If a plant grows near a cave, its roots can grow several meters into the cave. Observations showed that water dropping periodically from the cave ceiling onto plant roots can induce growth against gravity as well as the formation of tiny root hairs. This phenomenon was already described in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains (Germany) in 1975, first discovered in Austria in 2006 (Günther Cave near Hundsheim, Lower Austria) and is now known for a number of caves in Austria. Which plant species are involved in the formation of root stalagmites is not known, yet. For this reason, samples of 18 root stalagmites from 6 caves were collected and determined by molecular genetic methods using four gene sections. Additionally, a classical vegetation survey was carried out around the cave entrance. By combining both methods, six shrub and three tree species from five families could be identified as sources of root stalagmites. With the molecular genetic methods, the genus could be determined in all cases, but the determination at species level was in most cases ambiguous. This shows the still existing limitations in the work with DNA-barcodes in botany and shall serve as a motivating example to fill existing gaps with high-quality barcodes.
Project status: completed
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- M. SonnleitnerABOL BioBlitz at the Day of Biodiversity in the National Park Hohe Tauern/Lungau28. July, 2021 - 10:41
The last BioBlitz this year was carried out by ABOL in the course of the Biodiversity Day in the Hohe Tauern National Park. The study area ranged from montane to alpine altitudes in the upper Mur valley in the national park municipality of Muhr im Lungau. The JUFA Hotel in St. Michael, the Sticklerhütte and […]
- Sabine SchoderABOL BioBlitz at the Tyrolean Day of Biodiversity in the Nature Park Kaunergrat14. July, 2021 - 10:00
In Tyrol, ABOL was once again able to participate in the Day of Biodiversity with a BioBlitz Initiative. Selected areas in the Nature Park Kaunergrat were examined – from wet to dry, lean meadows to bog areas, boulder fields, alpine meadows and alpine grasslands. In addition to butterfly experts, who began their surveys with light […]
- M. SonnleitnerGEO day of nature and ABOL BioBlitz in the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge7. July, 2021 - 14:27
The third ABOL BioBlitz of this year took place as part of the GEO day of nature in the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge in Carinthia. 70 experts and companions surveyed animal, plant and fungus species at the basis of the Zunderwand and in the vicinity of the Erlacherhaus. Due to the special geological situation, where limestone […]