Volume 50, Issue 2 (2021)



Ecophysiological responses of two closely related epigean and hypogean Niphargus species to hypoxia and increased temperature: Do they differ?
Tatjana Simčič and Boris Sket

  • Oxygen consumption of both Niphargus species increased during post-hypoxic recovery
  • Oxygen consumption of hypogen species gradually decreased after reaching maximum
  • Increased temperature modified the metabolic responses to hypoxia
  • Responses differed between closely related epigean and hypogean Niphargus species


Bacteria, guano and soot: Source assessment of organic matter preserved in black laminae in stalagmites from caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca (N Spain)
Joeri Kaal, Virginia Martínez-Pillado, Antonio Martínez Cortizas, Jorge Sanjurjo Sánchez, Arantza Aranburu, Juan-Luis Arsuaga, and Eneko Iriarte

  • We determined the molecular composition of speleothem organics in black laminae
  • Py-GC-MS and THM-GC-MS indicate bacteria, soot and guano remains
  • Soot marks nearby human activity but microbial sources prevail
  • Molecular screening of bulk organics is a tool to decide further targeted analyses


Microbially-mediated carbonate dissolution and precipitation; towards a protocol for ex-situ, cave-analogue cultivation experiments
Vanessa E. Johnston, Andrea Martín-Pérez, Sara Skok, and Janez Mulec

  • Carbonate tablets inoculated with microbes from Postojna Cave, Slovenia, were observed with SEM
  • Microbes and extracellular polymeric substances seen on polished tablet surfaces
  • Microbially-mediated calcite dissolution/precipitation occurred in cave-like conditions
  • Evidence of entombment of microbes in a Si-rich precipitate
  • Methodological improvements suggested for ex-situ cave-analogue cultivation experiments


Flow dynamics in a vadose shaft – a case study from the Hochschwab karst massif (Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria)
Eva Kaminsky, Lukas Plan, Thomas Wagner, Barbara Funk, and Pauline Oberender

  • Highly dynamic runoff (factor 9500) in a vadose canyon 100 m below the surface
  • Transit velocities differ by three orders of magnitude between base and high flow
  • Recession analysis and numerical modelling indicate a low water storage volume


Multi-criteria analysis for mapping susceptibility to iron formation caves development in the Gandarela mountain range (MG), southeast Brazil
Iraydes Tálita Nola and Luis Almeida Bacellar

  • Karst features in iron-rich geological materials are described
  • The genesis and geographical location of iron caves are not yet properly defined
  • The susceptibility of caves using fuzzy AHP demonstrate good predictive ability
  • Iron formation caves susceptibility map is useful for speleological prospecting
  • Slope gradient criterion was relevant for assessing the susceptibility of caves


The impact of burning on the structure and mineral composition of bat guano
Joyce Lundberg and Donald A. McFarlane

  • Many features of burnt guano cannot easily be distinguished from non-burnt guano
  • Rapid dehydration from burning causes morphological change to crystals (cracking, striations)
  • Many so-called “high temperature” minerals are not diagnostic of fire, other than graphite.
  • Most “high temperature” minerals can also be produced at low temperatures
  • Spontaneous combustion of guano (without human involvement) is extremely unlikely


Cave-dwelling heleomyzid flies (Diptera: Heleomyzidae) from the Polish caves. Historical overview and new data
Joanna Kocot-Zalewska and Andrzej J. Woźnica

  • Altogether 23 heleomyzid species from 7 genera were identified
  • 1 species was considered as troglobiont, i.e., Oecothea praecox
  • 11 species were recognized as eutroglophiles, 9 as subtroglophiles, 2 as trogloxenes
  • Dominant taxa: Scoliocentra brachypterna, Heleomyza captiosa, Eccoptomera pallescens
  • The highest number of species has been found in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland


Molecular phylogeny of cave dwelling Eremogryllodes crickets (Orthoptera, Myrmecophilidae) across Zagros Mountains and Southern Iran
Mohadeseh Sadat Tahami, Mina Hojat-Ansari, Anna Namyatova, and Saber Sadeghi

  • 16S rRNA marker strongly supports the monophyly of Myrmecophilidae
  • Molecular species tend to be clustered geographically
  • The 16s marker could only partially separate the morpho-species
  • Our study suggests the presence of cryptic species inside caves
  • More gene markers are needed to resolve the taxonomy of Eremogryllodes species