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Shallow Subterranean Habitats – Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Shallow Subterranean Habitats: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation

David C. Culver and Tanja Pipan


What do wet spots in the woods, talus slopes in mountains, and cracks in the ceiling of caves have in common? They call into question the prevailing view that subterranean habitats are extreme environments with no light, no daily or annual cycle, and scant food. Different shallow subterranean habitats (SSHs) have little in common with caves except for the absence of light (‘aphotic environments’) and a specialized fauna with a typical ‘cave’ morphology (‘troglomorphy’). Fascinating habitats in their own right, they also hold the key to understanding adaptation to subterranean environments in g ... More

Keywords: Aphotic environments, stygobionts, subterranean habitats, troglobionts, troglomorphy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199646173
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646173.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David C. Culver, author
Professor, Department of Environmental Science, American University, Washington

Tanja Pipan, author
Research Advisor, Karst Research Institute ZRC-SAZU, Postojna, Slovenia