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Adaptation of sea turtles to climate warming: Will phenological responses be sufficient to counteract changes in reproductive output?

Fuentes, MMPB and Santos, AJB and Abreu-Grobois, A and Briseño-Dueñas, R and Al-Khayat, J and Hamza, S and Saliba, S and Anderson, D and Rusenko, KW and Mitchell, NJ and Gammon, M and Bentley, BP and Beton, D and Booth, DTB and Broderick, AC and Colman, LP and Snape, RTE and Calderon-Campuzano, MF and Cuevas, E and Lopez-Castro, MC and Flores-Aguirre, CD and Mendez de la Cruz, F and Segura-Garcia, Y and Ruiz-Garcia, A and Fossette, S and Gatto, CR and Reina, RD and Girondot, M and Godfrey, M and Guzman-Hernandez, V and Hart, CE and Kaska, Y and Lara, PH and Marcovaldi, MAGD and LeBlanc, AM and Rostal, D and Liles, MJ and Wyneken, J and Lolavar, A and Williamson, SA and Manoharakrishnan, M and Pusapati, C and Chatting, M and Mohd Salleh, S and Patricio, AR and Regalla, A and Restrepo, J and Garcia, R and Santidrián Tomillo, P and Sezgin, C and Shanker, K and Tapilatu, F and Turkozan, O and Valverde, RA and Williams, K and Yilmaz, C and Tolen, N and Nel, R and Tucek, J and Legouvello, D and Rivas, ML and Gaspar, C and Touron, M and Genet, Q and Salmon, M and Araujo, MR and Freire, JB and Castheloge, VD and Jesus, PR and Ferreira, PD and Paladino, FV and Montero-Flores, D and Sozbilen, D and Monsinjon, JR (2023) Adaptation of sea turtles to climate warming: Will phenological responses be sufficient to counteract changes in reproductive output? In: Global Change Biology .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16991


Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change since their reproductive output is influenced by incubating temperatures, with warmer temperatures causing lower hatching success and increased feminization of embryos. Their ability to cope with projected increases in ambient temperatures will depend on their capacity to adapt to shifts in climatic regimes. Here, we assessed the extent to which phenological shifts could mitigate impacts from increases in ambient temperatures (from 1.5 to 3°C in air temperatures and from 1.4 to 2.3°C in sea surface temperatures by 2100 at our sites) on four species of sea turtles, under a �middle of the road� scenario (SSP2-4.5). Sand temperatures at sea turtle nesting sites are projected to increase from 0.58 to 4.17°C by 2100 and expected shifts in nesting of 26�43 days earlier will not be sufficient to maintain current incubation temperatures at 7 (29) of our sites, hatching success rates at 10 (42) of our sites, with current trends in hatchling sex ratio being able to be maintained at half of the sites. We also calculated the phenological shifts that would be required (both backward for an earlier shift in nesting and forward for a later shift) to keep up with present-day incubation temperatures, hatching success rates, and sex ratios. The required shifts backward in nesting for incubation temperatures ranged from �20 to �191 days, whereas the required shifts forward ranged from +54 to +180 days. However, for half of the sites, no matter the shift the median incubation temperature will always be warmer than the 75th percentile of current ranges. Given that phenological shifts will not be able to ameliorate predicted changes in temperature, hatching success and sex ratio at most sites, turtles may need to use other adaptive responses and/or there is the need to enhance sea turtle resilience to climate warming. © 2023 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Global Change Biology
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Author.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 09:38
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 09:38
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/84373

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