Multivariate Analysis of Copepod Assemblages in Epikarstic Waters of Some Slovenian Caves
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A series of sampling sites in 6 caves was established in order to assess the importance of the epikarst as a habitat of high diversity of meiofauna. Special attention was given to the stygobiotic species of copepods (Crustacea), which was the most abundant group of animals in water percolating from the epikarst. In total, 37 species of Copepoda were identified from nearly 4000 individuals. To understand epikarst as a habitat, 14 structural and physico-chemical factors were analysed and compared for two types of habitats, i.e., trickles and pools filled with percolation water. Results of canonical correspondence analysis indicated that the significant factors influencing faunal composition in trickles were the thickness of the cave ceiling and the concentrations of sodium, nitrate, and potassium ions, while in pools correlations between individual species and pH, temperature, volume, conductivity and thickness of the cave ceiling were statistically significant. Aquatic copepod assemblages in epikarst encompass species of different taxonomic affinities, living in severe environmental conditions. The pattern of the system reflects both high taxonomic diversity and environmental severity.
Hydrobiologia, Vol. 559, no. 1 (2006).
Statistical Analysis, Copepoda, Percolation Water, Epikarst, Caves, Slovenia
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Statistical Analysis; Copepoda; Percolation Water; Epikarst; Caves; Slovenia
Pipan, Tanja; Blejec, Andrej; and Brancelj, Anton, "Multivariate Analysis of Copepod Assemblages in Epikarstic Waters of Some Slovenian Caves" (2006). KIP Articles. 3518.