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Trans-Pacific dispersal of loggerhead turtle hatchlings inferred from numerical simulation modeling
Okuyama, J.; Kitagawa, T.; Zenimoto, K.; Kimura, S.; Arai, N.; Sasai, Y.; Sasaki, H. (2011). Trans-Pacific dispersal of loggerhead turtle hatchlings inferred from numerical simulation modeling. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(9): 2055-2063. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1712-9
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Okuyama, J.
  • Kitagawa, T.
  • Zenimoto, K.
  • Kimura, S.
  • Arai, N.
  • Sasai, Y.
  • Sasaki, H.

Abstract
    We used Lagrangian numerical simulations to examine the trans-Pacific dispersal processes of loggerhead turtle hatchlings. Ten thousand simulated particles were released from each of the three nesting regions in Japan and tracked for 5 years. Results showed many particles moving eastward, drifting in the Kuroshio Current followed by the Kuroshio Extension Current. However, no particles reached Baja California, a known feeding area, through passive processes, indicating that trans-Pacific transportation requires active swimming by turtles. The duration of the trans-Pacific dispersal was estimated to be at least 1.6–3.4 years, with some turtles drifting in the Kuroshio Countercurrent and remaining in the western Pacific even after 5 years. This indicates that as revealed by previous genetic studies, not all loggerheads always disperse along a trans-Pacific route. The findings showed that survival and expected growth rates varied widely according to ambient temperatures during drifting, which in turn depended on nesting location.

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