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      Diversity and distribution of groundwater fauna in a calcrete aquifer: does sampling method influence the story?

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      Invertebrate Systematics
      CSIRO Publishing

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          Abstract

          There has been an increase in the number of studies examining the spatial and temporal patterns in species richness, community structure and population dynamics of groundwater organisms. These studies have raised the issue of uncertainty about the comparability of different sampling methods, and questions of whether sampling bias may exist. Recently, a diverse subterranean fauna was discovered in calcrete (carbonate) aquifers of the Yilgarn Region of central Western Australia. Little is known about the community structure and population dynamics in these aquifers. One important issue is whether current sampling methods adequately sample the species richness and abundance of the fauna to allow for comparative studies. Here we investigate the effectiveness of three sampling methods: haul net sampling, pumping with a 12-V impeller pump, and a discrete interval sampler. The methods were trialled over 16 months with >250 samples taken from 55 uncased bore holes. No significant taxonomic bias was detected across the sampling methods. However, sampling using a haul net was found to be the most efficient method for capturing the available taxa per unit time when sampling bores are less than 10 m deep, with pumping being the least efficient. These results are discussed in relation to the problems of studying stygofauna in Western Australian calcrete aquifers, and of groundwater faunas more generally.

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          Present state and future prospects for groundwater ecosystems

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            Hotspots of Epiphytic Lichen Diversity in Two Young Managed Forests. Sitios Criticos de Diversidad de Liquenes Epifitos en Dos Bosques Jovenes Bajo Manejo

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              Subterranean archipelago in the Australian arid zone: mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of amphipods from central Western Australia.

              In 1998, a unique subterranean ecosystem was discovered in numerous isolated calcrete (carbonate) aquifers in the arid Yilgarn region of Western Australia. Previous morphological and genetic analyses of a subterranean water beetle fauna suggest that calcrete aquifers are equivalent to closed island habitats that have been isolated for millions of years. We tested this hypothesis further by phylogeographic analyses of subterranean amphipods (Crangonyctoidea: Paramelitidae and Hyalidae) using mitochondrial DNA sequence data derived from the cytochrome oxidase I gene. Phylogenetic analyses and population genetic analyses (samova) provided strong evidence for the existence of at least 16 crangonyctoid and six hyalid divergent mitochondrial lineages, each restricted in their distribution to a single calcrete aquifer, in support of the 'subterranean island (archipelago) hypothesis' and extending its scope to include entirely water respiring invertebrates. Sequence divergence estimates between proximate calcrete populations suggest that calcretes have been isolated at least since the Pliocene, coinciding with a major aridity phase that led to the intermittent drying of surface water. The distribution of calcretes along palaeodrainage channels and on either side of drainage divides, have had less influence on the overall phylogeographic structure of populations, with evidence that ancestral crangonyctoid and hyalid species moved between catchments multiple times prior to their isolation within calcretes. At least two potential modes of evolution may account for the diversity of subterranean amphipod populations: dispersal/vicariance of stygobitic species or colonization of calcretes by surface species and independent evolution of stygobitic characteristics.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Invertebrate Systematics
                Invert. Systematics
                CSIRO Publishing
                1445-5226
                2008
                2008
                : 22
                : 2
                : 127
                Article
                10.1071/IS07058
                45dda9bc-491e-4f5a-b7f5-92d0055c45a6
                © 2008
                History

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