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Behavioural plasticity in a large marine herbivore: contrasting patterns of depth utilisation between two green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations

Hays, G.C., Glen, F., Broderick, A.C., Godley, B.J. and Metcalfe, J.D. 2002, Behavioural plasticity in a large marine herbivore: contrasting patterns of depth utilisation between two green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations, Marine biology, vol. 141, no. 5, pp. 985-990, doi: 10.1007/s00227-002-0885-7.

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Title Behavioural plasticity in a large marine herbivore: contrasting patterns of depth utilisation between two green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations
Author(s) Hays, G.C.ORCID iD for Hays, G.C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Glen, F.
Broderick, A.C.
Godley, B.J.
Metcalfe, J.D.
Journal name Marine biology
Volume number 141
Issue number 5
Start page 985
End page 990
Total pages 6
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2002-11
ISSN 0025-3162
1432-1793
Summary We used time-depth recorders to measure depth utilisation in gravid green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during the internesting period at northern Cyprus (Mediterranean), a nesting area where individuals feed, and at Ascension Island (mid-Atlantic), a nesting area where individuals fast. There were contrasting patterns of depth utilisation between the two sites, illustrating that the behaviour of this species is shaped by local conditions. For example, the amount of time spent shallower than 4 m was 90% at Cyprus but only 31% at Ascension Island, and there was a clear difference between the mean depth at Cyprus (2.7 m, n=9 internesting intervals) versus Ascension Island (9.5 m, n=6 internesting intervals) (t 5=5.92, P=0.002). At Cyprus, turtles spent the greatest percentage of their time at very shallow depths, where surveys reveated a high abundance of seagrass on which this population feeds. In contrast, the deeper distribution at Ascension Island may reflect the preferred depth for resting on the seabed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00227-002-0885-7
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 ©2002, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058237

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