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Distribution of foraging habitats of male loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) as revealed by stable isotopes and satellite telemetry
Pajuelo, M.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Reich, K.J.; Arendt, M.D.; Bolten, A.B. (2012). Distribution of foraging habitats of male loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) as revealed by stable isotopes and satellite telemetry. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(6): 1255-1267. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-012-1906-9
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Pajuelo, M.
  • Bjorndal, K.A.
  • Reich, K.J.
  • Arendt, M.D.
  • Bolten, A.B.

Abstract
    Most studies on the foraging ecology of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) have focused on adult females and juveniles. Little is known about the foraging patterns of adult male loggerheads. We analyzed tissues for carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes (d13C and d15N) from 29 adult male loggerheads tracked with satellite transmitters from one breeding area in Florida, USA, to evaluate their foraging habitats in the Northwest Atlantic (NWA). Our study revealed large variations in d13C and d15N and a correlation between both d13C and d15N and the latitude to which the loggerheads traveled after the mating season, thus reflecting a geographic pattern in the isotopic signatures. Variation in d13C and d15N can be explained by differences in food web baseline isotopic signatures rather than differences in loggerhead trophic levels. Stable isotope analysis may help elucidate residency and migration patterns and identify foraging sea turtle subpopulations in the NWA due to the isotopically distinct habitats used by these highly migratory organisms.

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