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Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles

Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles
Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles
Although long-distance transport of marine organisms is constrained by numerous oceanic and biological factors, some species have evolved life-histories reliant on such movements. We examine the factors that promote long-distance transport in a transoceanic migrant, young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), from the southeastern U.S. Empirical data from near-surface buoys and simulations in two ocean circulation models indicated that passive drifters are often retained for long periods shoreward of oceanic fronts that delineate coastal and offshore waters. Further simulations revealed that offshore swimming aided newly hatched turtles in moving past fronts and increased turtles’ probability of survival, reaching distant foraging grounds, and encountering favorable temperatures. Swimming was most beneficial in regions that were more favorable under scenarios assuming passive drift. These results have broad implications for understanding the movement processes of many marine species, highlighting likely retention of more planktonic species and potential for dispersal in more nektonic species.
0025-3162
2117-2126
Putman, Nathan F.
01d17def-4869-41f2-8def-262ce3757bdd
Scott, Rebecca
8eec1f68-f6c5-4d2a-9dae-aee7c4e0c87a
Verley, Philippe
8377b4bc-769b-4308-a264-1a01a8455fbf
Marsh, Robert
702c2e7e-ac19-4019-abd9-a8614ab27717
Hays, Graeme C.
b9ce7bc1-c701-4c1b-95bd-7452ed75f4ba
Putman, Nathan F.
01d17def-4869-41f2-8def-262ce3757bdd
Scott, Rebecca
8eec1f68-f6c5-4d2a-9dae-aee7c4e0c87a
Verley, Philippe
8377b4bc-769b-4308-a264-1a01a8455fbf
Marsh, Robert
702c2e7e-ac19-4019-abd9-a8614ab27717
Hays, Graeme C.
b9ce7bc1-c701-4c1b-95bd-7452ed75f4ba

Putman, Nathan F., Scott, Rebecca, Verley, Philippe, Marsh, Robert and Hays, Graeme C. (2012) Natal site and offshore swimming influence fitness and long-distance ocean transport in young sea turtles. Marine Biology, 159 (10), 2117-2126. (doi:10.1007/s00227-012-1995-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Although long-distance transport of marine organisms is constrained by numerous oceanic and biological factors, some species have evolved life-histories reliant on such movements. We examine the factors that promote long-distance transport in a transoceanic migrant, young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), from the southeastern U.S. Empirical data from near-surface buoys and simulations in two ocean circulation models indicated that passive drifters are often retained for long periods shoreward of oceanic fronts that delineate coastal and offshore waters. Further simulations revealed that offshore swimming aided newly hatched turtles in moving past fronts and increased turtles’ probability of survival, reaching distant foraging grounds, and encountering favorable temperatures. Swimming was most beneficial in regions that were more favorable under scenarios assuming passive drift. These results have broad implications for understanding the movement processes of many marine species, highlighting likely retention of more planktonic species and potential for dispersal in more nektonic species.

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Published date: 2012
Organisations: Physical Oceanography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 344929
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/344929
ISSN: 0025-3162
PURE UUID: 48ac9b28-517d-49bb-9327-0df750848e22

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Date deposited: 06 Nov 2012 14:30
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:50

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Contributors

Author: Nathan F. Putman
Author: Rebecca Scott
Author: Philippe Verley
Author: Robert Marsh
Author: Graeme C. Hays

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