Caves and other subterranean habitats with their often strange (even bizarre) inhabitants have long been objects of fascination, curiosity, and debate. The question of how such organisms have evolved, and the relative roles of natural selection and genetic drift, has engaged subterranean biologists for decades. Indeed, these studies continue to inform the more general question of adaptation and evolution.
However, interest in subterranean biology is not limited to questions of evolutionary biology. Both the distribution and the apparent ancient age of many subterranean species continue to be of significant interest to biogeographers. Subterranean ecosystems generally exhibit little or no primary productivity and, as "extreme" ecosystems, provide general insights into ecosystem function. Furthermore, the simplicity of subterranean communities relative to most surface-dwelling communities makes them useful model systems for the study of species interactions such as competition and predation, as well as more general principles of ecosystem function. The rarity of many cave species makes them of special interest in conservation biology.
The Biology of Caves and other Subterranean Habitats offers a concise but comprehensive introduction to cave ecology. Whilst there is an emphasis on the organisms that dominate this unique environment, conservation and management aspects are also considered. The book includes a global range of examples and case studies from both caves and non-cave subterranean habitats; it also provides a clear explanation of specialized terms used by speleologists. This accessible text will appeal to researchers new to the field and to the many professional ecologists and conservation practitioners requiring a concise but authoritative overview. Its engaging style will also make it suitable for senior undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in cave and subterranean biology.
It is clear that the authors know their way around the literature and are familiar with all of the main aspects of subterranean biology. This is probably the best introduction yet written and is an essential source for all interested in subterranean (emphatically not just cave) biology. Cave and Karst Science, British Cave Association The enthusiasm of the authors of this exciting book shines through the text...an accessible and interesting account of a set of habitats. Bulletin of the British Ecological Society It is written in a clear and engaging style...If you are only going to have one book on cave biology, this is the one to have. TREE Culver and Pipan have hit the mark...overall the book is nicely assembled. Integrative and Comparative Biology The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats is a scientific book that will be of considerable value to speleobiologists interested in cave biology. National Speleological Society
Chapter 1 The Subterranean Domain
Chapter 2 Sources of Energy in Subterranean Environments
Chapter 3 Survey of Subterranean Life
Chapter 4 Ecosystem Function
Chapter 5 Biotic Interactions and Community Structure
Chapter 6 Adaptations to Subterranean Life
Chapter 7 Colonization and Speciation in Subterranean Environments
Chapter 8 Geography of Subterranean Biodiversity
Chapter 9 Some Representative Subterranean Communities
Chapter 10 Conservation and Protection of Subterranean Habitats
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