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Publication Date

April 2017


A variety of subterranean habitats share an absence of light and a dependence on allochthonous productivity, but they differ in many features, including habitat volume. We examined the hypothesis that habitat volume is an important factor in community organization, especially with reference to body size, for a variety of communities for which data were available. We analyzed the results of ten studies that compared body sizes of obligate subterranean dwelling species with respect to habitat. All of the studies confirmed the hypothesis that habitat size was an important determinant of body size. However, surprisingly little information is available on the relationship between body size and habitat size, and only two of the studies reported directly on the size of habitat spaces. Habitat size appears to be an important determinant of body size in subterranean species, but more detailed studies, especially of habitat (pore) size are needed.


Unity, Diversity, Subterranean Realm, Invertebrate Body Size

Document Type



Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, Vol. 79, no. 1 (2017-04).





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