The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 50 Number 2: 42-46 - December 1988

A publication of the National Speleological Society

A Prelimary Survey of the Protozoa and Bacteria from Sulphur River, in Parkers Cave, Kentucky
D. Bruce Thompson and Rick Olson


Parkers Cave is located in the Turnhole Spring drainage basin near Mammoth Cave in central Kentucky. One passage, Sulphur River, contains an input of reduced sulfur water. At least two species of sulfur oxidizing bacteria are present in a thick bacterial mat that covers the floor of the stream passage. In addition, thirteen genera of protozoa were identified. The main energy source appears to be the reduced sulfur laden water which is utilized by sulfur oxidizing bacteria which in turn can support a wide variety of protozoa and higher organisms.

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