William R. (Bill) Elliott, webmaster

 

This website is dedicated to sharing information and literature about cave biology or biospeleology, speleobiology, subterranean biology, groundwater biology, and related subjects such as biogeography, ecology, systematics, and evolutionary studies. Cave biologists are invited to send me files to post at speodesmus@gmail.com

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Book Announcement: The Cave Fauna of California                  Download free pdf here

 

The Cave Fauna of California. William R. Elliott, James R. Reddell, D. Craig Rudolph, G.O. Graening, Thomas S. Briggs, Darrell Ubick, Rolf L. Aalbu, Jean Krejca, Steven J. Taylor. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, July 28, 2017. 311 pp., 25 tables, 9 maps, 4 graphs, 105 photos.

 

The Cave Fauna of California is a biogeographic study by nine authors, published in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (PCAS) as a free pdf.

 

The front section of the 311-page book covers many topics for cavers, scientists, and general readers. A large literature cited is followed by a species list, site list, glossary, and index. The well-illustrated book will appeal to anyone interested in caves, cave biology, history, geology, and California.

 

      At least 4,600 caves of all types are known in California. The book summarizes 1,301 biological sites, with data from 998 caves: (693 karst caves and features, 181 lava tubes, and 124 sea caves), plus 143 groundwater sites and 160 mines and tunnels.

 

      The book lists 1,366 taxa, including 146 obligate subterranean taxa, comprised of 102 troglobites (terrestrial cave obligates), 12 stygobites (aquatic cave obligates), and 32 phreatobites (obligate groundwater forms). The species list includes 109 new (currently undescribed) species of all types.

 

      The richest regions for obligate subterranean species are the Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, and lava flows in the northern portion of the State. The high number (72) of single-site endemic species is indicative of the insular distribution of karst, large differences in elevation, and the many river systems cutting across the state’s mountain ranges.

 

The book includes an analysis recognizing 20 high biodiversity caves. The top five are Clough Cave, Samwel Cave, Empire Cave, Clay Cave, and Lilburn Cave. Cave maps illustrate basic cave structure and interesting ecological features, such as roots, which are important food sources in the caves.

 

The PCAS is distributed as a free pdf file, and will be available on July 28, 2017, at http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/izg/SciPubs2.html. The pdf will also be posted here at www.cavelife.info, the Karst Information Portal, and other sites. A limited number of printed copies may be purchased through Speleobooks at http://www.speleobooks.com/  and via kpiatek@calacademy.org

 

William R. (Bill) Elliott, Ph.D., NSS 10847 HM-FE

914 Bannister Drive

Jefferson City, Missouri 65109

 

speodesmus@gmail.com

 

Abstract

 

      Hidden biodiversity is revealed in this study of California’s subterranean fauna, which contains distinctive elements that differentiate it from other North American regions. Since 1975, the rate of discovery of new species has accelerated with funded projects in most of the important cave areas of the state, including our own studies. Here we compile all available biological records for subterranean sites in California dating back to 1840.

      California's karst is primarily comprised of small outcrops of marble or limestone with thousands of caves. Additionally, lava and ash flows, tens of thousands of mines, hundreds of sea caves on the mainland coast and islands, and extensive groundwater systems provide habitat for subterranean life.

       At least 4,600 caves of all types are known in California, of which 22% have been biologically sampled. We summarize 1,301 biological sites, and analyze data from 998 caves: (693 karst caves and features, 181 lava tubes, and 124 sea caves), 143 groundwater sites, and 160 mines and tunnels.

      The richest regions for obligate subterranean species are the Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, and lava flows in the northern portion of the State. The high number (72) of single-site endemic species is indicative of the insular distribution of karst, large differences in elevation, and the many river systems cutting across the state’s mountain ranges.

 

      In our database 1,366 taxa are recorded; 134 were determined to Family or higher taxa only. There are 102 troglobites (terrestrial cave obligates), 12 stygobites (aquatic cave obligates), and 32 phreatobites (obligate groundwater forms). Of those 146 obligate subterranean taxa, 11 are still undetermined beyond Order or Family, and represent an uncertain number of distinct species, although some may be more than single new species. Our species list includes 109 new (currently undescribed) species of all types, including 72 obligate subterranean species: 61 troglobites, 3 stygobites, and 8 phreatobites, significantly adding to the knowledge of California’s biodiversity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See pdf of front and back covers.

 

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Papers by Elliott et al.

 

7/28/2017