Winter severity and phenology of spring emergence from the nest in freshwater turtles.
Patrick Joseph Baker, John B Iverson, Richard E Lee, Jon P Costanzo
The Science of Nature | Published : 2010
Although many species of freshwater turtles emigrate to water soon after hatching, the offspring of some species overwinter on land and move to aquatic habitats in the following spring. Timing of emigration can affect the hatchlings' fitness, but the factors underlying phenology of nest emergence are incompletely understood. We tested the supposition that cold stress imposed during hibernation can influence the timing of nest emergence in three species of turtles in the central USA. In each year of the 6-year study, Chrysemys picta emerged in late March and early April and, on average, these hatchlings left their nests 2 weeks earlier than those of Graptemys geographica and 4 weeks earlier t..View full abstract