Spatio-temporal variation in the incubation duration and sex ratio of hawksbill hatchlings: implication for future management

dei Marcovaldi, Maria A.G., Santos, Armando J.B., Santos, Alexsandro S., Soares, Luciano S., Lopez, Gustave G., Godfrey, Matthew H., López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros, and Fuentes, Mariana M.P.B. (2014) Spatio-temporal variation in the incubation duration and sex ratio of hawksbill hatchlings: implication for future management. Journal of Thermal Biology, 44. pp. 70-77.

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Climate change poses a unique threat to species with temperature dependent sex determination (TSD), such as marine turtles, where increases in temperature can result in extreme sex ratio biases. Knowledge of the primary sex ratio of populations with TSD is key for providing a baseline to inform management strategies and to accurately predict how future climate changes may affect turtle populations. However, there is a lack of robust data on offspring sex ratio at appropriate temporal and spatial scales to inform management decisions. To address this, we estimate the primary sex ratio of hawksbill hatchlings, Eretmochelys imbricata, from incubation duration of 5514 in situ nests from 10 nesting beaches from two regions in Brazil over the last 27 years. A strong female bias was estimated in all beaches, with 96% and 89% average female sex ratios produced in Bahia (BA) and Rio Grande do Norte (RN). Both inter-annual (BA, 88 to 99%; RN, 75 to 96% female) and inter-beach (BA, 92% to 97%; RN, 81% to 92% female) variability in mean offspring sex ratio was observed. These findings will guide management decisions in Brazil and provide further evidence of highly female-skew sex ratios in hawksbill turtles.

Item ID: 36191
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0992
Keywords: marine turtles, climate change, sex ratio, pivotal incubation temperature, Brazil, Hawksbill turtle
Funders: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES)
Projects and Grants: CNPq/CAPES Processo: 400448/2013-0, Chamada: Linha 2 - Bolsa Pesquisador Visitante Especial
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:22
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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