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Different male vs. female breeding periodicity helps mitigate offspring sex ratio skews in sea turtles

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Version 2 2024-06-03, 20:48
Version 1 2015-03-25, 10:56
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 20:48 authored by Graeme HaysGraeme Hays, Antonios D Mazaris, Gail Schofield
The implications of climate change for global biodiversity may be profound with those species with little capacity for adaptation being thought to be particularly vulnerable to warming. A classic case of groups for concern are those animals exhibiting temperature-dependent sex-determination (TSD), such as sea turtles, where climate warming may produce single sex populations and hence extinction. We show that, globally, female biased hatchling sex ratios dominate sea turtle populations (exceeding 3:1 in >50% records), which, at-a-glance, reiterates concerns for extinction. However, we also demonstrate that more frequent breeding by males, empirically shown by satellite tracking 23 individuals and supported by a generalized bio-energetic life history model, generates more balanced operational sex ratios (OSRs). Hence, concerns of increasingly skewed hatchling sex ratios and reduced population viability are less acute than previously thought for sea turtles. In fact, in some scenarios skewed hatchling sex ratios in groups with TSD may be adaptive to ensure optimum OSRs.

History

Journal

Frontiers in marine science

Volume

1

Article number

43

Pagination

1-9

Location

Lausanne, Switzerland

Open access

  • Yes

eISSN

2296-7745

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Frontiers Research Foundation

Publisher

Frontiers Research Foundation