Biospeleology, the study of organisms that live in caves, has a tremendous potential to inform many aspects of modern biology; yet this area of knowledge remains largely anchored in neo-Lamarckian views of the natural world in both its approaches and jargon.
Written for graduate students and academic researchers, this book provides a critical examination of current knowledge and ideas on cave biology, with emphasis on evolution, ecology, and conservation. Aldemaro Romero provides a historical analysis of ideas that have influenced biospeleology, discusses evolutionary phenomena in caves, from cave colonization to phenotypic and genotypic changes, and integrates concepts and knowledge from diverse biological viewpoints. He challenges the conventional wisdom regarding the biology of caves, and highlights urgent questions that should be addressed in order to get a better and more complete understanding of caves as ecosystems.
1. A brief history of cave biology; 2. Cave biodiversity; 3. The evolutionary biology of cave organisms; 4. The ecology of cave organisms; 5. Cave conservation and management; 6. Epilogue; Appendix. Glossary of terms frequently used in biospeleology.
Aldemaro Romero is Chair and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Arkansas State University. He has authored more than 500 publications and his interests lie in questions in science that require an interdisciplinary approach.
This short volume nicely synthesizes a diverse literature on a fascinating topic. This book was clearly written for the community of cave biologists and, early on, the author promises that it will challenge much of the conventional wisdom regarding the biology of caves." The issues are clearly explained and put in historical context." Richard L. Borowsky, The Quarterly Review of Biology "This thought-provoking, scholarly work, which raises many questions, will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in biospeleology and allied fields. Recommended." D.A. Brass, Choice Magazine