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Academic & Professional Books  Habitats & Ecosystems  Caves & Karst

The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats

By: David C Culver(Author), Tanja Pipan(Author)
301 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats
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  • Backlist Bargains The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats ISBN: 9780198820772 Edition: 2 Paperback Apr 2019 In stock
    £27.99 £47.49
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About this book

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

Customer Reviews


David C. Culver received his PhD in 1970 in Biology from Yale University. He is currently a 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 the 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 PhD in 2003 in Biology from the University of Ljubljana. She is currently a Research Advisor at ZRC SAZU Karst Research Institute and an Associate Professor of Biology at the 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 three books. Pipan is the 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.

By: David C Culver(Author), Tanja Pipan(Author)
301 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
Media reviews

Reviews of the first edition:

"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."

"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

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