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Kotumsar Cave biodiversity: a review of cavernicoles and their troglobiotic traits

  • Jayant Biswas
Review paper

Abstract

The evolutionary adaptations of the organisms which inhabit the unusual and fragile ecosystems within caves are of inherent interest to both biologists and laymen. Cave organisms generally develop a high degree of physiological and behavioural adaptation for survival in the subterranean environment. The Kotumsar Cave is biologically the best known cave in India and has attracted interest from researchers from all over the world. This paper assesses the ecological community and overall habitat of the cave. This is based on long-term field observations and the review of the extensive literature on Kotumsar. For each species, features indicative of evolutionary adaptation to the cave environment are noted and conclusions drawn regarding the status of the species as a cavernicole. Several species of this cave are yet to get a proper study for correct taxonomic position although they have apparent troglomorphic dispositions. Several species which are highly endemic to this cave are probably in verge of its extinction. A serious measure to conserve the whole biodiversity has been suggested.

Keywords

Cavernicoles Cave-adaptations Troglobites Troglophiles Cavefish Biorhythms 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am thankful to Prof. Boris Sket for his critical review and helpful suggestions on the early version of this manuscript. Thanks are also due to Mr. Herbert Daniel Gebauer for helping me in various ways to construct this manuscript. I am also highly grateful to subject laureates; Dr. Rowland Shelley; Dr. Dante Fenolio; Julian J. Lewis; Prof. Brian Morton, Shirley Slack-Smith; Peter Jaeger who have helped me lot to identify the above-mentioned species. I’m also thankful to the Director, Kanger Valley National Park to allow me to do field study to construct this work. I acknowledge my wife Anupama Biswas, who had not only helped me in my field study, but also helped me to bring the manuscript in proper shape. Finally, I also wish to thank my friend, Dan B Harries for his unreserved help in rephrasing various technical and grammatical errors of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Cave Research and Protection Organization, Central ZoneRaipurIndia

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