||The major focus of this project is to identify groundwater biodiversity hot spots in SA, and to link these areas of high diversity to their geological and climatological history. The geology and climatological history of areas can give important clues about the timing and the circumstances that surface freshwater (and sometimes also marine) groups invaded the groundwater environment. Because dispersal in groundwater is very limited, obligate groundwater fauna is usually spatially restricted and can therefore be used as important indicator species of water quality parameters. Localities that potentially contain groundwater fauna are in areas with fractured rocks, karstified limestones, or coarse alluvial depositions. However, the presence or absence of groundwater fauna in such areas will depend on whether surface fauna would have had the chance to colonise the groundwater environment some time in the geological history. For sampling groundwater we are restricted to use existing 'windows' to the groundwater environment, which are: wells, bores, springs, caves and creek beds with very shallow water table.
Initial sampling efforts will concentrate on localising presence of groundwater fauna in the following main areas Southern Flinders Ranges, Mount Lofty Ranges, Limestone Coast of the South East and Eyre Peninsula.
Preliminary collecting in the Gammon and Flinders Ranges in October 02 revealed significant biodiversity in ground water samples from springs and creek beds. All invertebrate groups that are to be expected in the ground water environment were present: eg. Amphipoda, Isopoda, Syncarida, Copepoda, Gastropoda, Turbellaria.