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Disturbance relicts in a rapidly changing world: the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) factor

Authors
  • Jut Wynne
  • Ernest C, Bernard
  • Francis G, Howarth
  • Stefan, Sommer
  • Felipe N, Soto-Adames
  • Stefano, Taiti
  • Edward L, Mockford
  • Mark, Horrocks
  • Lázaro, Pakarati
  • Victoria, Pakarati-Hotus
Type
Published Article
Journal
BioScience
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2014
Source
SETI Institute
License
Unknown

Abstract

Caves are considered buffered environments in terms of their ability to sustain near- constant microclimatic conditions. However, cave entrance environments are expected to respond rapidly to changing conditions on the surface. Our study documents an assemblage of endemic arthropods that have persisted in Rapa Nui caves, despite a catastrophic ecological shift, overgrazing, and surface ecosystems dominated by invasive species. We discovered eight previously unknown endemic species now restricted to caves—a large ...

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