The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

Paolo Casale, Patrizio Mariani

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Abstract

Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area mainly disperse to the Ionian, Adriatic and south-central Mediterranean areas. Combining hatchling dispersal with existing empirical information on juveniles and adults, a general distribution model among nesting sites, oceanic and neritic foraging grounds for Mediterranean sea turtles is proposed. The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume498
Pages (from-to)263-274
ISSN0171-8630
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this

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title = "The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation",
abstract = "Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area mainly disperse to the Ionian, Adriatic and south-central Mediterranean areas. Combining hatchling dispersal with existing empirical information on juveniles and adults, a general distribution model among nesting sites, oceanic and neritic foraging grounds for Mediterranean sea turtles is proposed. The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans",
author = "Paolo Casale and Patrizio Mariani",
year = "2014",
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language = "English",
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journal = "Marine Ecology - Progress Series",
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The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation. / Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 498, 2014, p. 263-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

AU - Casale, Paolo

AU - Mariani, Patrizio

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area mainly disperse to the Ionian, Adriatic and south-central Mediterranean areas. Combining hatchling dispersal with existing empirical information on juveniles and adults, a general distribution model among nesting sites, oceanic and neritic foraging grounds for Mediterranean sea turtles is proposed. The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans

AB - Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area mainly disperse to the Ionian, Adriatic and south-central Mediterranean areas. Combining hatchling dispersal with existing empirical information on juveniles and adults, a general distribution model among nesting sites, oceanic and neritic foraging grounds for Mediterranean sea turtles is proposed. The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans

U2 - 10.3354/meps10640

DO - 10.3354/meps10640

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VL - 498

SP - 263

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JO - Marine Ecology - Progress Series

JF - Marine Ecology - Progress Series

SN - 0171-8630

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