Volume 47, Issue 2 (2018)

Cover and Front Matter



New records of guano-associated minerals from caves in northwestern Borneo
Donald A. McFarlane and Joyce Lundberg

  • Guano decomposition minerals include a significant nano-particulate silica component
  • Berlinite is reported from a low temperature cave regime
  • Fluorapatite efflorescences highlight significant, mobile, fluorine content of ancient guano


Moonmilk as a human and veterinary medicine: evidence of past artisan mining in caves of the Austrian Alps
Christoph Spötl

  • Moonmilk was previously mined in at least 18 caves in the Eastern Alps
  • Most of these mines were small and secret operations
  • Oldest reports go back to 1650 for Austria and 1555 for Switzerland
  • Moonmilk was used as a human and veterinary medicine but also for a variety of other purposes
  • Locally, these so-called Nixbergwerke were in operation until the first half of the 20th century


Replication and reinsertion of stalagmites sampled for paleoclimatic purposes
Eleuterio Baeza, Rafael P. Lozano, and Carlos Rossi

  • Application of molding and casting laboratory techniques to create replicas of stalagmites
  • Technique is used to minimize the impact of stalagmites sampling for paleoclimatic purposes
  • The detailed technical description allows its application in stalagmites of any cave
  • The methodology to be used depends on the length of the stalagmite
  • The replicas are installed in the original places allowing the continuity of carbonatic growth


Unusual internal structure of cm-sized coldwater calcite: Weichselian spars in former pools of the Zinnbergschacht Cave (Franconian Alb/SE Germany)
Detlev K. Richter, Rolf D. Neuser, Martin Harder, Hardy Schabdach, and Denis Scholz

  • Cryogenic cm-sized calcite spars are introduced from Zinnbergschacht cave in the Franconian Alb/Germany
  • Oxygen isotope composition suggests cold-water conditions until the initiation of cryogenesis
  • Three hierarchies of crystal habit could be distinguished within the crystals by their internal characteristics (BSE)
  • EBSD mapping reveals a divergent orientation of the c-axes within the calcite megacrystals


The activity of saccharolytic enzymes in Collembola is associated with species affinity for caves
Andrea Parimuchová, Vladimír Šustr, Miloslav Devetter, Ondřej Vošta, Ionuţ Popa, and Ľubomír Kováč

  • Activity of tested enzymes was confirmed across all cave guilds of Collembola
  • Cellulolytic and chitinolytic activity showed a key role in species feeding habits
  • Ecological role of the species is not determined by its taxonomical category
  • Interspecific differences reflected the species-specific enzymatic equipment
  • Shift from cellulase activity in edaphic forms towards chitinases in cave forms


Co-authorship analysis of the speleothem proxy-climate community: working together to tackle the big problems
Micheline L. Campbell, John N. Callow, Gavan S. McGrath, and Hamish A. McGowan

  • Co-authorship has increased in speleothem-derived palaeo-climate proxy methodological sub-communities
  • There is increased connectivity between the different methodological sub-communities
  • These methodological sub-communities are well connected to members of the broader speleothem palaeo-climate proxy community which were not represented in the methods-based data set
  • When networks are highly connected, information, ideas and methods are shared more efficiently – this bodes well for the ability of the speleothem-derived palaeo-climate proxy community to tackle emerging complex problems using inter-disciplinary tools


Sulfur Cave (Romania), an extreme environment with microbial mats in a CO2-H2S/O2 gas chemocline dominated by mycobacteria
Serban M. Sarbu, Joost W. Aerts, Jean-François Flot, Rob J.M. Van Spanning, Calin Baciu, Artur Ionescu, Boglárka M. Kis, Reka Incze, Sándor Sikó-Barabási, Zoltan Para, Botond Hegyeli, Nicu-Viorel Atudorei, Casey Barr, Kenneth Nealson, Ferenc L. Forray, Cristian Lascu, Emily J. Fleming, Wilbert Bitter, and Radu Popa

  • Sulfur Cave (Romania) is fed by mofettic emissions of CO2, CH4, H2S, and water vapors
  • A redox gas chemocline (i.e. oxic/anoxic gas/gas interface) occurs in Sulfur Cave
  • Microbial biofilms colonize the cave walls at the gas/gas interface
  • Below the interface, rich deposits of twinned and elongated sulfur crystals are found
  • Sulfur Cave biofilms are important in the search for life in extreme environments


Antimicrobial activities of culturable microorganisms (actinomycetes and fungi) isolated from Chaabe Cave, Algeria
Larbi Belyagoubi, Nabila Belyagoubi-Benhammou, Valme Jurado, Joëlle Dupont, Sandrine Lacoste, Fatima Djebbah, Fatima Z. Ounadjela, Souad Benaissa, Salim Habi, Djamel E. Abdelouahid, and Cesareo Saiz-Jimenez

  • No publication has investigated the microbial diversity in cave ecosystems in Africa (or Algeria)
  • Main aim of this study was the identification of microorganisms with antimicrobial potential
  • The isolates were identified by molecular tools and tested for their bioactive compounds
  • The data indicated that the majority (72.86%) of the 70 isolates were active
  • The Chaabe Cave possesses a diversity of organisms that could lead to fresh sources of antibiotics


Drip water measurements from Carlsbad Cavern: implications towards paleoclimate records yielded from evaporative-zone stalagmites
Victor J. Polyak, Jessica B.T. Rasmussen, and Yemane Asmerom

  • Two-year drip water study of four drip sites in Carlsbad Cavern
  • Drip rates are tied to surface and cave climatology
  • Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba, U, and Th elemental concentrations of drip water are reported
  • U and Th isotopic ratios were measured
  • Drip rates differed from site to site in the same cave room


Bacterial diversity associated with mineral substrates and hot springs from caves and tunnels of the Naica Underground System (Chihuahua, Mexico)
Adriana Espino del Castillo, Hugo Beraldi-Campesi, Patricia Amador-Lemus, Hiram Isaac Beltrán, and Sylvie Le Borgne

  • Bacterial communities present on mineral substrates and in hot springs were studied
  • DGGE showed communities grouping according to substrate type and sample location
  • Bacterial isolates included Firmicutes, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria
  • Some strains could precipitate calcium carbonate and iron(III) in solid media
  • This study is the first reporting the isolation of microorganisms from Naica


Extremely high diversity of sulfate minerals in caves of the Irazú Volcano (Costa Rica) related to crater lake and fumarolic activity
Andrés Ulloa, Fernando Gázquez, Aurelio Sanz-Arranz, Jesús Medina, Fernando Rull, José María Calaforra, Guillermo E. Alvarado, María Martínez, Geoffroy Avard, J. Maarten De Moor, and Jo De Waele

  • Mineralogical and geochemical studies of speleothems in caves of Irazú volcano were performed
  • Water and gas geochemistry of volcanic lake, infiltration waters and fumaroles are presented
  • Forty-eight different mineral phases were identified, mostly hydrated sulfates
  • We report the first occurrence of 13 minerals in cave environments, and 5 more yet to be confirmed
  • These caves are considered world-type locality for investigations of sulfate minerals


A unique small-scale microclimatic gradient in a temperate karst harbours exceptionally high diversity of soil Collembola
Natália Raschmanová, Dana Miklisová, and Ľubomír Kováč

  • A karst doline with ice in a temperate zone harbours high diversity of Collembola
  • Cold zone of the doline provides climatic microrefugia for endemic and relict taxa
  • The doline serves as an ecotone between cave habitats and the surface environment
  • Cold microhabitats at the doline bottom are under the threat of climate warming