|Barzaghi B, De Giorgi D, Pennati R, Manenti R (2021)
Planarians, a Neglected Component of Biodiversity in Groundwaters.
Diversity-Basel, Vol 13(5): 178
Abstract / Notes"Underground waters are still one of the most important sources of drinking water for the planet. Moreover, the fauna that inhabits these waters is still little known, even if it could be used as an effective bioindicator. Among cave invertebrates, planarians are strongly suited to be used as a study model to understand adaptations and trophic web features. Here, we show a systematic literature review that aims to investigate the studies done so far on groundwater-dwelling planarians. The research was done using Google Scholar and Web of Science databases. Using the key words "Planarian cave" and "Flatworm Cave" we found 2273 papers that our selection reduced to only 48, providing 113 usable observations on 107 different species of planarians from both groundwaters and springs. Among the most interesting results, it emerged that planarians are at the top of the food chain in two thirds of the reported caves, and in both groundwaters and springs they show a high variability of morphological adaptations to subterranean environments. This is a first attempt to review the phylogeny of the groundwater-dwelling planarias, focusing on the online literature. The paucity of information underlines that scarce attention has been dedicated to these animals. Further revisions, including old papers and books, not available online will be necessary."
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