Unexplored Diversity and Conservation Potential of Neotropical Hot Caves
The term hot cave is used to describe some subterranean chambers in the Neotropics that are characterized by constantly high ambient temperatures generated by the body heat of high densities of certain bat species. Many of these species have limited geographic ranges, and some occur only in the hot‐cave environment. In addition to the bats, the stable microclimate and abundant bat guano provides refuge and food for a high diversity of invertebrates. Hot caves have so far been described in the Caribbean and in a few isolated locations from Mexico to Brazil, although there is some evidence that similar caves may be present throughout the tropics. The existing literature suggests these poorly known ecosystems, with their unique combination of geomorphology and bat‐generated microclimate, are particularly sensitive to disturbance and face multiple threats from urbanization, agricultural development, mining, and tourism.
Diversidad No Explorada y Potencial de Conservación de Cuevas Neotropicales Calientes
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2012