Cave macro-invertebrates of Wao, Lanao Del Sur, Philippines

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Research Paper 01/12/2014
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Cave macro-invertebrates of Wao, Lanao Del Sur, Philippines

Jade Marie M. Sobrepeña, Olga M. Nuñeza
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 6), 107-121, December 2014.
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Among the cavernicolous species, invertebrates make up the majority of the entire cave fauna. With their extremely restricted distribution, macro-invertebrates are important in determining the health of a cave. This study was conducted to assess the diversity and abundance of macro-invertebrates in two unexplored caves in Wao, Lanao del Sur. Sampling was done through a combination of methods: hand grabbing technique, pitfall traps, visual search, and direct counting method. Ten species belonging to seven orders were recorded in Wao caves. More species were found in Cave 1. Macropathus sp. was the most abundant species comprising half of the species recorded. The huntsman spider, Heteropoda sp.1, was found in the two sampling sites. Moderate diversity was recorded in Cave 1 while Cave 2 had low diversity. Majority of the macro-invertebrate species were found on the cave wall and floor. Guano deposition, temperature, and relative humidity are environmental factors which appear to be significant to the distribution of the macro-invertebrate species in the caves. Disturbances present in the caves also seem to have negatively affected the distribution of species and individuals.


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