Invertebrates of Dobšiná Ice Cave and Stratená Cave System, Slovak Paradise, Slovakia

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2020
Authors:Papáč, V., Košel, V., Kováč, L., Ľuptáčik, P., Mock, A., Parimuchová, A., Raschmanová, N., Višňovská Z.
Journal:Slovenský Kras: Acta Carsologica Slovaca

So far, 262 invertebrate taxa have been identified in the entire Stratená Cave System, 91 of which occupy Dobšiná Ice Cave. Individual entrances to the system are situated on slopes covered by a mountain spruce forest. The parietal fauna of the entrance sections of the Stratená and Psie diery Caves consists of a rich dipteran community. The collapsed doline at the entrance of Dobšiná Ice Cave represents a peculiar microclimatically inverse habitat inhabited by cold-adapted species of soil fauna. The shallow soil profile at the entrance of Dobšiná Ice Cave is occupied by recently discovered Collembola species Megalothorax dobsinensis. Its existence is exclusively limited to the cold and wet parts of the entrance microclimatic gradient. The cave sections filled permanently with glaciers are the poorest in terms of species diversity, with only 4 invertebrate species recorded. Collembola Deuteraphorura kratochvili and Protaphorura janosik are Carpathian endemics. P. janosik is characteristic of the entire cave system, occasionally with higher population density on the ice surface. Unglaciated parts of the Stratená Cave System represent an environment with a more microclimatic balanced regime with an air temperature between 3–6 °C. These parts are the habitat of troglobiotic and eutroglophilic invertebrates such as mite Pantelozetes cavaticus and Cyrtolaelaps mucronatus, collembolans Pygmarrhopalites aggtelekiensis and Megalothorax carpaticus, isopod Mesoniscus graniger and diplopod Allorhiscosoma sphinx. The Stratená Cave is the locus typicus of troglobiotic mite Foveacheles troglodyta (family Rhagidiidae). The cave system is also rich in standing water habitats. Due to its macroscopic dimensions, Niphargus tatrensis is the most striking stygobiotic crustacean in the Stratená Cave System. Other typical representatives of the aquatic fauna are minute crustaceans Elaphoidella sp. and Bathynella natans occupying pools in unglaciated parts of the Dobšiná Ice Cave. The presence of highly adapted terrestrial and aquatic cave invertebrates, some of them classified as glacial relicts, indicates the stable environmental conditions of the Dobšiná Ice Cave despite its long-term exploitation as a tourist cave.

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Fri, 2021-05-14 12:26 -- vblago
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