The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198820772

David C. Culver; Tanja Pipan
336 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2019
Biology of Habitats Series
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The second edition of this widely cited textbook continues to provide a concise but comprehensive introduction to cave and subterranean biology, describing this fascinating habitat and its biodiversity. It covers a range of biological processes including ecosystem function, evolution and adaptation, community ecology, biogeography, and conservation. The authors draw on a global range of examples and case studies from both caves and non-cave subterranean habitats. One of the barriers to the study of subterranean biology has been the extraordinarily large number of specialized terms used by researchers; the authors explain these terms clearly and minimize the number that they use. This new edition retains the same 10 chapter structure of the original, but the content has been thoroughly revised and updated throughout to reflect the huge increase in publications concerning subterranean biology over the last decade.


1 The subterranean domain
2 Sources of energy in subterranean environments
3 Survey of subterranean life
4 Ecosystem function
5 Biotic interactions and community structure
6 Adaptations of subterranean life
7 Colonization and speciation in subterranean environments
8 Geography of subterranean biodiversity
9 Some representative subterranean communities
10 Conservation and protection of subterranean habitats

About the author: 

David C. Culver received his Ph.D. in 1970 in Biology from Yale University. He is currently Professor of Environmental Science Emeritus at American University, Washington, DC, with broad research interests in subterranean biology, especially biodiversity, biogeography, and shallow subterranean habitats. He has published well over 100 research papers on subterranean biology, and is the author or editor of eight books on speleobiology. He has organized or co-organized international symposia on conservation and protection of karst (1997), mapping subterranean biodiversity (2001), epikarst (2003), karst ecosystems (2007), and carbon in karst (2013), among others. He is an Honorary Life Member of both the National Speleological Society and the International Society for Subterranean Biology, and a member of the Explorers Club.; Tanja Pipan received her Ph.D. in 2003 in Biology from the University of Ljubljana. She is currently Research Advisor at ZRC SAZU Karst Research Institute and Associate Professor of Biology at University of Nova Gorica. She has research interests in the biology of shallow subterranean habitats, ecology of the epikarst copepod fauna, patterns of subterranean biodiversity, and karst ecosystem function. She is largely responsible for the recognition of epikarst as a significant subterranean habitat. She has published over 50 papers and has authored thee books. Pipan is country coordinator for the International and European Long Term Ecological Research Program. In 2016 she received the ZRC SAZU Gold Award: a prize for outstanding scientific research.

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