What is it about?
Caves are homes to unique and fragile biotas with high levels of endemism. Comparative to surface organisms, our understanding of the evolutionary origin of cave organisms yet lags so far. We assess the temporal dynamics of biotic colonization of subtropical East Asian caves through a multi-taxon analysis with representatives of green plants, animals and fungi.
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Why is it important?
Our findings show that most cave colonization events occurred after the Oligocene-Miocene boundary and that the surrounding forest was a major source for cave biodiversity. Importantly, we found that biotic colonization during the Neogene was not a random process, but was subject to periods of acceleration and decrease.
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This page is a summary of: Biotic colonization of subtropical East Asian caves through time, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2207199119.
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