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Title: Discovery of the Sea Grass Halophila decipiens (Hydrocharitaceae) in the Diet of the Hawaiian Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas
Authors: Russell, Dennis J.
Balazs, George H.
Phillips, Ron C.
Kam, Alan K.H.
Issue Date: Oct-2003
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Russell DJ, Balazs GH, Phillips RC, Kam AKH. 2003. Discovery of the sea grass Halophila decipiens (Hydrocharitaceae) in the diet of the Hawaiian green turtle, Chelonia mydas. Pac Sci 57(4): 393-397.
Abstract: The herbivorous Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas L.) has expanded
its forage to include a newly reported sea grass species, Halophila decipiens
Ostenfeld, that is closely related to the previously documented food item,
Halophila hawaiiana Doty & Stone. Halophila decipiens was first reported in
Hawai'i in the literature in 2001, but our investigations have found it in reef
specimens preserved from 1979 and in more recent samples from green turtle
forestomachs. Its presence as a dietary item indicates that green turtles probably
began utilizing this species after 1998. The status of H. decipiens as an indigenous
species to Hawai'i, its effects on turtle pastures, and the adjustment of feeding
behavior of C. mydas to the presence of a species abundant and available as a
food source are discussed.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 57, Number 4, 2003

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