Phenological response of sea turtles to environmental variation across a species' northern range

Mazaris, Antonios D., Kallimanis, Athanasios S., Pantis, John D. and Hays, Graeme C. 2012, Phenological response of sea turtles to environmental variation across a species' northern range, Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences, vol. 280, no. 1751, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2397.

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Title Phenological response of sea turtles to environmental variation across a species' northern range
Author(s) Mazaris, Antonios D.
Kallimanis, Athanasios S.
Pantis, John D.
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C.
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences
Volume number 280
Issue number 1751
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2012
ISSN 0962-8452
Keyword(s) reaction norms
climatic niche
geographical variation
phenotypic plasticity
Summary Variations in environmental parameters (e. g. temperature) that form part of global climate change have been associated with shifts in the timing of seasonal events for a broad range of organisms. Most studies evaluating such phenological shifts of individual taxa have focused on a limited number of locations, making it difficult to assess how such shifts vary regionally across a species range. Here, by using 1445 records of the date of first nesting for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at different breeding sites, on different continents and in different years across a broad latitudinal range (25-39 degrees ' N), we demonstrate that the gradient of the relationship between temperature and the date of first breeding is steeper at higher latitudes, i.e. the phenological responses to temperature appear strongest at the poleward range limit. These findings support the hypothesis that biological changes in response to climate change will be most acute at the poleward range limits and are in accordance with the predictions of MacArthur's hypothesis that poleward range limit for species range is environmentally limited. Our findings imply that the poleward populations of loggerheads are more sensitive to climate variations and thus they might display the impacts of climate change sooner and more prominently.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2012.2397
Field of Research 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Royal Society Publishing
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