Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles

Putman, Nathan F., Scott, Rebecca, Verley, Philippe, Marsh, Robert and Hays, Graeme C. 2012, Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles, Marine biology, vol. 159, no. 10, pp. 2117-2126, doi: 10.1007/s00227-012-1995-5.

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Title Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles
Author(s) Putman, Nathan F.
Scott, Rebecca
Verley, Philippe
Marsh, Robert
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name Marine biology
Volume number 159
Issue number 10
Start page 2117
End page 2126
Total pages 10
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2012-10
ISSN 0025-3162
1432-1793
Summary Although long-distance transport of marine organisms is constrained by numerous oceanic and biological factors, some species have evolved life-histories reliant on such movements. We examine the factors that promote long-distance transport in a transoceanic migrant, young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), from the southeastern U.S. Empirical data from near-surface buoys and simulations in two ocean circulation models indicated that passive drifters are often retained for long periods shoreward of oceanic fronts that delineate coastal and offshore waters. Further simulations revealed that offshore swimming aided newly hatched turtles in moving past fronts and increased turtles’ probability of survival, reaching distant foraging grounds, and encountering favorable temperatures. Swimming was most beneficial in regions that were more favorable under scenarios assuming passive drift. These results have broad implications for understanding the movement processes of many marine species, highlighting likely retention of more planktonic species and potential for dispersal in more nektonic species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00227-012-1995-5
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences 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 ©2012, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058212

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