Faculty Publications

Title

Response of juvenile diamond-backed terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) to an aquatic thermal gradient

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Acclimation temperature, Emydid turtles, Juvenile turtles, Malaclemys, Temperature gradient, Thermoregulation

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Thermal Biology

Volume

38

Issue

7

First Page

434

Last Page

439

Abstract

In many ectotherms, selection of environmental thermal niches may positively affect growth, nutrient assimilation rates, immune system function, and ultimately survival. Temperature preference in some turtle species may be influenced by environmental conditions, including acclimation temperature. We tested for effects of acclimation temperature (22. °C, 27. °C) on the selected temperature and movement patterns of 14 juvenile Malaclemys terrapin (Reptilia: Emydidae) in an aquatic thermal gradient of 14-34. °C and in single-temperature (22. °C, 27. °C) control tests. Among 8-10 month old terrapins, acclimation temperature influenced activity and movement patterns but did not affect temperature selection. In thermal gradient and single-temperature control tests, turtles acclimated to 27. °C used more tank chambers and relocated between chambers significantly more frequently than individuals acclimated to 22. °C. However, acclimation temperature did not affect temperature selection: both 22- and 27. °C-acclimated turtles selected the warmest temperature (34. °C), and avoided the other temperatures available, during thermal gradient tests. These results suggest that young M. terrapin are capable of detecting small temperature increments and prefer warm temperatures that may positively influence growth and metabolism. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Original Publication Date

10-1-2013

DOI of published version

10.1016/j.jtherbio.2013.06.005

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