Cave Fish Pollution Threshold

Cave geology, biology, and similar topics. Also visit the NSS Biology Section, or the Cave Geology and Geography Section, or the NSS Paleontology Section.

Moderator: Moderators

Cave Fish Pollution Threshold

Postby BenC » Jan 5, 2006 9:35 am

I've recently seen multiple Blind Cavefish in the Woodard side of the Woodard-Dunbar system. All the known entrances are in subdivisions, what I'm wondering is how the fish are surviving the pollution? My understanding is that all Troglobites were extremely sensitive to pollution. Anything that upsets the ecology in the cave has an immediate impact upon the fauna. Is there an accepted limit of "standard" pollution for Blind fish? I know it's somewhat of a dumb question due to the wide range of pollutants. Also does anyone know of a troglophile/ trogloxene about 6 inches long/ black and looks like a catfish?
I refer all questions to a hyper-intelligent shade of blue.
User avatar
BenC
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Dec 14, 2005 7:30 pm
Location: Lexington, KY
  

Postby CKB69 » Jan 5, 2006 10:51 pm

Ben,the 6" black "thing",is most likely a catfish,or,black bullhead.
It could also be a sculpin.

As to the range of "pollution" that these critters can tollerate,I have no idea.

Many of the older houses had septic systems,though a large percentage may now be on the munincipal sewer system.
There is a sizable leak in SOMEONES septic/sewer system,due to the wonderfull aroma around the first infeeder upstream from the Woodard entrance. :shock:

While large areas of the drainage are lightly developed,this is changing as I type! The only good news is that they will all be connected to Clarksville's sewage system. The bad news is that that sewage system discharges raw sewage 24-7 into the Red River,just upstream from the Cumberland River! :evil:

Given Clarksville's standards for anything,I seriously doubt that you will see any Troglobites in this cave 10 years from now.
Slide. Slide on the ice...
CKB69
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 10:22 pm
Location: between digs
  

Postby BenC » Jan 7, 2006 12:10 pm

Sadly I think you are right. Although I'm sure the crawfish love the sewage. I have never encountered any type of "sewage" material at all in Woodard. Minus the mutant catfish thing. Hrmm maybe the whiskers are sonar receptacles. Also the rather large baby salamander population seems happy.
I refer all questions to a hyper-intelligent shade of blue.
User avatar
BenC
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Dec 14, 2005 7:30 pm
Location: Lexington, KY
  

Postby gillip » Apr 13, 2007 11:30 am

From what I have seen the pollution threshhold of cave fish is not well known. The recovery plan for blind ozark cavefish by the U.S. fish and wildlife service seemed to indicate that increased nutrients may suppliment the food supply of this particular cavefish. That was in the 1980's and I think that the view has changed some. A more recent study at Cave Springs Cave in Arkansas by G.O. Graening and Art Brown (TROPHIC DYNAMICS AND POLLUTION EFFECTS IN CAVE SPRINGS CAVE, ARKANSAS, 2000, http://www.uark.edu/depts/ecology/docs/ ... Report.PDF) showed that increased nutrients throw off the ecosystem in the cave (obviously), causing some isopods to thrive while others seem to have disappered. A real concern with water draining from subdivisions is heavy metal contamination and VOC's. High concentrations of VOC's would mean a quick and certain death to cave life. Anything spilled in the street could make it to the cave. Heavy metals do not immediately kill the cave life, but they do have an effect on the cave life. I remember reading (don't remember the source right off) that heavy metals can effect the reproductive abilities of amphibians.
From what I have seen in my research, one of the most destructive results of developement is the increase in sedimentation rates. When sediment begins to fill voids in gravel on the cave floor, the ecosystem is altered from the bottom up. While there are more nutrients, many of the smaller organisms that would in theory benefit from nutrients are smoothered by the sediment.
JAG

"I think we need more data..."
User avatar
gillip
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Apr 8, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
  


Return to Speleology Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]