Evaluating Connections between Oceanic and Neritic Foraging Areas of Sea Turtles in the Atlantic Ocean with Biochemical ...

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Material Information

Title:
Evaluating Connections between Oceanic and Neritic Foraging Areas of Sea Turtles in the Atlantic Ocean with Biochemical Markers
Physical Description:
1 online resource (106 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Lopez-Castro, Melania Cecilia
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Zoology, Biology
Committee Chair:
BJORNDAL,KAREN ANNE
Committee Co-Chair:
BOLTEN,ALAN BRUCE
Committee Members:
SILLIMAN,BRIAN
MARTIN,ELLEN ECKELS
KAMENOV,GEORGE DIMITROV

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
connectivity -- elements -- isotopes -- lead -- sea -- trace -- turtles
Biology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
Zoology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
Sea turtles move long distances among their foraging grounds and between their foraging and reproductive areas at different stages of their life cycle. These connections are not always direct; hatchlings do not travel directly from the nesting beach to their final foraging areas in coastal zones. Most sea turtle species have an early oceanic stage (the “lost years”) that is poorly known. Hatchlings emerge from their nests, enter the sea, and inhabit oceanic (open ocean) habitats where they are rarely seen until they recruit to coastal (neritic) foraging grounds several years later. Locating these areas and understanding their connections with coastal foraging areas is necessary to develop conservation strategies. My research addresses the patterns of connection between oceanic and neritic foraging areas using trace elements and stable isotopes of lead. Scute, the keratinized outer layer of the shell of sea turtles, is an inert tissue that records the history of the habitats and diets of sea turtles in its elemental composition. I first determined the area of the scute that had the longest history recorded by stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. I then characterized six oceanic foraging areas used by green turtles in the Atlantic based on the elemental composition and ratios of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen of scute tissue deposited in the oceanic habitat. I discovered significant structuring among oceanic green turtle aggregations and multiple links between oceanic and neritic foraging areas. To locate these oceanic areas, I analyzed lead stable isotopes of the same scute samples and compared them to ratios of major sources of lead in different Atlantic regions. The lead isotope ratios in the scute of oceanic-stage green turtles indicated that they use different regions both in the North and South Atlantic. Lead signatures were similar to those found in North America, the Sargasso Sea, the Azores, the west coast of Africa, the Brazilian coast and Europe. This new information on the patterns of connection between oceanic and neritic foraging grounds provides a better understanding of the oceanic stage of sea turtles and helps evaluate conservation needs.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Melania Cecilia Lopez-Castro.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local:
Adviser: BJORNDAL,KAREN ANNE.
Local:
Co-adviser: BOLTEN,ALAN BRUCE.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2015-12-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2013
System ID:
UFE0046094:00001