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28 April 2020 Temporal Variation in a Turtle Assemblage Inhabiting a Florida Spring-Fed River
Gerald R. Johnston, Joseph C. Mitchell, Eric C. Munscher, Georgia A. Shemitz, Peter L. Butt, Samuel Cole, Tabitha Hootman
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Abstract

We conducted a survey of freshwater turtle populations in the spring-fed Ichetucknee River in northern Florida to assess temporal variation in assemblage structure. Following the same protocols as an initial 2007 survey, we hand-captured turtles while snorkeling in 2014 and found changes in species composition, abundance of 3 species, and demographic composition of 2 species. We observed a shift in the most frequently captured species from Sternotherus minor (Loggerhead Musk Turtle) in 2007 to Pseudemys concinna (River Cooter) in 2014. We attribute this shift to an increase in the abundance of adult River Cooters. Long-term studies are needed to evaluate whether the changes we observed represent trends and which environmental factors may be driving them.

Gerald R. Johnston, Joseph C. Mitchell, Eric C. Munscher, Georgia A. Shemitz, Peter L. Butt, Samuel Cole, and Tabitha Hootman "Temporal Variation in a Turtle Assemblage Inhabiting a Florida Spring-Fed River," Southeastern Naturalist 19(2), 271-282, (28 April 2020). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.019.0207
Published: 28 April 2020
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