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Chapter 15: Vulnerability of marine reptiles in the Great Barrier Reef to climate change

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Title: Chapter 15: Vulnerability of marine reptiles in the Great Barrier Reef to climate change
Authors: Hamann, M.
Limpus, C.J.
Read, M.A.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Series/Report no.: Book: Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment
Abstract: Marine reptiles are an important and well-documented component of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), comprising a single species of crocodile (Crocodylidae), six species of marine turtles (five Chelonidae and one Dermochelyidae), at least 16 species of sea snakes (Hydrophiidae), one species of file snake (Acrochordidae) and one species of mangrove snake (Colubridae). Together these marine reptile species inhabit or traverse through each of the 70 bioregions identified by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Representative Areas Program . These marine reptile species, with the exception of some of the snakes, have distributions that span large areas of the GBR. Crocodiles, marine turtles, file snakes, mangrove snakes and sea snakes all have life history traits, behaviour and physiology that are strongly influenced by temperature. All are ectothermic except for the leatherback turtle and thus their body temperatures fluctuate with environmental temperature. For egg laying species (crocodiles and turtles), the temperature of the nest determines incubation period, hatching success and hatching sex ratio. Thus as a group they are potentially vulnerable to climate change.
ISBN: 9781876945619
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