Vulnerability of marine reptiles to climate change in the Great Barrier Reef

Hamann, Mark, Limpus, Colin J, and Read, Mark A (2007) Vulnerability of marine reptiles to climate change in the Great Barrier Reef. In: Johnson, Johanna E., and Marshall, Paul A., (eds.) Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Australian Greenhouse Office, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 465-497.

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Abstract

[Extract] Marine reptiles are an important and well-documented component of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), comprising a single species of crocodile (Crocodylidae), six species of marine turtles (five Chelonidae and one Dermochelyidae), at least 16 species of sea snakes (Hydrophiidae), one species of file snake (Acrochordidae) and one species of mangrove snake (Colubridae). Together these marine reptile species inhabit or traverse through each of the 70 bioregions identified by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Representative Areas Program . These marine reptile species, with the exception of some of the snakes, have distributions that span large areas of the GBR. Crocodiles, marine turtles, file snakes, mangrove snakes and sea snakes all have life history traits, behaviour and physiology that are strongly influenced by temperature. All are ectothermic except for the leatherback turtle and thus their body temperatures fluctuate with environmental temperature. For egg laying species (crocodiles and turtles), the temperature of the nest determines incubation period, hatching success and hatching sex ratio. Thus as a group they are potentially vulnerable to climate change.

Item ID: 8060
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Commercial)
ISBN: 978-1-876945-61-9
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2010 01:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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