Subterranean Biology 8: 1-8, doi: 10.3897/subtbiol.8.1224
Dandak: a mammalian dominated cave ecosystem of India
Jayant Biswas, Shivam Shrotriya
Abstract Perpetual darkness, high humidity with almost constant geophysical factors are some of the abiotic factors which make the cave ecosystem unique. For any species a high degree of adaptation is always needed to thrive in such an ecosystem. Mammals in general have never adapted to cave life but they can play a major role in the cave ecosystem. Structurally, the Dandak cave has two distinct chambers that are completely different from each other in several geophysical factors. Thus both the cave chambers offer two distinct types of ecological niche. In the present study we found that both chambers of this cave were dominated by mammals all year round. Additionally, the group of mammals using the outer chamber completely differs from the group using the inner one. Possible geophysical factors responsible for such differences are discussed.