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dc.contributor.authorKell, Steven-
dc.description.abstractNesting is a costly time for female turtles, both energetically and from threat of predation. Females must ensure maximum survival of offspring for population stability and individual fitness. I observed signs of communal nesting in female Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). My goals were to determine; are females choosing to nest at high nest-densities, what cues do they use to select nest sites, are offspring benefitted. Using ArcGIS, I found that females nested in clusters, the location of clusters varied among years, and that nest site selection was not strongly determined by environmental characteristics. When female turtle models were placed on the nesting embankment females nested most often with the highest density of models. In ~25% of cases, nests were so clustered that eggs were deposited directly into existing nests or directly beside existing nests. Survival of clustered nests (49%) was higher than that of solitary nests (39%). In incubators, older clutches had faster incubation times, suggesting embryonic communication as a mechanism promoting hatching synchrony. We strongly suggest that female Painted Turtles choose to nest in close proximity to conspecifics, and that this clustering results in a fitness benefit.en_CA
dc.subjectcommunal nestingen_CA
dc.subjectegg clusteringen_CA
dc.subjectnest synchronyen_CA
dc.subjecthatchling communicationen_CA
dc.subjectsynchronized emergenceen_CA
dc.subjectembryonic developmenten_CA
dc.subjectnest behaviouren_CA
dc.titleNesting in close quarters: causes and benefits of high density nesting in painted turtlesen_CA
dc.description.degreeMaster of Science (MSc) in Biologyen_CA
dc.publisher.grantorLaurentian University of Sudburyen_CA
Appears in Collections:Biology - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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