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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Population Structure Analysis of Western Painted Turtles

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AUTHORS: Charrissa Zuerlein, UNL Student; Larkin Powell, Director of Great Plains Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit

ABSTRACT: Population structure, specifically the age, size and sex composition, of Western painted turtles is important for the survival of the species.  As a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the sex ratios of new clutches are affected by climate, and this could cause problems for the species as climate changes occur. I studied the fluctuations in population structure of a single population using data collected for more than ten years.  This population is located near Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogallala, Nebraska.  Every summer turtles are caught using floating basking traps and hoop nets.  These turtles were either identified from previous markings or marked, and then measured for size, weight and approximate age.  We show evidence of changes in the sex ratio that occurred following a severe drought. And we show variation in the size structure of the population that suggests recent increases in productivity, as more smaller size classes are now present in the population.  The information from this unique population may be informative to how species are affected by changes in climate.  

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Lancaster Ballroom

Attendees (3)