Journal Article

Feihu Dong, a new hotspot cave of subterranean biodiversity from China

Huang, S., Zhao, M., Luo, X., Bedos, A., Wang, Y., Chocat, M., Tian, M. and Liu, W.

Record Number:
15, 902
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( 4.0/)
Abstract: China is a country with abundant karst landscapes, but research on cave biodiversity is still limited. Currently, only Ganxiao Dong, located in Huanjiang, Guangxi, has been reported as a hotspot for cave biodiversity. Many of the world’s most troglomorphic species in the major groups of cave animals have been recently discovered in China, making the existence of many more hotspots in the country likely. Feihu Dong, one of these potential hotspot caves, has been systematically investigated to complement a preliminary species list of 1995, leading to the discovery of 62 species of animals from the cave. Among them, 27 are considered troglobionts or stygobionts, 26 are considered troglophiles or stygophiles, and nine are classified as trogloxenes or stygoxenes. Research on the cave biodiversity of Feihu Dong has demonstrated that it currently holds the highest number of known cave animal species in China. Among the most remarkable features of this fauna is the co‑occurrence of five species of cave‑obligate beetles, all modified for cave life. The biological survey was limited to a small part of the cave. Several habitats (like guano) have not been investigated so far, and several important cave groups have been insufficiently or not sampled (like Ostracoda). Meanwhile, the system increases in length with each new caving expedition. Further discoveries of cave organisms in Feihu Dong are therefore expected. As Feihu Dong and Ganxiao Dong are the only caves in China that have been extensively studied for a large range of organisms, and as they are located in karstic areas that are similar in richness to other regions of southern China, it can be confidently assumed that several other caves of high biodiversity will be discovered in the coming years. Keywords: South China Karst; Hunan; Wulongshan; cave fauna; stygobionts; troglobionts; diversity; checklist; conservation
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Feihu Dong, a new hotspot cave of subterranean biodiversity from China