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Comparative physiological energetics of Mediterranean and North Atlantic loggerhead turtles

Marn, Nina; Jusup, Marko; Catteau, Sidonie; Kooijman, S.A.L.M.; Klanjšček, Tin (2019) Comparative physiological energetics of Mediterranean and North Atlantic loggerhead turtles. Journal of Sea Research, 143 . pp. 100-118. ISSN 1385-1101

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Population of loggerhead turtles nesting in the Mediterranean Sea has probably evolved from the North Atlantic (NA) population, but is geographically and genetically distinct. We aggregated previously published and new unpublished data, and took two approaches to comparing these populations: an empirical one based on statistical analyses of morphological data, and a physiological one based on a Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model. We then analyzed causes of faster growth and maturation, but smaller size at puberty and ultimate size of the Mediterranean (MED) loggerhead turtles relative to their NA conspecifics. The empirical analysis shows that MED eggs, hatchlings, and nesting adults are consistently smaller in terms of length and mass. The physiological approach suggests physiological adaptations of the MED population to higher salinity and scarcer food availability. In particular, these adaptations include an increase in somatic maintenance needs, and a decrease in energy investment to reach and maintain sexual maturity. Our study therefore offers a mechanistic underpinning of previously observed but unexplained life-history traits, and showcases an application of DEB theory as a tool for comparative analysis of two distinct populations of the same species.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Authors would like to thank Marineland (Antibes, France) rearing facility for sharing the data, Carlos M.G.L. Teixeira for useful discussions at the early stages of the manuscript while it was still a thesis chapter, and Marco D. for support. N.M. was supported by the Endeavour Research Fellowship, M.J. was supported by the Research Grant Program of Inamori Foundation, and N.M. and T.K. were supported by Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) grant 2202 ACCTA. We thank the two reviewers whose comments improved the manuscript.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marine turtles ; Mechanistic modeling ; Somatic maintenance ; Sexual maturity ; Environmental adaptation ; Caretta caretta ; Life-history traits ; Energy budget
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
Procjena prihvatnog kapaciteta za turiste u zaštićenim područjima prirode-ACCTATarzan LegovićIP-2013-11-2202HRZZ
Depositing User: Nina Marn
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2020 10:07
DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2018.06.010

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