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Sporadic nesting reveals long distance colonisation in the philopatric loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)

Carreras, Carlos and Pascual, Marta and Tomás, Jesús and Marco, Adolfo and Hochsheid, Sandra and Castillo, Juan José and Gozalbes, Patricia and Parga, Mariluz and Piovano, Susanna and Cardona, Luis (2018) Sporadic nesting reveals long distance colonisation in the philopatric loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Scientific Reports, TBC (TBC). TBC. ISSN 2045-2322

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    Abstract

    The colonisation of new suitable habitats is crucial for species survival at evolutionary scale under changing environmental conditions. However, colonisation potential may be limited by philopatry that facilitates exploiting successful habitats across generations. We examine the mechanisms of long distance dispersal of the philopatric loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) by analysing 40 sporadic nesting events in the western Mediterranean. The analysis of a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA and 7 microsatellites of 121 samples from 18 of these nesting events revealed that these nests were colonising events associated with juveniles from distant populations feeding in nearby foraging grounds. Considering the temperature-dependent sex determination of the species, we simulated the effect of the incubation temperature and propagule pressure on a potential colonisation scenario. Our results indicated that colonisation will succeed if warm temperature conditions, already existing in some of the beaches in the area, extend to the whole western Mediterranean. We hypothesize that the sporadic nesting events in developmental foraging grounds may be a mechanism to overcome philopatry limitations thus increasing the dispersal capabilities of the species and the adaptability to changing environments. Sporadic nesting in the western Mediterranean can be viewed as potential new populations in a scenario of rising temperatures.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 10:33
    Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 10:33
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/10816
    UNSPECIFIED

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