Biodiversity and Ecology of Fauna in Percolating Water in Selected Slovenian and Romanian Caves

Oana T. Moldovan, Tanja Pipan, Sanda Iepure, Andrej Mihevc, Janez Mulec

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/ac.v36i3.183

Abstract

Biodiversity and ecology of fauna in percolating water from Slovenian and Romanian caves was studied. Research focused on unravelling the community structure of epikarst fauna, which is carried away by the trickles of percolating water from the epikarst and vadose zones. The major part of the fauna found in percolating water is represented by copepods. This fauna, originating in the epikarst, was analysed and by means of the systematic sampling and observation the same groups of animals were found in Slovenian and Romanian caves. Differences among caves and sampling points indicate that epikarst is a heterogenous habitat. Relationship between faunal richness and the physical characteristics of the water was found. Correlation between surface geomorphology and fauna in percolating water was statistically significant in the Postojna cave system.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/ac.v36i3.183

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