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Author (up) Kelly, I.; Leon, J.X.; Gilby, B.L.; Olds, A.D.; Schlacher, T.A. url  doi
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  Title Marine turtles are not fussy nesters: a novel test of small-scale nest site selection using structure from motion beach terrain information Type Journal Article
  Year 2017 Publication PeerJ Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 5 Issue Pages e2770  
  Keywords Animals  
  Abstract Background

Nest selection is widely regarded as a key process determining the fitness of individuals and viability of animal populations. For marine turtles that nest on beaches, this is particularly pivotal as the nesting environment can significantly control reproductive success.The aim of this study was to identify the environmental attributes of beaches (i.e., morphology, vegetation, urbanisation) that may be associated with successful oviposition in green and loggerhead turtle nests.

Methods

We quantified the proximity of turtle nests (and surrounding beach locations) to urban areas, measured their exposure to artificial light, and used ultra-high resolution (cm-scale) digital surface models derived from Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithms, to characterise geomorphic and vegetation features of beaches on the Sunshine Coast, eastern Australia.

Results

At small spatial scales (i.e., <100 m), we found no evidence that turtles selected nest sites based on a particular suite of environmental attributes (i.e., the attributes of nest sites were not consistently different from those of surrounding beach locations). Nest sites were, however, typically characterised by occurring close to vegetation, on parts of the shore where the beach- and dune-face was concave and not highly rugged, and in areas with moderate exposure to artificial light.

Conclusion

This study used a novel empirical approach to identify the attributes of turtle nest sites from a broader ‘envelope’ of environmental nest traits, and is the first step towards optimizing conservation actions to mitigate, at the local scale, present and emerging human impacts on turtle nesting beaches.
 
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  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 2167-8359 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number LoNNe @ kyba @ Serial 1611  
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