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Proxy indicators of sand temperature help project impacts of global warming on sea turtles in northern Australia

Fuentes, M. M. P. B., Maynard, J. A., Guinea, Michael L., Bell, I. P., Werdell, P. J. and Hamann, Mark (2009). Proxy indicators of sand temperature help project impacts of global warming on sea turtles in northern Australia. Endangered Species Research,9(1):33-40.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 02468002xPUB10
Title Proxy indicators of sand temperature help project impacts of global warming on sea turtles in northern Australia
Author Fuentes, M. M. P. B.
Maynard, J. A.
Guinea, Michael L.
Bell, I. P.
Werdell, P. J.
Hamann, Mark
Journal Name Endangered Species Research
Publication Date 2009
Volume Number 9
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1613-4796   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-71849085017
Start Page 33
End Page 40
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Global warming poses serious threats to sea turtle populations since sex determination and hatching success are dependent on nest temperature. Nest sex ratios may be skewed towards a predominantly female output, and eggs may be consistently exposed to temperatures that exceed thermal mortality thresholds. Consequently, understanding the rates at which sand temperatures are likely to change represents an immediate priority. Here, we use regression analyses to correlate air temperature (AT) and high-resolution sea surface temperature (SST) to sand temperature at 5 rookeries in northern Australia. We show that previous studies using only AT could potentially be improved by including SST as a covariate. At our study sites, combined SST and AT models explained between 79 and 94% of the variance in sand temperature in recent years. Our results suggest that hatchling production will skew towards all females at 3 of our sites by 2070 (Moulter Cay, Milman Island and Bramble Cay) and by as early as 2030 at Ashmore Island and Bare Sand Island. The projections presented here can inform the timely and targeted implementation of local-scale management strategies to reduce the impacts of global warming on sea turtle populations. Identifying and testing new strategies deserves immediate attention, as does further research into the adaptive capacity of sea turtles.
Keywords global warming
temperature
sea turtles
sex ratio
hatching success
Torres Strait
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/esr00224   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes Copyright by Inter-Research Fuentes MMPB, Maynard JA, Guinea M, Bell IP, Werdell PJ, Hamann M (2009) Proxy indicators of sand temperature help project impacts of global warming on sea turtles in northern Australia. Endang Species Res 9:33-40 http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/esr00224


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