Title

02. The Effects of Warmer Winter Temperatures on Ornate Box Turtle Hibernation and Physiology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Abigail Neyer

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Nesbitt 3110

Start Date

25-3-2022 12:00 PM

End Date

25-3-2022 1:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Rising temperatures could cause serious consequences to ectotherm physiology as these organisms. rely on their environment to regulate body temperature. During winter, exposure to warmer temperatures raises ectotherm metabolism and increases energy use during hibernation which can deplete energy stores needed for reproduction, and survival. Turtles provide many ecosystem services including seed dispersal, soil turnover and influencing energy flow. However, there is a lack of research regarding the effects of climate change on turtle physiology which is alarming due to massive declines in turtle populations. To further investigate the effects of global warming on turtles, ornate box turtles from a population near Ogallala, Nebraska underwent hibernation from October 2017 to April 2018 in temperature-controlled rooms at 4°C or 10°C which correspond with the average and maximum winter temperatures that ornate box turtles experience in their natural habitat (unpublished data). We predicted that turtles at 10°C would experience increased oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, respiratory quotients, and blood lactate levels indicating higher metabolism. Preliminary results suggest that turtles in the warm treatment had higher RQ values, but oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and blood lactate levels did not differ between the treatments. This study will not only help scientists to better understand ornate box turtles but also other long-lived organisms and how climate change is affecting them.

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Mar 25th, 12:00 PM Mar 25th, 1:00 PM

02. The Effects of Warmer Winter Temperatures on Ornate Box Turtle Hibernation and Physiology

Nesbitt 3110

Rising temperatures could cause serious consequences to ectotherm physiology as these organisms. rely on their environment to regulate body temperature. During winter, exposure to warmer temperatures raises ectotherm metabolism and increases energy use during hibernation which can deplete energy stores needed for reproduction, and survival. Turtles provide many ecosystem services including seed dispersal, soil turnover and influencing energy flow. However, there is a lack of research regarding the effects of climate change on turtle physiology which is alarming due to massive declines in turtle populations. To further investigate the effects of global warming on turtles, ornate box turtles from a population near Ogallala, Nebraska underwent hibernation from October 2017 to April 2018 in temperature-controlled rooms at 4°C or 10°C which correspond with the average and maximum winter temperatures that ornate box turtles experience in their natural habitat (unpublished data). We predicted that turtles at 10°C would experience increased oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, respiratory quotients, and blood lactate levels indicating higher metabolism. Preliminary results suggest that turtles in the warm treatment had higher RQ values, but oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and blood lactate levels did not differ between the treatments. This study will not only help scientists to better understand ornate box turtles but also other long-lived organisms and how climate change is affecting them.