Global warming affect on sex determination
A study published in 2008 by Nicola Mitchell, Michel R Kearny, Nicola Nelson and Warren P Porter asked the question, how will global warming affect sex determination and hatching phenology in tuatara? This group simulated global warming by increasing mean monthly minimum and maximum temperatures and looking at the eggs of 14 nests and determining whether they would be sex skewed or not. Hatchling sex was determined by laparoscopy and compared to the biophysical model that was created to predict sex ratio based on increasing temperatures. This research study predicted that nests would be mixed sex in temperatures between 70ºF and 72.1ºF, all female in temperatures below 70ºF and all male in temperatures greater than 72.1ºF. The results of the study were accurate for mixed sex and all female nests, but only 67% accurate for all male nests. These results show that the developmental model for the study is a little too conservative in the calculations for all male nests. This revealed that almost all locations used produced males at shallow nest depths. This is significant because it means that that either tuatara will have to start digging deeper nests to protect their eggs from excessive heat which causes males to be born, or researches will have to be move involved and find nest sites that receive a little less light and warmth otherwise the population will end up being heavily skewed toward the males. One other possible solution would be for nesting to begin later in January which would mean that nesting would occur later than usual and when soil is a little bit cooler. This study is significant because it has real life implications. Global warming is occurrin...
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...lso found that the kiore-free islands contained juveniles as well as small adults while the kiore-inhabited island did not. While concrete conclusions cannot be made as to the reason for this, we can speculate that kiore negatively affect tuatara population sizes either through predation or through food competition. More research needs to be done possibly with camera traps to really be able to determine how the kiore impact tuatara. This study is significant because it gives us a basis for action. Scientists had an idea that kiore were negatively impacting tuatara, but action cannot occur without research first being conducted to determine whether they are the true cause of the decline in tuatara population. The study stated that eradication of the kiore has already begun and that is a great step in the right direction for the tuatara. (Cree, Daugherty & Hay 1995).
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