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Estimation of age at maturation and growth of Atlantic green turtles (Chelonia mydas) using skeletochronology
Goshe, L.R.; Avens, L.; Scharf, F.S.; Southwood, A.L. (2010). Estimation of age at maturation and growth of Atlantic green turtles (Chelonia mydas) using skeletochronology. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(8): 1725-1740.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Goshe, L.R.
  • Avens, L.
  • Scharf, F.S.
  • Southwood, A.L.

    Despite the vast amount of research on threatened and endangered green turtle populations, some uncertainty regarding stage durations, growth rates, and age at maturation remains. We used skeletochronology to address this gap in knowledge for green turtle populations in the North Atlantic Ocean that use coastal waters along the southeastern U.S. as developmental habitat. Oceanic stage duration was estimated at 1–7 years (X¯¯¯¯ = 3 years). Several growth models, including von Bertalanffy, logistic, Gompertz, and power functions were evaluated for describing sex-specific length-at-age data. Ages at maturation estimated using mean size at nesting for females from each genetic sub-population contributing juveniles to this neritic foraging area were 44 years (Florida), 42.5 years (Costa Rica), and 42 years (Mexico), which were higher than previously reported ages. This implies that nesting populations comprising primarily individuals utilizing foraging grounds in the southeastern U.S. may take longer to recover than previously estimated.

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