Postojna-Planina Cave System - Slovenia

Basic Information

Site Name: 

Postojna-Planina Cave System

Country (Site Location): 

Slovenia

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General Site Description: 

Postojnska jama is a part of the Postojna-Planina cave system (PPCS), the most biologically diverse cave in the world. Postojnska jama is a locus typicus of at least 37 animals, among them also cave beetle Leptodirus hochenwarti, the first recognized cave adapted animal. PPCS consisting of 17 and 6 km of passages, respectively, connected by 2 km of flooded corridors, the PPCS has more known species of stygobionts than any other cave or other subterranean site. The sinking river in the main passages is inhabited by a rich assortment of stygobionts, stygophiles, and accidental surface species. Both streams drain a catchment area of over 100 km2. Above the cave passages is the rich epikarst community. Among the 48 stygobionts is the European cave salamander Proteus anguinus anguinus. Both the snail (8 species) and crustacean (16 species) faunas are rich. The marine origin of some of the stygobiotic species is evident in the hydrozoan Velkovrhia enigmatica and the cirolanid isopod Monolistra racovitzae racovitzae. Three species of the amphipod genus Niphargus as well as populations of Asellus aquaticus were isolated in the cave at different times. The Postojna-Planina Cave is one of the best-studied caves in the world, and parts of it have been heavily visited by tourists since 1818. There are currently installed underground meteorological stations, and sites are defined for permanent water and biodiversity monitoring with the respect to human impact.

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General Characteristics, Purpose, History

Site Status: 

existing

Year Site Established: 

2008

Size : 

10.00ha

Purpose of Site : 

Research follows multidisciplinary research. Cave climate observation (with purpose to characterize (micro) meteorologic and climatic patterns) includes setting up and maintenance of cave meteorological stations, data analysis and modelling, as well as measurement of environmental parameters, like air and water temperature, humidity, air pressure, direction and intensity of air flow and CO2 concentration. Monitoring of stream water and percolation water includes regular measurement and analysis of various biological, ecological and physico-chemical parameters. Anthropogenic impact and tourist use is monitored using air parameters (e.g., temperature, pressure, CO2,) and surface bioburden indicators. Research on karst hydrogeology characterizes groundwater flow and solute transport in karst aquifers by long-term and event-based analyses. In addition, remote sensing data analyses are used.

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Geographic

Coordinates: 

Latitude: 45.775100000000
Longitude: 14.213400000000