Climate change and sea turtles
Start date: Jun 1, 2013,
End date: May 31, 2015
Climate change is impacting ecosystems and organisms around the world. Sea turtles bury their eggs in sand and need stable conditions of moisture and temperature for successful development of eggs and emergence of hatchlings to the surface. We have recently shown that leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are susceptible to climate change in Central America, because of the effects of precipitation and air temperature on egg development and hatchling emergence. We propose to analyze the global effects of climatic conditions on sea turtle populations and project their responses to climate change throughout the 21st century. We will look at the effects of climate variability and climate change on the hatchling output and model population projections at various nesting sites around the world to assess global responses of sea turtles to climate change. We expect that our findings will contribute to the understanding of the effects of climate change on biodiversity. The outcomes of the study will be important for Europe's leading role in climate change research.
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