Microbiology of Movile Cave-A Chemolithoautotrophic Ecosystem

Deepak Kumaresan, D. Wischer, J. Stephenson, A. Hillebrand-Voiculescu, J.C. Murrell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    Discovered in 1986, Movile Cave is an unusual cave ecosystem sustained by in situ chemoautotrophic primary production. The cave is completely isolated from the surface and the primary energy sources are hydrogen sulfide and methane released from hydrothermal fluids. Both condensation and acid corrosion processes contribute to the formation of Movile Cave. Invertebrates, many of which are endemic to Movile Cave, are isotopically lighter in both carbon and nitrogen than surface organisms, indicating that they derive nutrition from chemoautotrophic primary producers within the cave. Here we review work on the microbiology of the Movile Cave ecosystem, with particular emphasis on the functional diversity of microbes involved in sulfur, carbon and nitrogen cycling, and discuss their role in chemosynthetic primary production. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)186-193
    JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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