Climate change going deep: The effects of global climatic alterations on cave ecosystems

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Climate change going deep: The effects of global climatic alterations on cave ecosystems
Series Title:
The Anthropocene Review
Creator:
Mammola, Stefano
Piano, Elena
Cardoso, Pedro
Dominguez-Villar, David
Culver, David C.
Pipan, Tanja
Isaia, Marco
Publisher:
Sage
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Cave-Dwelling Species ( local )
Cave Meteorology ( local )
Global Warming ( local )
Hypogean Habitat ( local )
Relative Humidity ( local )
Stygobionts ( local )
Superficial Subterranean Habitats ( local )
Temperature ( local )
Troglobionts ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
Scientists of different disciplines have recognized the valuable role of terrestrial caves as ideal natural laboratories in which to study multiple eco-evolutionary processes, from genes to ecosystems. Because caves and other subterranean habitats are semi-closed systems characterized by a remarkable thermal stability, they should also represent insightful systems for understanding the effects of climate change on biodiversity in situ. Whilst a number of recent advances have demonstrated how promising this fast-moving field of research could be, a lack of synthesis is possibly holding back the adoption of caves as standard models for the study of the recent climatic alteration. By linking literature focusing on physics, geology, biology and ecology, we illustrate the rationale supporting the use of subterranean habitats as laboratories for studies of global change biology. We initially discuss the direct relationship between external and internal temperature, the stability of the subterranean climate and the dynamics of its alteration in an anthropogenic climate change perspective. Owing to their evolution in a stable environment, subterranean species are expected to exhibit low tolerance to climatic perturbations and could theoretically cope with such changes only by shifting their distributional range or by adapting to the new environmental conditions. However, they should have more obstacles to overcome than surface species in such shifts, and therefore could be more prone to local extinction. In the face of rapid climate change, subterranean habitats can be seen as refugia for some surface species, but at the same time they may turn into dead-end traps for some of their current obligate inhabitants. Together with other species living in confined habitats, we argue that subterranean species are particularly sensitive to climate change, and we stress the urgent need for future research, monitoring programs and conservation measures.
Original Version:
The Anthropocene Review, Vol. 6, no. 1-2 (2019-05-29).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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