Book Section


Bichuette, M.E.

Record Number:
Zampaulo, R. A. and Prous, X.
Editora Rupestri
Place Published:
Belo Horizonte
In Brazilian without English summary
ISBN 978-65-87674-05-6
Book Title:
Fauna cavernicola do Brasil
The publication of the work “Essai sur les problèmes biospéologiques”, in 1907, by the Romanian zoologist Emil G. Racovitza, is considered as an important milestone in the establishment of world Biospeleology (from the Greek bios = life; spelaion = cave; logos = study). Currently, the term Underground Biology is the most common and can be defined as the science dedicated to the study of organisms that live underground, as well as the interactions between species and relationships between organisms and the environment. This is because the underground environment is complex and vast, with caves being our main “window”, but only one of the environments. that make up this mosaic of ecosystems. Thus, the underground environment comprises the set of natural cavities interconnected subsoil underground structures, of variable sizes, formed by large networks of heterogeneous spaces and that can be filled with air or water. Currently, we have cataloged approximately 22 thousand caves in Brazilian territory, with the potential for more than one million of occurrences, according to the most recent estimates. Regarding the fauna, we have at least 591 species described from holotypes collected in these environments, of which 283 are considered troglobites, that is, endemic species that evolved and they have speci!c adaptations to survive in these unique ecosystems. However, there are still hundreds of species already known waiting for their scientific description, in addition to an incalculable number of species to be discovered. In this context, we have gathered the most up-to-date information on the main groups of cave fauna in 22 chapters. of Brazil, in addition to five initial chapters that bring historical aspects, legislation, ecosystem dynamics and areas of science still little explored, such as molecular biology and microbiology. Consolidate all the knowledge available in this work it was an intricate task, given the significant increase in the number of professionals who are specializing and dedicating themselves to the study of our subterranean biodiversity, which, consequently, has resulted in the expressive increase of publications on new species. The production capacity of our researchers is indisputable, who certainly have notable prominence on the international stage. Therefore, the investment of financial resources in the formation of specialists, in the implementation and maintenance of infrastructure of current and new research centers, as well as investments for the maintenance of our valuable scientific collections. Only in this way will we be able to continue producing high-quality knowledge. quality about our caves and other subterranean environments. Thus, we hope that this work will be an important reference for all those who are dedicated to the study of cave fauna. in Brazil, whether in the context of academic research, environmental licensing or activities with speleology groups. We also hope that it will allow all readers a beautiful journey in a small part of our wonderful caves and of the life that coexists there.
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