Understanding resource use and foraging requirements is important for the recovery of threatened and endangered marine turtles. Throughout their range, an increasing number of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) has been observed foraging and sheltering within man-made structures. These “artificial habitats” are ecologically important as they support the growth of attached macroalgae, a primary food resource of juvenile green turtles. A population of juvenile green turtles in the Trident Basin at Port Canaveral, Florida, USA (28.41°N, 80.59°W), has historically exhibited strong site fidelity. The purpose of this study was to compare the foraging of juvenile green turtles with the availability of macroalgal resources. Foraging (lavage) samples from 94 juvenile green turtles during a 2-year study period from September 2008 through April 2010 were analyzed with the data from two previous studies (1997 and 2002) to determine the patterns of foraging habits through time. Turtles predominantly foraged on species of red (Rhodophyta) and green (Chlorophyta) macroalgae; however, opportunistic foraging on flotsam and invertebrates was common. Selection for certain rhodophytes (i.e., Gelidiopsis planicaulis, Grateloupia filicina, and Hypnea spinella) and chlorophytes (i.e., Cladophora liniformis, Ulva flexuosa, U. lactuca, and U. prolifera) varied by sampling period. Temperature-driven changes in the macroalgal species composition drove inter-annual differences in foraging content between 2002 and 2010. In addition, after an extended cold event, foraging samples from several turtles contained macroalgae not present in the Basin which suggested that turtles moved out of the Basin to forage during this time or newly emigrated. Establishing baseline resource utilization is instrumental for identifying the quality and function of natural and artificial habitats supporting juvenile green turtles, as their populations continue to recover around the globe.
Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 14, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera