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Analysis of Simple Cave Communities I. Caves as Islands

David C. Culver
Evolution
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Jun., 1970), pp. 463-474
DOI: 10.2307/2406819
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406819
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Analysis of Simple Cave Communities I. Caves as Islands
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Abstract

The occurrences of Gammarus minus, Stygonectes spinatus, Stygonectes emar ginatus, and Asellus holsingeri in 28 caves in the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia were recorded. Those caves that are susceptible to spring flooding tend to have fewer species than those that are more isolated from the epigean environment. Spring flooding reflects a rigorous, unstable environment, but a predictable one. Stochastic processes are important in controlling the number of species present in caves, but caves are more than collecting basins for animals that get washed in via subsurface water. Spring flooding reduces the amount of interaction and my data are consistent with Simberloff's (1969) non-interactive equilibrium model of island biogeography, but species interactions may also play a role. The caves studied differ from islands primarily in their lack of area effect and in the nature of the food input. The various explanations of diversity are discussed. Interactions with biological, energetic, and physical aspects of the environment take place against a background of time and stochastic processes.

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