indicator of hypogenicdegassing occurring just below the water table. The association
 
Iron Pool in Left Hand Tunnel, Carlsbad Cavern, Carlsbad, NM. Notice the yellow color of iron pool. 
Percent survival, based on surface area growth, of cave and surface isolates on LB after exposure to two levels of UVR. Note that after UVR
Percent survival, based on colony forming unit measurements, of cave and surface isolates on LB and R2A after two levels of UVR. These
Pigmentation levels of cave and rurface isolates. Pigmentation level was based on colony coloration when grown on R2A. Low pigmentation meant no pigment was noticeable. Medium (mid) pigmentation meant that colonies had a white or tan opaqueness, while high pigmentation meant that colonies had bright, solid colors, such as purple, pink, yellow, or white.
Survival rates following various doses of UVC radiation. Data represent the mean of at least five experiments ±SE.
We hypothesize that a reduced capacity to withstand or repair cellular damage from ultraviolet radiation may be present in caveadaptedmicroorganisms that never experience such conditions. However, a small number of previous studies have shown that somesubsurface bacteria do not show greater sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) than surface bacteria. To estimate UVR sensitivity incave bacteria, bacterial isolates were collected from Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, U.S.A., and percent survival following exposure tovarious UVC and UVA radiation doses was determined. Cave bacteria from Left Hand Tunnel in Carlsbad Cavern and surface bacteriafrom soil and rocks above Carlsbad Cavern were grown on low and high nutrient media then exposed to 0, 10,000 and 20,000 μWs/cm2 of UVR in a laboratory biological safety cabinet. Incubations were conducted at 15°C or 37ºC, in accordance with the isolates’natural temperature environments. In addition, DNA repair capacity was estimated by exposing the organisms to various doses of UVCradiation and measuring survivability. Gram status and pigmentation also were determined. Results showed that most of the cave isolateswere more sensitive to UVR than the surface isolates, but survivability data suggest that cave microbes retain some of their capacity torepair UV-induced DNA damage. Selection appears to have favored bacteria that can survive in this low nutrient environment, whilenot maintaining (or paying the cost of maintaining) unneeded traits such as UVR resistance. Cave bacteria appear to have maintainedDNA repair capacity, most likely because of the need to repair damage to their DNA from other environmental stressors found in caves.
 
Location, cross sections and plan of Modrič Cave with dripwater and modern calcite sampling site (arrow), and temperature measurement sites (dots 1-8)
δ 13 C and δ 18 O composition of modern speleothem carbonate
δ 2 H-δ 18 O values of the precipitation and Modrič Cave dripwater in relation to the global meteoric water line (GMWL, solid line) and local meteoric water line (LMWL, dashed line) (Vreča et al., 2006). The Mediterranean meteoric water line (MMWL, dotted line) (McGarry et al., 2004) is shown for comparison.
Modrič Cave is a shallow horizontal cave situated in the middle of the eastern Adriatic coast (Croatia). The cave entrance is located 120 m from the coast at an altitude of 32 m above sea level, and due to its position on the SW slope of the Dinaridic mountain range, a Mediterranean climatic influence is dominant. Due to the stable environmental conditions [(15.6 ± 0.1) °C] Modrič Cave was recognized as a potential site for detailed palaeoclimatic studies. Isotope analyses of modern carbonate speleothems, rain and dripwater were conducted in order to evaluate the isotopic equilibrium conditions. The δ18O composition of rain and cave seepage waters shows an absence of kinetic isotopic fractionation within the epikarst zone, whereas the relation between δ13C and δ18O in modern carbonate samples and dripwater suggests the isotopic equilibrium conditions during the carbonate deposition. These results contribute to a better understanding of the present-day isotopic composition and provide a basis for interpretation of speleothem-derived palaeoclimatic records.
 
At least potentially karstifiable rocks cover much of the surface of Egypt and northern Libya. Study of caves and other karstic features of this region has been hampered by lack of roads, rapid disintegration of the surface of friable, poorly consolidated limestone, wind-blown sand and other factors. Interbedding with marly aquicludes hampers speleogenesis locally. Calcareous and evaporite karsts are present, however, and their waters are important albeit generally limited resources. Large quantities of fresh water are lost through submarine springs downslope from Libya’s Gebel al Akhdar range; the caves and karst of that range may be among the world’s greatest. A recent attempted compendium of caves and karsts of Egypt and Libya contains several important errors; the supposed 5+ km Ain Zayanah Cave does not exist and the Zayanah System includes several smaller caves. The Bir al Ghanam gypsum karst of northwest Libya, however, has caves up to 3.5 km long. In Egypt, the Mokattam, South Galala, Ma’aza, Siwa and Western Desert karsts and the “White Desert” chalk karst of Farafra Depression are especially important. Qattara and nearby depressions may be karstic rather than structural in origin. Unique Wadi Sannur Cave is the world’s largest gour and a potential World Heritage site. Little knownsandstone karsts or pseudokarsts in southwestern Egypt may contain analogues of features recently identified on Mars. The well-publicised Uweinat caves of northwestern Sudan are talus caves.
 
Numerous Tertiary to recent volcanoes are located in East Africa. Thus, much of the region is made up volcanic rock, which hosts the largest and greatest variety of East Africas caves. Exploration of volcanic caves has preoccupied members of Cave Exploration Group of East Africa (CEGEA) for the past 30 years. The various publications edited by CEGEA are in this respect a treasure troves of speleological information. In the present paper an overview on the most important volcanic caves and areas are shortly reported.
 
This paper looks at the history of the Cave Exploration Group of East Africa with special reference to the exploration of volcanic caves. It demonstrates that the group has concentrated on two main areas, the Chyulu HiIls and Mt. Suswa, although other areas have also been studied. The Cave Exploration Group of East Africa has had to cope with various problems. The most important of which are related to the socio-economic conditions of a developing country. These problems have not prevented the group from making a valuable contribution to vulcanospeleology.
 
The authors present more data about the speleological aspect of the Sterkfontein Cave, famous for its bone breccia which yielded abundant hominid remains. They also briefly review the previous voluminous studies by numerous authors, which are mainly dealing with the paleontology, stratigraphy and sedimentology of the breccia. The present investigations were oriented to hitherto poorly investigated aspects such as detail mapping of the cave, its country rock stratigraphy and recording the underground extension of the basal part of the breccia body. The cave consists of a complex network of phreatic channels, developed along joints in Neoarchaean cherty dolostone over a restricted surface of 250x250m. The combined length of all passages within this area amounts to 5,23km. The system extends over a height of about 50m and the dry part of it is limited downwards by the water-table appearing as numerous static pools. The fossiliferous breccia (= Sterkfontein Formation) forms an irregular lenticular mass 75x25m horizontally by 40m vertically, which is included within the passage network. It crops out at surface and in the cave, and resulted from the filling of a collapse chamber, which was de-roofed by erosion. The present investigation confirmed that the cave and the Sterkfontein Formation are part of a single speleogenetic event. The breccia resulted from cavity filling by sediments introduced from a pit entrance, whereas many of the phreatic passages around it, which are developed at the same elevation, were only partly filled or remained entirely open up to present. This filling took place mainly in a vadose environment. Taking into account the age of the Sterkfontein Formation (>3,3-1,5 My, from base to top), the geomorphic evolution of the landscape and the context of other caves in the region, it seems that the cave might have started to form 5 My ago. It has been continuously developing up to present as a result of a slow drop of the water-table.
 
Oldoinyo Lengai is the world’s only active carbonatite volcano, situated in northern Tanzania within the Eastern Rift Valley, al 2.751 degrees S, 35.902 degrees E. It forms an isolated symmetrical cone at the southern end of Lake Natron, with a summit elevation of 2,890 m (9,480 ft). Periodic eruptions of ash and lava have been recorded since about 1880, and with increasing precision during this century since 1904. In 1990 a routine expedition to monitor activity levels at the summit led to the discovery of a remarkable cave located in the crater floor, filled with numerous long delicate pale yellow stalactites and stalagmites of unknown composition. Within 100 m there was considerable volcanic activity taking place, and black lava was spraying from a small cone at a height of some 10 m above the crater floor. Due to the regular emission of lava at the summit of Lengai it is unlikely that the cave could have survived intact for more than a few months at most. High internal temperatures and lack of safe access precluded any attempt at entry and sampling of the very unusual and attractive formations within the cave, but a good photographic record was obtained.
 
A new species of Agraphorura (Collembola: Poduromorpha: Onychiuridae) from caves in the Nort-West of Venezuela is described. A.calvoi n. sp. can be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: antennal organ III with four papillae, 32/133/33343 dorsal pseudocellar formula, 3/000/0112 ventral pseudocellar, subcoxae each with two pseudocelli, postantennalorgan with 7-9 vesicles, unguiculus with a basal lamella, tibiotarsi I-III with 19,19,18 setae (distal whorl of 9 setae). A table with thedifferential characters, as well as an identifi cation key for all of the known species of Agraphorura are provided.
 
Temporal variation of precipitation, exploitation and hydrochloride contents at P165 well (Havana South basin).
Mixture percent and chemical corrosion magnitude at the Havana southern karstic plain.
Relation among the basical chemical corrosion removed from selected places at the Pinar del Río, Habana and Matanzas Provinces with a mixture percent on the order of 0.04-0.05 %.
In the paper some results of studies on the karstic aquifers of the western plain of Cuba are presented and discussed. The intensive exploitation of these aquifers for agriculture use and drinking water supply induces an increase of marine water intrusion, water salinisation and a progressive increase of chemical corrosion with a greater dissolution of carbonates. During the period of study (1983-1998) a trend in the deterioration of water quality was observed by means of a chronological series of hydrochloride content.
 
The karst regions are found in the medium altitude mountains of Hungary. Their land use types are natural and sustainable forestry, grazing and vineyards. In international comparison, Hungary belongs to those countries of Europe where arable land is abundant, therefore, in the future its extension has to be reduced. That means agricultural activity has to be restricted on the sensitive karst surfaces. This paper presents ways of sustainable forestry and other land use types for three karst regions of Hungary.
 
The recent extension of intensive agriculture on the karst plateaus has caused different types of impact: soil management, generalised and/or localised pollution. Yet paradoxically rural depopulation can also have negative impacts, which largely depend on the characteristics and the hydrological function of the different karst environments. They are often negative, particularly as far as the water quality is concerned, which is why protection measures are undertaken, either in a defined area for a catchment, or in the framework of regional parks. But this is not always the case, so it is appropriate to analyse the problem of karst pollution as a whole, and to propose to experiment new solutions to mitigate the impacts.
 
The exposed carbonate rocks aged from Sinian to Mid-Triassic Periods cover an area of 500,000 Km2 in south-west China. In karst areas with spectacular landscapes characterized by magnificent tower karst and conical karst, rare surface drainage systems and prevalent subsurface drainage systems, the environment is ecologically very fragile. The rapid increase of population, over deforested and cultivated lands, worsted the ecological system, causing a higher frequency of draught, flood and various disasters, backward economic development, low living standard of the people. In order to improve the sustainability of the agriculture the experience shows that the following operations should be adopted: (1) serious control of the population increase, emigration, extra labours and improvement of the environmental education of the local inhabitants; (2) terracing of the slopes (shi jala di) as to improve the cultivated land quality, to preserve the water, soil and fertiliser and ameliorate the effective utilisation of the land; (3) development of new rural energies such as the solar energy and gas energy, and expansion of the saving-fuel stoves to reduce the load of bio-energy; (4) reforestation and bounding the hills and mountains; the ecological, economic and fuel forests model has been developed in fengcong-depression areas: the tree species with high ecological, economical and energetic characteristics, should be chosen, such as the bamboo, wild grapes, Sapium rotundifolium etc.; (5) better utilisation of the ram water and karst water resource to solve the water supply problems. The karst landscape is well developed in the 500,000 km2 carbonate terrain in Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, west Hunan and south Sichuan provinces in south-west China, where 100 million habitants live (Song, 1997). The large population and its high density, serious deforestation, over-cultivation and fragile ecological system make the environmental problems very serious and about 30,000,000 people are now very poor. This paper describes the measures to improve the ecological and sustainable development of the agriculture in the karst areas.
 
Karst landforms are one of the most outstanding characteristics of the Serra de Tramuntana range on the island of Mallorca, especially regarding traditional farming and the landscape wilderness. Good examples of polje-like depressions, dolines, karstic gorges and karrenfields are widely distributed over the mountain range. Owing to karrenfields occupying a large surface area in the Serra to the exclusion of arable land, the traditional activity based on the repetitive burning of the Ampelodesmos mauritanica brushwoods for cattle-raising promotes hastening deforestation and soil removal.
 
Much of the development and degradation of karst lands in Australia has occurred in the last two centuries since European settlement. Recent prolonged El Nino events add further climatic uncertainty and place real constraints on sustainable agriculture. The lower southeast of South Australia is perhaps the one area in Australia where karst, and particularly karst hydrology, impinge on the daily lives of the community in that pollution and overexploitation of the aquifer are readily apparent to the local population. Effluent from intensive dairy farms, piggeries and cheese factories enters the karst and has caused concern over pollution of water supplies. Human impacts on the Mole Creek karst of Tasmania have been well documented. The principal recent impacts on the karst arc associated with land clearance for farmland, forest cutting for timber, road building, refuse disposal and associated hydrological change. There is similar evidence of agricultural impacts un karst in central New South Wales, with clear evidence of vegetation clearance and soil stripping on the limestones at Wellington, Orange and Molong.
 
Moravian Karst is a narrow strip of limestone with long history of settlement, agricultural use and man impact to karst. It is naturally divided into smaller units - karst plateaus - separated by deep valleys (glens). Each plateau has different proportion of land use, i.e. the percentage of agricultural land, forests, etc. The agricultural land constitutes now up to 70% in the north and max. 30% in the centre and south of the total area of plateaus. Intensive agricultural use of the arable land since 60ties of this Century caused great impact to quality of soils and groundwater by overdoses of fertilisers and other artificial chemical substances. Detailed research in 1980 to 1997 resulted in a plan of care based on the zonation of land. There were defined zones with different degree of restriction of land use, agricultural activities and application of fertilisers and biocides. Arable lands has been gradually changed to meadows and pastures by introduction of grass since 1987 in the most strictly protected zone to protect especially subsurface karst forms.
 
The dry climate of Israel and the karstic nature of its rocks have always imposed human innovation for utilisation of water resources and agriculture. Large perennial karst springs are available only in the lowlands, but sophisticated water supply systems were built both in the lowland and highland regions. Marl layers interbedded within carbonates give rise to local perched springs and allow terrace construction. Deforestation has taken place for some 4000 years, causing intense soil erosion, but terraces have reduced this impact.
 
Italy is made up for about 1/5 of its surface by soluble rocks, which represent the arena of karst environments. The karst morpho-units, some hundreds, are mainly distributed inside the alpine structure of the Mediterranean mountains. A very large number of rock formations are present, different in facies, lithology, age, etc. Among these, carbonate rocks prevail, followed by gypsum and salt. Most of the carbonate rocks are limestones sedimented in a platform environment and they show a wide range of porosity, frequency of fractures and bedding planes. The climatic processes, the expression of some different sub-types of Mediterranean climate (from the typical Mediterranean to sub-atlantic and sub-continental varieties), are the main control of the recent morphodynamics inside the karst morpho-units. In some areas the variability of precipitation is very high. The soil-water deficit during summer, together with the steep slopes, makes these environments highly vulnerable to human impact, especially in relation to soil use for grazing and agriculture. The soils, with enriched mineral contents from the fall of loess-like sediments or of volcanic ashes, were surely very appealing to the first farmers.
 
After the brief presentation of the major karstic areas in Morocco, the article focused essentially on the Atlas mountains to investigate the impact of the agriculture on the natural systems equilibrium. Socio-economic changes (demographic pressure, escalation of the landscape use, utilisation of new techniques in water harvesting, etc...) have sometimes fathered mechanisms of degradation. Many indicators seem to reflect these mechanisms. The pedologic indicators, soil erosion, the hydrologic and geomorphic indicators, are apprehended to demonstrate existent correlation between different variables and the often negative impacts of land over-use in the karstic domain of the Middle Atlas.
 
Partial view of the Endriagos chamber (Author: M. GonzálezRíos).
Control station in Endriagos chamber for monitoring drip rate and electr�cal conduct���t� of water.
Hydrological classification of the infiltration process into the Endriagos chamber (Cueva del Water). The arrows represent the change from a monthly regime of non-seasonal to seasonal dripping. (modified from Smart and Friedrich, 1987) International Journal of Speleology, 37 (1), 41-52. Bologna (Italy). January 2008
Example of increase in dripping due to the piston effect in the Endriagos chamber for 2001/2002. (td: duration of the water deficit in the terrain; t1; filling time of water in the system of microfissure and pores; t2: duration of the piston effect and t3: "emptying" time of the �adose zone).
Karst caves exhibit a wide range of hydrological and hydrochemical responses to infiltration events, due to their physical heterogeneity space and dynamic variability over time, and due to non-Gaussian inputs (rain) and outputs (discharge). This paper reviews different approaches of studying seepage water in caves, in order to understand the infiltration regimen in the non-saturated zone of karst areas. As an illustration, we describe a four-year study of the active carbonate-water system the Cueva del Agua (Granada, southern Spain) that automatically logs the discharge from a stalactite. The results indicate that: (1) the drip water regime is not seasonal, but is linked instead to slow infiltration. Sudden changes in drip water regime occur due to infiltration along preferential flow paths and the draining of water of supersaturated water from reserves in the microfissure and pore system; (2) the drip rate is not linear over time. When dripping is constant, barometric oscillation of the air is the principal factor causing a chaotic a drip flow regime. Over a short period of two to three days, a mean variation in air pressure inside the cave of 10 (±3.7) mbar causes a oscillation the drip rate of 0.5 (±0.2) mm/h. The increase air translates into an the relative thickness of the gaseous phase of the drip water at the cost of the aqueous phase, so leading to a reduction the drip rate from the stalactite.
 
Situation and geological sketch of the Nerja Cave (modified from Carrasco et al., 1995). A: 1, metapelites; 2, carbonates; 3,  
Monthly CO 2 concentrations averaged for last five years (2001-2005), outside the Nerja Cave (black line) and inside it, in H-B (in white) and H-C (in grey).  
Annual visitor number, CO 2 concentration inside the cave (H-B), external and internal (H-B) air temperature during the year 2002, and monthly temperature differences averaged for last five years (2001-2005).  
From 2001 to 2005 the CO2 concentration of the air in the interior and exterior of the Nerja Cave was studied and its relation with the air temperature and visitor number. The average annual CO2 concentration outside of the cave is 320 ppmv, whilst inside, the mean concentration increases to 525 ppmv during autumn and winter, and in the order of 750 ppmv during spring and summer. The temporal variation of CO2 content in the air of the cave is strongly influenced by its degree of natural ventilation which is, in turn, determined by the difference between external and internal air temperatures. During autumn, winter and spring, a positive correlation between the CO2 content of the air inside the cave and the temperature difference between the external and internal air was observed, such that when this difference increased, there was a higher level of CO2 within the cave. Then, the ventilation is high and CO2 levels are mainly of human origin. During summer, there was a negative correlation between CO2 and the temperature difference between the air outside and that inside the cave: when the temperature difference increases, the CO2 content within the cave is lower. At this time of the year, the renovation of the air is much slower due to the lower ventilation. A positive correlation between CO2 concentration of the air in the cave and the visitor number can only be observed during August, the month that receives the most visits throughout the year averaging 100,000.
 
Location of Tsi-it-toh-Choh and Bear Cave ranges. Northern Yukon, Canada 
Landscape near Caverne'85, (the arrow shows the location of Caverne'85). Northern Yukon Territory, Canada. 
A principal component analysis of the diatom species collected from ice plugs, ice stalagmites, cryogenic calcite powders and grus. The results of the PCA analysis revealed that component 1 and component 2 represents 38% and 29% of the variability of the data respectively. Ice plug GC & CdM = ice plug in Grande Caverne and Caverne des Meandres; Ice plug C'85 = ice plug in Caverne'85; Stalag. = stalagmites collected in Grande Caverne and Caverne'85; CCC = cryogenic cave calcite powders and ice floor diatoms collected in Caverne'85 and Grande Caverne. 
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, various media in karst environments in the Northern Yukon Territory were examined for their diatom content. Cryogenic cave calcite powders, grus and various ice formations (ice plugs, ice stalagmites and floor ice) were collected from three freezing caves and one slope cave to make an inventory of the diatom content, and to explain the spatial distribution of the diatoms within the caves. The results show that approximately 20% of diatoms in the caves originate from external biotopes and habitats (e.g., river, lake, stream), with the remaining 80% of local origin (i.e., from subaerial habitats near cave entrances). The results also indicate that the greater abundance of diatoms is found in the larger caves. This is explained by the fact that the air circulation dynamics are much more important in caves that have a larger entrance. Also grus, ice plugs and ice stalagmites have the lowest diatom diversity, but greater relative abundance, indicative of growth in specific habitats or under specific conditions. Overall, these results are a contribution to the study of particles transport in ice caves.
 
An exhaustive report on the activity of Martel in Belgium is here given. In particular some relevant passages of Martel’s letters and papers are also included.
 
Map of the Historic tour with sample number and location. (Palmer, 1981)
Map of the Half-Day and Frozen Niagara tour with sample number and location. (Palmer, 1981)
A taxonomic survey of the lamp flora from electrically lit passages in Mammoth Cave, Mammoth Cave National Park, identified 28 species. Overall, cyanobacteria were dominant represented by 14 species (50% of the total), green algae had eight species (29%), and six diatoms species (21%) were present. There was not a correlation between species diversity and temperature, but there is a general trend of increasing diversity with warmer temperatures. There were two algal or cyanobacterial species identified in this study that overlapped with previous studies. There is a lack of continuity between previous studies only having one species identified in more than one study. This suggests a high algal turnover and possible colonization rates.
 
Abstract 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 densites 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. Zusammenfassung Ein Mittelgebirgsbach (Mettma) erfährt eine punktförmige, allochthone Nährstoff- und Energiezufuhr durch häusliche und Brauereiabwässer. Der Untersuchungszeitraum erstreckte sich vom Mai 1970 bis Februar 1971. Die Abwassereinleitung führte zunächst zu einer generellen Verarmung und Umstrukturierung der Biozönose des hyporheischen Interstitials. Im Interstitial trat ein starkes O2-Defizit unmittelbar nach der Abwassereinleitung auf. Im Winter wies das hyporheische Interstitial höhere Temperaturen auf als die fliessende Welle. Bei allochthoner Nährstoffzufuhr konnte eine direkte Proportionalität zwischen dem Anteil an organischer Substanz und der Besiedlungsdichte nicht festgestellt werden. Die Besiedlungsdichte schwankt zwischen 0und 1,2X105 Organismen pro 0,1 m3 Sediment. Nach 4,1 km zeigte die Biozönose in der tierischen Besiedlung eine ähnliche Zusammensetzung wie an der Bezugsprobenstelle P0. Nach 7,35 km Fließstrecke ist die Besiedlungsdichte geringfügig niedriger als an der Bezugsprobenstelle P0.
 
29 year old rock paintings in the Alpine karren field of Innerbergli (Siebenhengste, Switzerland) prevented the underlying rock from corrosion, while the surface nearby was corroded. Measurement of the steps indicates an average recent corrosion rate of 0.014 (±0.007) mm/a. This denudation rate is very similar to those observed in other comparable places and with other means.
 
The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the “Galleria delle Stalattiti”, the zone under paleoclimate studies,a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.
 
The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the “Galleria delle Stalattiti”, the zone under paleoclimate studies,a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.
 
Evidences of microbial colonizations were observed in Altamira Cave, Spain. These consisted of distinct small coloured colonies, bothon walls and ceiling, mainly located in the area near the cave entrance, which progressed until reaching the Polychromes Hall. Thecolonizations were characterized by a high morphological and microstructural variability and related to biomineralization processes.Two main types of CaCO3 deposits were related to the colonies: rosette- or nest-like aggregates of rhombohedral calcite crystals, andspheroid to hemispheroid CaCO3 elements. Colonies distribution seems to be controlled by microenvironmental conditions inside thecavity. The areas of the cave showing higher temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 concentration fluctuations presented a minorbiomineralization capability.
 
Photograph of one of the five plots (1.21 m 2 ) used in the manipulative study. The treatments within the sub-plots (0.25 m 2 ) are labeled on the photograph -Control (C), Lint (L), Feces (F), and Lint + Feces (LF). The pink flagging tapes mark the corners of the 0.25 m 2 sub-plots. The black discs visible in each sub-plot are small  
A) Average annual lint input rates (mg C m -2 yr -1 ) and B) hair (mg C m -2 yr -1 ) by site and region for 1998-2002 (n=5 lint traps per site per year). Traps (Petri dishes) were in the field from 12-14 months. The retrieval dates of the traps were December 1999, January 2001, and January 2002. C) Average Bacterial biomass (mg C g -1 dry sediment) estimates by site and region from sediments collected within 1 meter of the lint traps at the time of retrieval. Values for lint, hair, and bacteria under the sites represent the three year averages with standard errors in parentheses.  
Bacterial densities (g C g -1 dry sediment) collected from Control (C), Lint (L), Feces (F), and Lint + Feces (LF) plots in June 2001, February 2002, and July 2002. Treatments were applied in January 2001 and March of 2002. Different letters represent significant differences among treatments within a sampling date at the p < 0.05 level.  
Observed subsample species richness (Sobs ) and operational taxonomic unit (OTU) richness (ICE and Chao2) of communities from amended WICA sediments. 1a, b are profiles generated with restriction enzymes, Msp I and Rsa I respectively. ICE  
Pairwise-compositional similarities using an abundance-based Jaccard estimator of communities from amended WICA sediments.  
Wind Cave (WICA) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, like many mostly dry caves in temperate regions is an energy-starved system.The biotic communities that reside in these systems are low in diversity and simple in structure, and sensitive to changes in externalinputs of organic matter. Caves open to tourist traffic offer an opportunity to study the impacts of organic matter amendments in theform of human and rodent hair and dander, clothing lint, material from rodent activity (nesting materials and feces), and algal growthin and around artificial lighting. This study reports on the impacts of carbon amendments from humans and rodents on the bacterialand archaeal communities within the sediments of WICA from annual surveys and from a manipulative study that added lint (‘L’;cellulose plus rodent dander and rodent hair), rodent feces (‘F’), and a combination of both (‘LF’). The survey confirmed that bacterialbiomass was higher in regions of the cave with the highest rates of lint (hair and natural clothing fibers) input. The manipulative studyfound that organic amendments in the forms of lint (L) and rodent feces (F) altered the WICA bacterial community structure in bothabundance and diversity, with the combined lint and feces (LF) amendment having the most significant response. The high similarityof the LF and L communities suggests that the cave bacterial community is more carbon than nitrogen limited. The implication ofcave development to management practices is immediate and practical. Even small amounts of lint and organic matter foreign tocave bacteria significantly compromise the integrity of the endemic community resulting in the replacement of undescribed speciesby assemblages with at best, unknown impacts to natural cave features.
 
Underground natural sources of visible light are considered. The main light producer is Cerenkov radiation emitted in air, water and rock by cosmic ray muons, that depends, in a complex way, on shape of mountain and of caves. In general the illumination increases linearly with the cavity dimensions. Other light sources are from secondary processes generated by radioactive decays in rock from minerals luminescence. The natural light fluxes in caves are in general easy to detect but are not used from underground life.
 
Top-cited authors
Alexander B. Klimchouk
  • National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Paolo Forti
  • University of Bologna
José María Calaforra
  • Universidad de Almería
Chris Smart
  • The University of Western Ontario
Nico Goldscheider
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology