You are here

Using Biomarkers to Assess the Migratory Ecology and Reproduction of the Florida Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2017
Abstract/Description:
Migratory connectivity between breeding and foraging areas is a vital component of the ecology of a diverse collection of marine vertebrates. Habitat quality, composition, and resource availability at these locations have direct ramifications for individual fitness. The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a long-lived, highly migratory species of conservation concern. Important green turtle nesting habitat in Florida is protected, but more information is needed to identify foraging habitats and the influence these habitats have on reproduction. Here, I used stable isotope analysis of ?13C, ?15N, and ?34S and satellite telemetry validation to determine the number of putative foraging areas used by the breeding aggregation at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (ACNWR), and the relative contribution of each foraging area. I evaluated the influence of foraging area and other variables on egg size, clutch size, hatching success, and emerging success using model selection frameworks. Isotopic values of skin and eggs were used to build conversion equations between the two tissue types. Results suggest strong migratory connectivity between the ACNWR and the Florida Keys/Florida Bay complex. I found that the influences of foraging area are likely to be more detectable when evaluating female-centric fitness metrics like clutch size and egg size; these influences are more muted in hatching and emerging success, which are strongly influenced by nest incubation conditions. These are the first green turtle-specific tissue conversion equations for ?13C and ?15N, and the first ?34S equation for any marine turtle species. These will allow researchers to have a (")common currency(") between frequently collected samples to better compare results.
Title: Using Biomarkers to Assess the Migratory Ecology and Reproduction of the Florida Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).
0 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Chabot, Ryan, Author
Mansfield, Kate, Committee Chair
Worthy, Graham, Committee Member
Seminoff, Jeffrey, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Migratory connectivity between breeding and foraging areas is a vital component of the ecology of a diverse collection of marine vertebrates. Habitat quality, composition, and resource availability at these locations have direct ramifications for individual fitness. The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a long-lived, highly migratory species of conservation concern. Important green turtle nesting habitat in Florida is protected, but more information is needed to identify foraging habitats and the influence these habitats have on reproduction. Here, I used stable isotope analysis of ?13C, ?15N, and ?34S and satellite telemetry validation to determine the number of putative foraging areas used by the breeding aggregation at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (ACNWR), and the relative contribution of each foraging area. I evaluated the influence of foraging area and other variables on egg size, clutch size, hatching success, and emerging success using model selection frameworks. Isotopic values of skin and eggs were used to build conversion equations between the two tissue types. Results suggest strong migratory connectivity between the ACNWR and the Florida Keys/Florida Bay complex. I found that the influences of foraging area are likely to be more detectable when evaluating female-centric fitness metrics like clutch size and egg size; these influences are more muted in hatching and emerging success, which are strongly influenced by nest incubation conditions. These are the first green turtle-specific tissue conversion equations for ?13C and ?15N, and the first ?34S equation for any marine turtle species. These will allow researchers to have a (")common currency(") between frequently collected samples to better compare results.
Identifier: CFE0006574 (IID), ucf:51314 (fedora)
Note(s): 2017-05-01
M.S.
Sciences, Biology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): sea turtles -- stable isotope analysis -- migratory connectivity -- reproductive output -- reproductive success -- conservation
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0006574
Restrictions on Access: campus 2018-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

In Collections