Nicosia, Cyprus
Nicosia, Cyprus

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Cardona L.,University of Barcelona | Clusa M.,University of Barcelona | Eder E.,University of Barcelona | Eder E.,CONICET | And 9 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2014

Loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta use a wide variety of foraging strategies, and some populations forage in sub-optimal habitats. Different foraging strategies may not be equivalent in terms of fitness and may result in differences in adult body size and clutch size among populations. Accordingly, we tested whether differences in clutch size among rookeries in the Mediterranean Sea are related to differential use of foraging grounds of contrasting productivity. Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen of turtle hatchlings from 8 Mediterranean rookeries were used to characterise the foraging grounds of their mothers. Clutch size was also studied in each rookery to assess reproductive output linked to foraging ground productivity. According to stable isotope ratios, most of the females nesting in the considered rookeries foraged in the southern Ionian Sea. The highly productive Adriatic/northern Ionian Sea region was mainly used by females nesting in western Greece. The explanation for these patterns might be linked to water circulation patterns and drifting trajectories followed during developmental migrations, which might determine individual knowledge on the location of productive foraging patches. Average clutch size in each rookery was positively correlated to the proportion of females accessing highly productive areas such as the Adriatic/northern Ionian Sea. This has a strong influence on reproductive output, and hence females using the most productive foraging grounds had the largest clutch sizes. © 2014 Inter-Research.


Vardinoyannis K.,University of Crete | Demetropoulos S.,Cyprus Wildlife Society | Mylonas M.,University of Crete | Triantis K.A.,University of Crete | And 3 more authors.
ZooKeys | Year: 2012

Terrestrial slugs of the Island of Cyprus were recently studied in the framework of a study of the whole terrestrial malacofauna of the island. The present work was carried out in the Natura 2000 conservation areas of the island in 155 sampling sites over three years (2004-2007). Museum collections as well as literature references were included. In total six species are present in the Natura 2000 areas of the island, belonging to three families: Limacidae, Agriolimacidae and Milacidae. One of the species, Milax riedeli, is a new record for the island. The distribution of the species across the island and in the surrounding areas is discussed. © Katerina Vardinoyannis et al.


Clusa M.,University of Barcelona | Carreras C.,University of Barcelona | Pascual M.,University of Barcelona | Demetropoulos A.,Cyprus Wildlife Society | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2013

As the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is a philopatric species with a strong genetic structure, the analysis of mtDNA can be used to track evolutionary and colonisation events. In this study we use a genetic approach to understand the population structure of C. caretta in the Mediterranean Sea and to test whether loggerheads could have colonised the Mediterranean during the Pleistocene and survived the cold phases in warm refugia. We amplified a long mtDNA D-loop fragment (815. bp) from 168 dead hatchlings sampled from a selection of rookeries in the Eastern Mediterranean: Libya, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece. Previously published data from Turkey and Calabria (Southern Italy) were also included in the analyses. The population nesting in Libya emerged as the oldest population in the Mediterranean, dating from the Pleistocene ca. 65,000. years ago (20,000-200,000). This reveals that the Libyan population might have settled in the Mediterranean basin before the end of the last glacial period. The remaining nesting sites, except Calabria, were subsequently colonised as the population expanded. The populations nesting in Eastern Turkey and Western Greece settled ca. 30,000. years ago (10,000-100,000), whereas the remaining populations originated as a result of a more recent Holocenic expansion. As Calabria presented a unique Atlantic haplotype, found nowhere else in the Mediterranean, we consider this nesting site as the result of an independent colonisation event from the Atlantic and not the recent spread of Mediterranean populations. This reveals that the current genetic structure of C. caretta rookeries in the Mediterranean would be the result of at least two colonisation events from the Atlantic, the oldest one in Libya and a most recent in Calabria, combined with local extinctions during Pleistocenic glaciations and re-colonisations from glacial refugia in Libya, Eastern Turkey and Western Greece. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Cardona L.,University of Barcelona | Campos P.,University of Barcelona | Levy Y.,Israel Sea Turtle Rescue Center | Demetropoulos A.,Cyprus Wildlife Society | Margaritoulis D.,ARCHELON
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2010

Young green turtles (Chelonia mydas) spend their early lives as oceanic omnivores, which consume primarily animal prey. Once they settle into neritic habitats (recruitment), they appear to shift rapidly into an herbivorous diet in tropical regions. However, the ontogeny of the dietary shift and the relevance of animal prey in the diet of neritic green turtles are poorly understood in subtropical and warm temperate regions. Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the carapace scutes of 22 green turtles from the eastern Mediterranean, ranging from 28 to 83. cm in curved carapace length (CCLmin), were analysed to test the hypothesis of a rapid nutritional shift following recruitment. Seagrasses prevailed in the stomach contents of all the green turtles that were larger than 30. cm CCLmin, but the concentration of stable isotopes in the carapace scutes revealed that turtles shorter than 40. cm CCLmin derived a negligible amount of assimilated nutrients from seagrasses. The concentration of stable isotopes in the carapace scutes also suggested that the contribution of seagrasses to the nutrients assimilated by green turtles increased steadily with turtle size and that some, but not all, of the turtles larger than 62. cm CCLmin were fully herbivorous. The overall evidence (gut contents analysis and stable isotope analysis) indicates that green turtles in the Mediterranean shift to a seagrass-based diet immediately after recruitment but turtle growth continues to rely on animal-derived nutrients for several years after recruitment. This asynchrony between the dietary and nutritional shifts is thought to be caused by the temperature sensitivity of bacterial fermentation and the low temperatures experienced by green turtles in the Mediterranean, which may result in a poor assimilation of the plant-derived nutrients for most of their neritic juvenile life. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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