Biodiversity & Conservation in Marine Caves
EVOLUTION PHYLOGENETICS BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
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Photo by: G. Balazs & B. Lerner
Anchialine caves represent a mysterious realm, ripe with novel life forms and undiscovered biodiversity. The anchialine habitat consists of tidally fluctuating surface pools and submerged cave passages that contain marine or brackish water. Biotic assemblages include a variety of unique and rare species, often endemic, and extremely relevant for studies in conservation and evolutionary biology. A complex community has thrived due to unique adaptations to low light and oxygen. My lab uses an integrated approach, combining taxonomic and genetic methods, to document the patterns and drivers of biodiversity which aid in the protection of this incredible habitat.