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1 July 2006 Dynamics of Epikarst Communities: Microgeographic Pattern and Environmental Determinants of Epikarst Copepods in Organ Cave, West Virginia
Tanja Pipan, Mary C. Christman, David C. Culver
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Abstract

The copepod community occurring in the uppermost part of karst was investigated by collecting animals from 13 ceiling drips in Organ Cave, West Virginia, over a 30 d period. A total of 444 copepods belonging to six genera and ten species were found. There was considerable heterogeneity, both spatially and temporally. Among physical parameters (oxygen, drip rate, conductivity, temperature, pH, ceiling thickness and redox), overall abundance was strongly influenced by drip rate. Community composition, analyzed by Canonical Correspondence Analysis, was correlated with drip rate, oxygen and ceiling thickness. Community similarity, as measured by Jaccard index, declined with geographic distance, but after a distance of several hundred meters, the average similarity and range of values increased, as “new” communities appeared. The overall pattern appears to be a relatively fine-scale patchwork of communities at a scale of hundred or so meters. The hotbed of copepod diversity in caves is the epikarst, not the streams.

Tanja Pipan, Mary C. Christman, and David C. Culver "Dynamics of Epikarst Communities: Microgeographic Pattern and Environmental Determinants of Epikarst Copepods in Organ Cave, West Virginia," The American Midland Naturalist 156(1), 75-87, (1 July 2006). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2006)156[75:DOECMP]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 February 2006; Published: 1 July 2006
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