Title

01. The Effects of Environmental Temperature Fluctuations on Physiology of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina)

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Abby Neyer, Dr. Natalie Hyslop, Dr. Jennifer Mook

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

Environmental temperatures are rising in most environments due to global warming, and impacting activity and physiology for many species. Energy allocation towards growth and reproduction for ectotherms can be affected by environmental temperature fluctuations which can lead to early emergence from brumation when food sources are not yet available. Understanding climatic effects on ectotherms is critical as many ectothermic species, in part because of their high ecological efficiency, have large impacts on their environments. For example, turtles are significant contributors to environmental health through bioturbation, mineral cycling, seed dispersal, grazing, soil disturbance, and biomass production. Although most turtles are categorized as threatened by the IUCN, research towards environmental effects on turtle physiology and behaviors seems deficient but vital considering how significant turtle species are to the environment. To assist in understanding temperature influences on Box Turtle physiology, we are investigating a population of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in North Georgia currently being studied using radiotelemetry. From 2019-2020, temperature data loggers (iButtons®) were placed distally on the turtle’s carapace as well as throughout the environment to record available temperatures. We predict that the change in yearly temperatures in early spring (April through June) might affect Eastern Box turtle thermoregulatory strategies and energy use by altering emergence patterns and metabolic rates due to changing temperatures.

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

01. The Effects of Environmental Temperature Fluctuations on Physiology of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina)

Nesbitt 3110

Environmental temperatures are rising in most environments due to global warming, and impacting activity and physiology for many species. Energy allocation towards growth and reproduction for ectotherms can be affected by environmental temperature fluctuations which can lead to early emergence from brumation when food sources are not yet available. Understanding climatic effects on ectotherms is critical as many ectothermic species, in part because of their high ecological efficiency, have large impacts on their environments. For example, turtles are significant contributors to environmental health through bioturbation, mineral cycling, seed dispersal, grazing, soil disturbance, and biomass production. Although most turtles are categorized as threatened by the IUCN, research towards environmental effects on turtle physiology and behaviors seems deficient but vital considering how significant turtle species are to the environment. To assist in understanding temperature influences on Box Turtle physiology, we are investigating a population of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in North Georgia currently being studied using radiotelemetry. From 2019-2020, temperature data loggers (iButtons®) were placed distally on the turtle’s carapace as well as throughout the environment to record available temperatures. We predict that the change in yearly temperatures in early spring (April through June) might affect Eastern Box turtle thermoregulatory strategies and energy use by altering emergence patterns and metabolic rates due to changing temperatures.