Blue-green algae (Cyanophyta = Cyanobacteria) of el-Wad prehistoric cave, Mount Carmel, Israel

O. N. Vinogradova, O. V. Kovalenko, E. Nevo, S. Wasser, M. Weinstein-Evron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Species diversity of epilithic blue-green algae was studied in a 90 m deep el-Wad prehistoric cave eroded in Cenomanian limestones of Mount Carmel, Israel. The degree of illumination is the most variable index across the cave, whereas humidity and temperature vary moderately. In a number of locations inside the cave dripping water occurs due to filtration of rain water. Forty two species from 20 genera of blue-green algae (Cyanophyta = Cyanobacteria) were found in the cave. The share of coccoid forms decreased and filamentous (especially oscillatorial) ones increased from the lit entrance to the dark end of the cave. Intensity of light was the governing factor for distribution of cyanobacteria in el-Wad Cave, the availability of dripping water affected it to a lesser extent due to the constantly high air humidity. Diversity of species composition and taxonomic spectrum of cyanophytes was reduced from the entrance to the end of the cave, covarying positively with darkness stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalHydrobiological Journal
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - 1997


  • Blue-green algae
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Darkness stress
  • Ecology
  • El-Wad Cave
  • Species diversity
  • Taxonomic structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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