Diving behaviour, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties: a comparison of hatchling and juvenile Australian turtles

Clark, N.J., Gordos, M.A. and Franklin, C. E. (2008) Diving behaviour, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties: a comparison of hatchling and juvenile Australian turtles. Journal of Zoology, 275 4: 399-406. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00454.x


Author Clark, N.J.
Gordos, M.A.
Franklin, C. E.
Title Diving behaviour, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties: a comparison of hatchling and juvenile Australian turtles
Journal name Journal of Zoology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0592-8369
Publication date 2008-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00454.x
Volume 275
Issue 4
Start page 399
End page 406
Total pages 8
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley- Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Language eng
Subject C1
960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
0608 Zoology
Abstract Australia has a number of bimodally respiring freshwater turtle species that use aquatic respiration to extend their aerobic dive limit. While species variations in reliance on aquatic respiration are reflected in the diving behaviour and ecology of adults, it is unknown whether these relationships also occur in hatchling and juvenile turtles. This study compared the diving behaviour, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties of hatchling and juveniles from five species of Australian freshwater turtles: Rheodytes leukops, Elusor macrurus, Elseya albagula, Elseya latisternum and Emydura signata. Both diving behaviour and physiology differed significantly between species as well as age classes. Dive duration in R. leukops was 17 times longer than the other species, with two hatchlings remaining submerged for the entire 72 h recording period. The long dive duration recorded for R. leukops was supported by a high reliance on aquatic respiration (63–73%) and high blood oxygen affinity (P50=17.24 mmHg). A correlation between dive duration, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties was not observed in the remaining turtle species where, despite the longer dive duration of Els. albagula and Elu. macrurus compared with Em. signata and Els. latisternum, there was no difference observed in per cent aquatic respiration or blood oxygen affinity between these species. When compared with adult individuals (data from previous studies), dive duration was positively correlated with body size in Em. signata, Els. albagula and R. leukops, but a negative relationship occurred in Els. latisternum and Elu. macrurus.
Formatted abstract
Australia has a number of bimodally respiring freshwater turtle species that use aquatic respiration to extend their aerobic dive limit. While species variations in reliance on aquatic respiration are reflected in the diving behaviour and ecology of adults, it is unknown whether these relationships also occur in hatchling and juvenile turtles. This study compared the diving behaviour, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties of hatchling and juveniles from five species of Australian freshwater turtles: Rheodytes leukops, Elusor macrurus, Elseya albagula, Elseya latisternum and Emydura signata. Both diving behaviour and physiology differed significantly between species as well as age classes. Dive duration in R. leukops was 17 times longer than the other species, with two hatchlings remaining submerged for the entire 72 h recording period. The long dive duration recorded for R. leukops was supported by a high reliance on aquatic respiration (63–73%) and high blood oxygen affinity (P50=17.24 mmHg). A correlation between dive duration, aquatic respiration and blood respiratory properties was not observed in the remaining turtle species where, despite the longer dive duration of Els. albagula and Elu. macrurus compared with Em. signata and Els. latisternum, there was no difference observed in per cent aquatic respiration or blood oxygen affinity between these species. When compared with adult individuals (data from previous studies), dive duration was positively correlated with body size in Em. signata, Els. albagula and R. leukops, but a negative relationship occurred in Els. latisternum and Elu. macrurus.
Keyword bimodal respiration
reptiles
dive
aquatic
haemoglobin
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 05 Dec 2008, 00:27:58 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences