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A global review of green turtle diet: sea surface temperature as a potential driver of omnivory levels

Esteban, Nicole, Mortimer, Jeanne A, Stokes, Holly J, Laloë, Jacques-Olivier, Unsworth, Richard KF and Hays, Graeme C 2020, A global review of green turtle diet: sea surface temperature as a potential driver of omnivory levels, Marine biology, vol. 167, no. 12, pp. 1-17, doi: 10.1007/s00227-020-03786-8.

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Title A global review of green turtle diet: sea surface temperature as a potential driver of omnivory levels
Author(s) Esteban, Nicole
Mortimer, Jeanne A
Stokes, Holly J
Laloë, Jacques-Olivier
Unsworth, Richard KF
Hays, Graeme CORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name Marine biology
Volume number 167
Issue number 12
Article ID 183
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Cham, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-11-16
ISSN 0025-3162
1432-1793
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Summary To better understand dietary requirements, trophic shifts, and trophic interactions of the threatened green turtle (Chelonia mydas), we conducted a comprehensive global review and literature tabulation (177 studies) reporting diets of individuals & 25 cm carapace length. We analysed those studies involving natural sites and healthy animals that reported relative proportions of all diet components (67 studies, 89 datasets at 75 sites, 13 geographic sub-regions, 3 oceans). We compared diets by sub-region and foraging site relative to four diet components, i.e., seagrass, macroalgae, terrestrial plants (including mangroves) and animal matter. To assess sea surface temperature (SST) as an environmental driver, values were extracted from satellite data (single year) and site-specific observations (study durations) and examined relative to diet composition. Satellite data indicated that at warmer sites with temperatures & 25 °C (≥ 6 months annually), diet was predominantly herbivorous (mean = 92.97%; SE = 9.85; n = 69 datasets). At higher latitude sites and in cold-water currents with SST & 20 °C (≥ 6 months annually), dietary animal matter featured prominently (mean = 51.47%; SE = 4.84; n = 20 datasets). Site-specific observations indicated that SST had a small but significant effect on contributions of animal matter (r2 = 0.17, P =  & 0.001) and seagrass (r2 = 0.24, P =  & 0.001) but not macroalgae and terrestrial plants. Our study presents the first quantitative evidence at a global scale that temperature may be an important driver of omnivory, providing a new perspective on variations in green turtle diet, especially in light of global warming and climate change.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00227-020-03786-8
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30145906

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.