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Size scaling in western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles permits extrapolation between regions, but not life stages

Marn, Nina; Klanjšček, Tin; Stokes, Lesley; Jusup, Marko (2015) Size scaling in western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles permits extrapolation between regions, but not life stages. PLoS One, 10 (12). e0143747-1. ISSN 1932-6203

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Sea turtles face threats globally and are protected by national and international laws. Allometry and scaling models greatly aid sea turtle conservation and research, and help to better understand the biology of sea turtles. Scaling, however, may differ between regions and/or life stages. We analyze differences between (i) two different regional subsets and (ii) three different life stage subsets of the western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles by comparing the relative growth of body width and depth in relation to body length, and discuss the implications. Results suggest that the differences between scaling relationships of different regional subsets are negligible, and models fitted on data from one region of the western North Atlantic can safely be used on data for the same life stage from another North Atlantic region. On the other hand, using models fitted on data for one life stage to describe other life stages is not recommended if accuracy is of paramount importance. In particular, young loggerhead turtles that have not recruited to neritic habitats should be studied and modeled separately whenever practical, while neritic juveniles and adults can be modeled together as one group. Even though morphometric scaling varies among life stages, a common model for all life stages can be used as a general description of scaling, and assuming isometric growth as a simplification is justified. In addition to linear models traditionally used for scaling on log-log axes, we test the performance of a saturating (curvilinear) model. The saturating model is statistically preferred in some cases, but the accuracy gained by the saturating model is marginal.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: morphology; scaling; sea turtles; loggerhead turtle; allometry
NATURAL SCIENCES > Mathematics > Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Modeling
NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology > Zoology
NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology > Ecology
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Environmental Science
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Assessment of Carrying Capacity for Tourists in Nature Protected Areas (Procjena prihvatnog kapaciteta za turiste u zaštićenim područjima prirode)-ACCTATarzan LegovićIP-11-2013-2202HRZZ
Ecological modelling for sustainable management of resources (Ekološko modeliranje za održivo upravljanje resursima)-Tarzan Legović098-0982934-2719MZOS
Depositing User: Nina Marn
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 12:40
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143747

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