The influence of some factors on cyanobacteria and algae biodiversity in karst speleogenesis
Section: Population ecology
The biodiversity of underground habitats is of considerable interest from different standpoints, but information on the biota of the caves is incomplete and fragmentary. In this regard, the identification of different factors that influence the richness of species of various organisms, including cyanobacteria and algae, is important. 166 different samples, which were collected in 2007-2012 from 14 karst caves of natural origin, located in various climatic zones of Russia, were investigated. 121 species and intraspecific taxa of cyanobacteria and algae belonging to five phyla (Cyanobacteria, Bacillariophyta, Ochrophyta, Chlorophyta, Streptophyta) were identified in the studied caves. Based on the obtained material, the influence of some abiotic factors (the stage of karst speleogenesis, the length of the cave, and the area of the entrance, the underlying rocks and the surface climate) on the biodiversity of cyanobacteria and algae was analyzed using statistical methods. The speleogenesis stage (the influence of the factor is 118.419, p < 0.05) most effect on the species richness of cyanobacteria and algae in the studied caves that directly related to the level of water. Also the underlying rocks (the influence of the factor is 34.665, p < 0.05) and the length of the cave (the influence of the factor is 20.288, p < 0.05) effect on the biodiversity of cyanobacteria and algae in these caves. It was revealed that the relationship between the total number of species of cyanobacteria and algae and the various stages of speleogenesis is statistically significant (p < 0.05), and the species richness of these organisms decreases from the corridor-grotto stage to the corridor-grotto-chamber stage. The number of species of Cyanobacteria and Bacillariophyta also decreased statistically significantly (p < 0.05) in the stages of karst speleogenesis: corridor-grotto, corridor-grotto-lake, corridor-grotto-chamber.
Keywords: cyanobacteria and algae, biodiversity, abiotic factors, the stages of karst speleogenesis, caves, Russia