Baylon, Myrna GUnpublished Masteral Thesis, University of Nueva Caceres City of Naga , 2000.

Keywords: Physical and Biological Condition of Caves

This study evaluated the physical and biological condtion of five caves at the Libmanan Caves National Park , Libmanan, Camarines Sur, C/Y 2000. Specifically, this study answered the following questions: 1) What is the physical condition of the caves along: temperature, humidity, cave structure and mineral formation? 2) What is the biological condition of the caves along: flora fauna and human activities? 3) What factors are associated with the physical and biological condition of these caves? 4) To what extent have these factors affected the caves' physical and biological condition.

This study used the descriptive evaluative method in identifying and evaluating the species of flora and fauna of the five caves, namely; Alinsanay Cave , Balinsasayaw Cave , Binubon Cave , Kalangkawan Cave , and Taros-taros Cave . Transects were established from the entrance of the caves up to 60 meters, with an interval of 10 meters of each sampling stations. In the identification of the flora and fauna, samples were collected from three stations, namely; entrance zone, twilight zone and dark zone. Mineral formations were determined by observing and examining the stalactites and stalagmites. For the physical condition of the caves, the thermometer, psychrometer and survey tapes were utilized while mist nets and live traps were deployed for the identification of fauna.

The conclusions were: (1) For the physical condition of the caves; average temperature for the five caves limited the species of flora and fauna. Average relative humidity only allowed species of flora which do not require so much moisture. Cave structures of the five caves are not conductive to growth of the flora and fauna. Mineral formation is controlled and dependent on the cave structure. (2) For the biological condition of the caves; the species floras identified in the five caves found mostly at the entrance zone have superficial roots and only one species found in the twilight zone. That the species found at the twilight zone and dark zone were those which are nocturnal while species at the entrance zone, as these are exposed to partial sunlight are semi-active during the day. (3) That the flora is a crucial factor to the physical condition of the caves such as temperature, water drops and mineral formation since these determine the environment of the caves. Physical condition such as cave structure and humidity added to human activities that affect the biological conditions since these could alter irreversibly the cave environment. (4) The physical condition was determined by human activities which had the most severe effects on these cave such as collection of guano, removal mineral formation; and tourist activities had the list effect. The biological condition such as the presence of flora and fauna at different zones of the caves were determined by the cave structure which had severe effects on these caves.