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The aim of the present study was to assess copepod species richness in groundwater
habitats from the Pădurea Craiului Mountains, Transylvania (northwestern Romania).
Five species richness estimators (one asymptotic, based on species accumulation curves,
and four non-parametric) were compared by testing their performances in estimating
copepod species richness at three hierarchical spatial scales: cave, hydrographic
basin, and karstic massif. Both epigean and hypogean species were taken in account.
Two data sets were used in computing copepod species richness: 1. samples collected
continuously during one year (dripping water) and seven months (pools) from five caves,
and 2. samples collected from pools in twelve additional caves (data gathered from
literature). Differences in copepod species richness among caves and hydrographic
basins suggest that local environmental features are important in determining local
species richness trends.