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A remarkable finding that suggests the existence of a new groundwater biome based on chemoautotrophic resources, named

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Author(s): Ştefan Negrea

Journal: Travaux de l'Institut de Speologie Emile Racovitza
ISSN 0301-9187

Volume: 48;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: review | ophel

ABSTRACT
An important work of subterranean biology, signed by Francis Dov Por, Ophel: a groundwater biome based on chemoautotrophic resources. The global significance of the Ayyalon cave finds, Israel is presented and discussed in the present paper. The subject is a remarkable discovery suggesting the existence of a new aquatic subterranean biome autonomous energy based the author calls Ophel, the Hebrew word for “darkness” and “netherworld”). For F.D. Por, this biome links different marine chemosynthetic ecosystems in a global biospheric entity. Finally, F.D. POR hypothesizes on the existence of three overlapped biospheres: the bacteriosphere in the depths of the planet’s crust, which does not require light or oxygen; the aphotic, subterranean deuterobiosphere, formed of bacterial chemosynthesis based eukaryotes and limited-supplied dissolved oxygen from above-ground; the above-ground eubiosphere, based on aerobic photosynthesis. I would like to emphasize that, at my suggestion, Prof. Dr. F.D. Por participated at the 18th International Symposium of Biospeleology from Cluj-Napoca (Romania) at 10th to 15th July 2006 where he mentioned for the first time orally some data on the Ayyalon Cave and the Ophel biome.
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