Nesting ecology of Podocnemis expansa (Schweigger, 1812) and Podocnemis unifilis (Troschel, 1848) (Testudines, Podocnemididae) in the Javaés River, Brazil.
Nest site has influence on incubation duration and hatching success of two Neotropical turtles, the giant Amazon River turtle (Podocnemis expansa) and yellow-spotted side-neck turtle (Podocnemis unifilis--'Tracajá'). The 2000 and 2001 nesting seasons have been monitored at the Javaés River in Bananal Island, Brazil. Although they nest on the same beaches, there is a separation of the nesting areas of P unifilis and P. expansa nests on the upper parts of the beach. The incubation duration for P. expansa is influenced by the nesting period, the height of the nest from the river, the clutch size, and the grain size in the site of the nest. Nests of Podocnemis expansa placed in coarse sediments have shorter incubation duration than those placed in finer sediments. The hatching success in P. expansa is influenced by grain size, incubation duration, and nesting period. The grain size is negatively correlated with hatching success, indicating that the nests situated in finer-grained sand have better chances of successful egg hatching than those in coarser-grained sand. Nests of the end of the reproductive season have lower hatching success and incubation duration than those at the start of the season. For P. unifilis, the nesting period and nest depth influence the incubation duration; moreover, the river dynamics significantly affect the hatching success. The oscillation of the river level and the moment of initial increase, the height of the nest from the river level, and the nesting period are all decisive components for hatching success. The results of this research show the importance of protecting areas with great geological diversity, wherein the features of the environment can affect the microenvironment of nests, with consequences on incubation duration and hatching success.
Version: za2963e q8zae q8zbb q8zc7 q8zd2 q8ze1 q8zfe q8zg2