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Shallow Subterranean Habitats: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation

The first book to synthesise research on shallow subterranean habitats, providing an extensive description of their variety and exploring the ecological and evolutionary consequences of their existence
Includes a global range of examples, both terrestrial and aquatic
Discusses conservation and management implications and suggests directions for future research

By: David C Culver (Author), Tanja Pipan (Author)

266 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jun 2014 | #212081 | ISBN-13: 9780199646173
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £62.50 $76/€70 approx

About this book

Shallow subterranean habitats (SSHs) are areas of habitable space that are less than 10 m in depth from the surface. These range from large areas such as shallow caves and lava tubes, to tiny areas such as cracks in ceilings, or spaces in soil. Whilst being very different in many ways, they are often bound together by shared characteristics of the habitats and their faunas, and their study can help us to understand subterranean habitats in general. Shallow Subterranean Habitats concentrates on the more typical SSHs of intermediate size (seepage springs, spaces between rocks, cracks in lava etc.), describing the habitats, their fauna, and the ecological and evolutionary questions posed. Similarities and differences between the habitats are considered and discussed in a broader ecological and evolutionary context. Shallow Subterranean Habitats is mainly aimed at students and researchers in the field of subterranean biology, but will also be of interest to a wider range of ecologists, evolutionary biologists, freshwater biologists, and conservationists. There will also be an audience of environmental professionals.


1: The shallow subterranean domain
2: Seepage springs and the hypotelminorheic habitat
3: Epikarst: the soil-rock interface in karst
4: Intermediate-sized terrestrial shallow subterranean habitats
5: Calcrete aquifers
6: Interstitial habitats along rivers and streams
7: Soil
8: Lava tubes
9: The role of light in shallow subterranean habitats
10: Environmental fluctuations and stresses in shallow subterranean habitats
11: Organic carbon and nutrients in shallow subterranean habitats
12: Evolution of morphology in shallow subterranean habitats
13: Colonization and dispersal in shallow subterranean habitats
14: Phylogeny in shallow subterranean habitats
15: Conservation and protection of shallow subterranean habitats
16: Epilogue and prospects

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David C. Culver received his Ph.D. in 1970 in Biology from Yale University. He is currently Professor of Biology at American University in Washington, DC, with broad research interests in subterranean biology, especially biodiversity, biogeography, and ecosystem function. He has active research projects on U.S. subterranean biodiversity databases, spatial statistical patterns of obligate subterranean animals, the obligate subterranean animals in seeps in the Washington, DC area and Slovenia, diversity and biogeography of epikarst invertebrates in the Appalachians and Slovenia, organic carbon flux in caves, large scale subterranean biodiversity patterns, and regional scale subterranean biodiversity patterns and protection in West Virginia. Culver is Comptroller of the Karst Waters Institute, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Honorary Life Member of the National Speleological Society.

Tanja Pipan received her Ph.D. in 2003 in Biology from University of Ljubljana. She is currently Research Advisor at the Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU and Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia, with research interests in the ecology, biology, and systematics of the subterranean copepod fauna, especially in the epikarst. Pipan is country coordinator for the Slovenian Long Term Ecological Research program. She received the grant for the most significant young researcher from ZRC SAZU for scientific work in 2003, the 2004 award from the International Society for Subterranean Biology for best presentation at the meeting in Raipur, India and an award in 2005 for best paper at the International Association of Hydrogeology meeting in Kotar, Montenegro. She is biology editor of the International Journal of Speleology.