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

Type Article
Date 2020-01
Language English
Author(s) Chambault Philippine1, Dalleau Mayeul2, Nicet Jean-Benoit3, Mouquet Pascal4, Ballorain Katia2, 5, Jean Claire6, Ciccione Stéphane6, Bourjea JeromeORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : UMR MARBEC, IFREMER, CNRS, IRD, University of Montpellier, Avenue Jean Monnet, 34200, Sète, France
2 : Centre d’Etude et de Découverte des Tortues Marines (CEDTM), 6 chemin Dubuisson, Appt. 5, 97436, Saint-Leu, La Réunion, France
3 : GIE MAREX, 697 Chemin Surprise, La Fontaine, 97436, Saint Leu, La Réunion, France
4 : Université de La Réunion/UMR ESPACE-DEV, Antenne SEAS-OI, 40 Avenue de Soweto, 97410, Saint-Pierre, La Réunion, France
5 : Biodiversity French Agency, Mayotte and Glorieuses Marine Nature Parks, 6 chemin Dubuisson, Appt. 5, 97436, Saint-Leu, La Réunion, France
6 : Kelonia, l’observatoire des tortues marines, 46 rue du Général de Gaulle, 97436, Saint Leu, La Réunion, France
Source Movement Ecology (2051-3933) (Springer), 2020-01 , Vol. 8 , N. 1 , P. 15p.
DOI 10.1186/s40462-019-0184-2
Keyword(s) Chelonia mydas, Home range, Satellite tracking, Diel pattern, Tidal cycle
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 South-West 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 South-West 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.

Full Text
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Publisher's official version 15 2 MB Open access
Additional file 1: Figure S1. GPS locations on (a) Europa, (b) Glorieuses, (c) Juan de Nova, (d) Mayotte and (e) La Reunion. Red dots refer to release locations. (f) Migratory movements of two individ 1 442 KB Open access
Additional file 2: Figure S2. Correlation matrices of the kernel areas tested for different tracking durations during day (left) and night (right) in (a, b) Europa, (c, d) Glorieuses, (e, f) Juan de N 1 23 KB Open access
Additional file 3: Figure S3. Correlation matrices of the kernel areas tested for different number of locations during day (left) and night (right) in (a, b) Europa, (c, d) Glorieuses, (e, f) Juan de 1 25 KB Open access
Additional file 4: Figure S4. Box plots of the distance to shore extracted at each turtle location showing the inter-individual variability. 1 9 KB Open access
Additional file 5: Figure S5. Box plots of the bathymetry extracted at each turtle location showing the inter-individual variability. 1 9 KB Open access
Additional file 6: Figure S6. Maps of the seafloor habitats in (a) Europa, (b) Glorieuses, (c) Mayotte and (d) La Reunion. Habitat available are illustrated by the MCP (dotted black lines) and the ind 1 1 MB Open access
Additional file 7: Table S1. Summary of the data collected from the 49 juvenile green turtles satellite tracked. N refers to the total number of GPS locations retained for the analysis. 2 194 KB Open access
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How to cite 

Chambault Philippine, Dalleau Mayeul, Nicet Jean-Benoit, Mouquet Pascal, Ballorain Katia, Jean Claire, Ciccione Stéphane, Bourjea Jerome (2020). Contrasted habitats and individual plasticity drive the fine scale movements of juvenile green turtles in coastal ecosystems. Movement Ecology, 8(1), 15p. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1186/s40462-019-0184-2 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00601/71269/