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1 May 2009 Do Green Turtles Modify Their Nesting Seasons in Response to Environmental Temperatures?
David A. Pike
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Recent evidence suggests that higher sea-surface temperatures are affecting nesting patterns in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), specifically by causing nesting to begin earlier in years with higher oceanic temperatures. I tested whether a sympatrically nesting species (Chelonia mydas) also shows the same pattern and found that green turtle seasonal nesting patterns at Canaveral National Seashore, Florida, were unrelated to environmental temperatures at the nesting beach; although, the date of the first nest predicted the magnitude of the nesting season (nesting earlier in the year led to higher numbers of nests). Although the reasons for differences in loggerhead and green turtles remain unclear, these results indicate that the timing of loggerhead turtle nesting may change in a warming environment; whereas, green turtle nesting may remain relatively fixed with regard to temperatures at the nesting beach.

David A. Pike "Do Green Turtles Modify Their Nesting Seasons in Response to Environmental Temperatures?," Chelonian Conservation and Biology 8(1), 43-47, (1 May 2009).
Received: 29 January 2008; Accepted: 1 July 2008; Published: 1 May 2009
Chelonia mydas
climate change
marine turtle
nesting phenology
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