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The impacts of nest microenvironment on sea turtle hatchling performance and their responses to thermal stress

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Date Issued:
2020
Abstract/Description:
As climate change threatens with sea-level rise and more storms, increased erosion could increase the need for beach nourishment. Alterations to sand characteristics may result in changes to the sea turtle nest microenvironment, impacting the temperature and oxygen levels which may affect hatchling performance. In this study, leatherback, loggerhead, and green nests were sampled from two sites with different sand characteristics in Juno Beach, Florida, USA. Gas exchange was higher in green turtle nests with a greater mixture of sediment. Darker sediment elevated nest temperatures. Finer sediment and a greater mixture of sediment in leatherback nests elevated the nest temperatures; conversely finer sediment, and a greater mixture of sediment decreased loggerhead and green nest temperatures. Elevated nest temperatures reduced leatherback, loggerhead, and green turtle hatchling performance. Understanding the relationships between beach composition, nest environment, and hatchling performance will aid management decisions essential to sea turtle conservation.
Title: The impacts of nest microenvironment on sea turtle hatchling performance and their responses to thermal stress.
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Name(s): Seaman, Heather A., author
Milton, Sarah, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Biological Sciences
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2020
Date Issued: 2020
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 135 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: As climate change threatens with sea-level rise and more storms, increased erosion could increase the need for beach nourishment. Alterations to sand characteristics may result in changes to the sea turtle nest microenvironment, impacting the temperature and oxygen levels which may affect hatchling performance. In this study, leatherback, loggerhead, and green nests were sampled from two sites with different sand characteristics in Juno Beach, Florida, USA. Gas exchange was higher in green turtle nests with a greater mixture of sediment. Darker sediment elevated nest temperatures. Finer sediment and a greater mixture of sediment in leatherback nests elevated the nest temperatures; conversely finer sediment, and a greater mixture of sediment decreased loggerhead and green nest temperatures. Elevated nest temperatures reduced leatherback, loggerhead, and green turtle hatchling performance. Understanding the relationships between beach composition, nest environment, and hatchling performance will aid management decisions essential to sea turtle conservation.
Identifier: FA00013542 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2020.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Sea turtles--Nests
Thermal stress (Biology)
Sea turtles--Conservation
Beach nourishment
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013542
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.