Groundwater invertebrate communities in karst landscapes are known to vary in response to multiple environmental factors. This study aims to explore the invertebrate assemblages’ composition of an Apennine karst system in Italy mainly described by the Rio Gamberale surface stream and the Stiffe Cave. The stream sinks into the carbonate rock and predominantly feeds the saturated karst into the cave. For a minor portion, groundwater flows from the epikarst and the perched aquifer within it. The spatial distribution of the species belonging to the selected target group of the Crustacea Copepoda between the surface stream and the groundwater habitats inside the cave highlighted a different response of surface-water species and obligate groundwater dwellers to the hydrogeological traits of the karst unit. Our results suggest that fast endorheic infiltration routes promoted the drift of epigean species from the surface to groundwater via the sinking stream while most of the obligate groundwater dwellers come from the perched aquifer in the epikarst from diffuse infiltration pathways.

Linking hydrogeology and ecology in karst landscapes: The response of epigean and obligate groundwater copepods (Crustacea: Copepoda)

Iannella M.;Galassi D. M. P.;Fiasca B.
2021

Abstract

Groundwater invertebrate communities in karst landscapes are known to vary in response to multiple environmental factors. This study aims to explore the invertebrate assemblages’ composition of an Apennine karst system in Italy mainly described by the Rio Gamberale surface stream and the Stiffe Cave. The stream sinks into the carbonate rock and predominantly feeds the saturated karst into the cave. For a minor portion, groundwater flows from the epikarst and the perched aquifer within it. The spatial distribution of the species belonging to the selected target group of the Crustacea Copepoda between the surface stream and the groundwater habitats inside the cave highlighted a different response of surface-water species and obligate groundwater dwellers to the hydrogeological traits of the karst unit. Our results suggest that fast endorheic infiltration routes promoted the drift of epigean species from the surface to groundwater via the sinking stream while most of the obligate groundwater dwellers come from the perched aquifer in the epikarst from diffuse infiltration pathways.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/169657
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