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      How is the anchialine fauna distributed within a cave? A study of the Ox Bel Ha System, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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      Subterranean Biology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          A study describing the diversity and distribution pattern of the stygobitic fauna in the Ox Bel Ha anchialine cave system adjacent to the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico is presented. A total of 15 species of crustaceans were collected in three surveys at four points situated along a 10.2 km transect perpendicular to the coast line. A freshwater mass dominated throughout the transect with a halocline that appeared progressively deeper, from 10 to 18 m, with increasing distance from the coast. All the recorded species, except for one, occurred throughout the transect with no defined pattern. Abundance and species richness did not vary significantly with distance from the coast, whereas diversity (H’) peaked in the second sampling site at 3.17 km from the coast. As expected, most of the organisms occurred only in the freshwater layer, except for the remipede Xibalbanustulumensis (Yager, 1987) that was found always at or below the halocline, and five other species that were found above and below the halocline. In the horizontal scale, species composition and occurrence mixed without a defined pattern, both, for sampling dates and sites. The results show that the analyzed fauna is distributed throughout the 10.2 km transect without showing any defined horizontal zonation pointing to a high connectivity among all sections. Due to the high connectivity within the caves in the area, it is expected that significant variation in species composition and distribution will be found at a larger regional scale.

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          Most cited references 24

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            A Practical Strategy for Analysing Multispecies Distribution Patterns

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              Decoupled fresh–saline groundwater circulation of a coastal carbonate aquifer: Spatial patterns of temperature and specific electrical conductivity

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Subterranean Biology
                SB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2615
                1768-1448
                July 11 2019
                July 11 2019
                : 31
                : 15-28
                Article
                10.3897/subtbiol.31.34347
                © 2019

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