In our colleague’s Najla Baković recent paper in the journal Subterranean Biology were published new data on the communities of protists inhabiting caves in the Lika region (Croatia). The focus of the research was on comparing caves inhabited with the endemic subterranean bivalve Congeria jalzici and caves in which this species is not present. The results of the research showed that the protist communities in the sinkholes (Markov, Dankov and Dražice) differ greatly from the communities that are not flooded by the waters of the Lika River. This result shows that microorganisms from the group of protists are excellent bioindicators that can be used to monitor the suitability of the habitat for rare and endangered cave species. Given that the subterranean bivalve Congeria jalzici is listed in Annex II of Habitats directive and is an endangered species, this research represents an excellent base for future research and efforts to protect this species.
The value of this work also lies in the fact that, among more than 40 recorded species of testate amoeba, a new species for science was found and described – Psammonobiotus dinarica Baković i Siemensma 2023. The species is distributed in only a few localities on the Dinaric Karst – two localities each on in the area of Lipovo polje, Kordun and Herzegovina. Its primary habitat is aquatic habitats such as underground streams, which makes it an ideal indicator organism for studying the ecology of cave ecosystems.
The title of the complete work is: Baković N, Siemensma F, Puljas S, Baković R, Ozimec R, Ostojić A, Mesić Z (2023) First data on testate amoebae associated with the endemic cave bivalve Congeria jalzici Morton & Bilandžija, 2013 with a description of Psammonobiotus dinarica sp. new. Subterranean Biology 45: 53-74. https://doi.org/10.3897/subtbiol.45.97105, and you can access it at the following link: https://subtbiol.pensoft.net/article/97105/.
#speleology #caves #endemicspecies #AnnexII #habitat8310 #Natura2000 #Congeria #microorganisms #bioindicators #karsthidrology #hydrologicalminimum #Markovponor