A Comparison of Immature Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) Diets among Seven Sites in the Main Hawaiian Islands.

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2008-04
Authors
Arthur, Karen E.
Balazs, George H.
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Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press
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Abstract
Understanding resource acquisition and feeding ecology of threatened species is integral to their conservation because diet is intimately linked with growth rate and reproductive output. We examined diets of immature green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas (L.), from seven sites on the islands of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, and La¯na‘i in January and August 2003. Diet analysis was based on 191 samples collected from 181 live green turtles by stomach lavage. These samples were identified and quantified using dissection microscopy and the principles of microstereology. Diet of green turtles in the Main Hawaiian Islands was dominated by red algae, and diet items most commonly encountered were Acanthophora spicifera (an introduced species), Hypnea sp., Pterocladiella sp., and Cladophora sp. Sea grasses (Halophila hawaiiana and H. decipiens) were an important component of diet in turtles from Ka¯ne‘ohe Bay. Content of green turtle diets differed among foraging grounds, and these differences may provide an insight into previously documented differences in turtle growth rates among sites. Green turtles, Chelo
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v. ill. 23 cm.
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Arthur KE, Balazs GH. A Comparison of Immature Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) Diets among Seven Sites in the Main Hawaiian Islands. Pac Sci 62(2): 205-218.
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14 p.
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