A new insight into the Stygofauna Mundi: assembling a global dataset for aquatic fauna in subterranean environments
Martinez, A., Anicic, N., Calvaruso, S., Sanchez, N., Puppieni, L., Sforzi, T., Zaupa, S., Alvarez, F,. Brankovits, D., Gąsiorowski, L., Gerovasileiou, V., Gonzalez, B., Humphreys, W., Iliffe, T., Worsaae, K., Bailly, N. and Fontaneto, D.
ARPHA Conference Abstracts
The potential of subterranean environments as models to address major evolutionary and
ecological questions has been highlighted in the literature. They represent partially
isolated, discrete units offering several replicates of the same evolutionary processes.
Species occurrence data of these environments is abundant, although sparse in the
literature or gathered in databases established according to regional, taxonomical, or
ecological criteria. We here present a newly assembled dataset consisting of records of
aquatic animals in all types of caves or wells from all over the world. Literature sources
were gathered from Google Scholar by independently searching for each metazoan
phylum/arthropod order, as well as the key words “cave”, “groundwater”, “well”, or
“stygobite”, in English, Galician, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalonian, French, Italian,
Hungarian, Greek, German, Polish, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian. The relevance of each
source was confirmed after checking the title and the abstract. For each selected source,
we examined its reference list in order to identify studies that were not published in journals
indexed in the databases we searched. From the 6852 selected references, we manually
extracted all records that concerned either
1. occurrence of a species in a given geographical area or
2. occurrence of any taxon in a particular cave or well.
Records were classified as primary or secondary, depending on whether they provided new
information or referred to already publish records, allowing us to identify redundant
information in posterior analyses. Information for each access point was organized in as a
gazetteer, including synonym names, geographical, ecological, and geological information.
Following this strategy, we have obtained 48,800 records (32,769, primary) from 1957
references checked so far. Most records are amongst fish and crustaceans. In contrast, few data exist for other groups that are comparatively diverse outside caves, such as
Nematoda. Relevant information will be included in World Register of Marine Cave Species