Energy expenditure of freely swimming adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and its link with body acceleration.

Abstract : Marine turtles are globally threatened. Crucial for the conservation of these large ectotherms is a detailed knowledge of their energy relationships, especially their at-sea metabolic rates, which will ultimately define population structure and size. Measuring metabolic rates in free-ranging aquatic animals, however, remains a challenge. Hence, it is not surprising that for most marine turtle species we know little about the energetic requirements of adults at sea. Recently, accelerometry has emerged as a promising tool for estimating activity-specific metabolic rates of animals in the field. Accelerometry allows quantification of the movement of animals (ODBA/PDBA, overall/partial dynamic body acceleration), which, after calibration, might serve as a proxy for metabolic rate. We measured oxygen consumption rates ( ) of adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas; 142.1±26.9 kg) at rest and when swimming within a 13 m-long swim channel, using flow-through respirometry. We investigated the effect of water temperature (T(w)) on turtle and tested the hypothesis that turtle body acceleration can be used as a proxy for . Mean mass-specific ( ) of six turtles when resting at a T(w) of 25.8±1.0°C was 0.50±0.09 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83). increased significantly with T(w) and activity level. Changes in were paralleled by changes in respiratory frequency (f(R)). Deploying bi-axial accelerometers in conjunction with respirometry, we found a significant positive relationship between and PDBA that was modified by T(w). The resulting predictive equation was highly significant (r(2)=0.83, P<0.0001) and associated error estimates were small (mean algebraic error 3.3%), indicating that body acceleration is a good predictor of in green turtles. Our results suggest that accelerometry is a suitable method to investigate marine turtle energetics at sea.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 2:26:26 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 2:34:03 PM

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Manfred R Enstipp, Stéphane Ciccione, Benoît Gineste, Myriam Milbergue, Katia Ballorain, et al.. Energy expenditure of freely swimming adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and its link with body acceleration.. Journal of Experimental Biology, Cambridge University Press, 2011, 214 (23), pp.4010-4020. ⟨10.1242/jeb.062943⟩. ⟨hal-00641697⟩

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