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Contrasted habitats and individual plasticity drive the fine scale movements of juvenile green turtles in coastal ecosystems

Abstract : Background: A strong behavioural plasticity is commonly evidenced in the movements of marine megafauna species, and it might be related to an adaptation to local conditions of the habitat. One way to investigate such behavioural plasticity is to satellite track a large number of individuals from contrasting foraging grounds, but despite recent advances in satellite telemetry techniques, such studies are still very limited in sea turtles. Methods: From 2010 to 2018, 49 juvenile green turtles were satellite tracked from five contrasting feeding grounds located in the SouthWest Indian Ocean in order to (1) assess the diel patterns in their movements, (2) investigate the inter-individual and inter-site variability, and (3) explore the drivers of their daily movements using both static (habitat type and bathymetry) and dynamic variables (daily and tidal cycles). Results: Despite similarities observed in four feeding grounds (a diel pattern with a decreased distance to shore and smaller home ranges at night), contrasted habitats (e.g. mangrove, reef flat, fore-reef, terrace) associated with different resources (coral, seagrass, algae) were used in each island. Conclusions: Juvenile green turtles in the SouthWest Indian Ocean show different responses to contrasting environmental conditions-both natural (habitat type and tidal cycle) and anthropogenic (urbanised vs. uninhabited island) demonstrating the ability to adapt to modification of habitat.
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https://hal.univ-reunion.fr/hal-03046010
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 11:37:17 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 12:26:18 PM
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Philippine Chambault, Mayeul Dalleau, Jean-Benoît Nicet, Pascal Mouquet, Katia Ballorain, et al.. Contrasted habitats and individual plasticity drive the fine scale movements of juvenile green turtles in coastal ecosystems. Movement Ecology, BioMed Central, 2020, 8, pp.1. ⟨10.1186/s40462-019-0184-2⟩. ⟨hal-03046010⟩

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