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Inferring physiological energetics of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) from existing data using a general metabolic theory

Marn, Nina; Kooijman, S.A.L.M.; Jusup, Marko; Legović, Tarzan; Klanjšček, Tin (2017) Inferring physiological energetics of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) from existing data using a general metabolic theory. Marine Environmental Research, 126 . pp. 14-25. ISSN 0141-1136

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Abstract

Loggerhead turtle is an endangered sea turtle species with a migratory lifestyle and worldwide distribution, experiencing markedly different habitats throughout its lifetime. Environmental conditions, especially food availability and temperature, constrain the acquisition and the use of available energy, thus affecting physiological processes such as growth, maturation, and reproduction. These physiological processes at the population level determine survival, fecundity, and ultimately the population growth rate|a key indicator of the success of conservation efforts. As a first step towards the comprehensive understanding of how environment shapes the physiology and the life cycle of a loggerhead turtle, we constructed a full life cycle model based on the principles of energy acquisition and utilization embedded in the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory. We adapted the standard DEB model using data from published and unpublished sources to obtain parameter estimates and model predictions that could be compared with data. The outcome was a successful mathematical description of ontogeny and life history traits of the loggerhead turtle. Some deviations between the model and the data existed (such as an earlier age at sexual maturity and faster growth of the post-hatchlings), yet probable causes for these deviations were found informative and discussed in great detail. Physiological traits such as the capacity to withstand starvation, trade-offs between reproduction and growth, and changes in the energy budget throughout the ontogeny were inferred from the model. The results offer new insights into physiology and ecology of loggerhead turtle with the potential to lead to novel approaches in conservation of this endangered species.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors would like to thank L. Stokes (Southeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, Miami, Florida, United States of America) for generously sharing her data. N.M and T.K. have been in part supported by Croatian Science Foundation under the project 2202-ACCTA. MJ. was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency Program to Disseminate Tenure Tracking System.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Life cycle model ; DEB theory ; Loggerhead turtle ; Dynamic Energy Budget ; Marine ecology ; Conservation ; Turtles ; Mathematical models ; Life history
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Geology
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Projects:
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Procjena prihvatnog kapaciteta za turiste u zaštićenim područjima prirode-ACCTATarzan LegovićIP-2013-11-2202HRZZ
Ekološko modeliranje za održivo upravljanje resursima-Tarzan Legović098-0982934-2719MZOS
Depositing User: Tin Klanjšček
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2018 14:02
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2018 14:02
URI: http://fulir.irb.hr/id/eprint/4327
DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.01.003

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