Title

The microbiology of Lascaux Cave

Files

Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Publication Date

March 2010

Abstract

Lascaux Cave (Montignac, France) contains paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period. Shortly after its discovery in 1940, the cave was seriously disturbed by major destructive interventions. In 1963, the cave was closed due to algal growth on the walls. In 2001, the ceiling, walls and sediments were colonized by the fungus Fusarium solani. Later, black stains, probably of fungal origin, appeared on the walls. Biocide treatments, including quaternary ammonium derivatives, were extensively applied for a few years, and have been in use again since January 2008. The microbial communities in Lascaux Cave were shown to be composed of human-pathogenic bacteria and entomopathogenic fungi, the former as a result of the biocide selection. The data show that fungi play an important role in the cave, and arthropods contribute to the dispersion of conidia. A careful study on the fungal ecology is needed in order to complete the cave food web and to control the black stains threatening the Paleolithic paintings.

Notes

MICROBIOLOGY, Vol. 156, no. 3 (2010-03-01).

Keywords

Lascaux Cave, Microbial Communities, Biocide Selection

Description

RDA

Subject: topical

Lascaux Cave; Microbial Communities; Biocide Selection

Type

Article

Genre

serial

Identifier

SFS0069719_00001

Share

COinS