Thermal performance curves are useful for predicting how organisms might respond to environmental change, and are becoming increasingly applicable for ectothermic animals threatened by climate change. Here we present a thermal performance curve for the critically endangered western swamp turtle (Pseudemydura umbrina) based upon measurements of O2 consumption and CO2 production obtained by flow-through respirometry at temperatures between 15 and 30°C. Standard metabolic rate was significantly higher at 30°C (0.030 mL g–1 h–1 O2, 0.021 mL g–1 h–1 CO2) than at 20°C (0.007 mL g–1 h–1 O2, 0.006 mL g–1 h–1 CO2) and the 20−30°C Q10 for O2 and CO2 were 4.60 and 3.55 respectively. Oxygen consumption rates at 15°C and 25°C were 0.002 (±0.000) and 0.018 (±0.000) mL g–1 h–1, with a corresponding Q10 of 9.21. Beyond ∼30°C there was a decline in physiological performance, which was supported by activity patterns reported for P. umbrina in the literature.
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Vol. 62 • No. 6