Title: Comparative ecology of western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) populations on the free-flowing south fork and regulated main fork Trinity River: Demography, size and body condition comparisons, thermal ecology, and spatial dynamics - Final report to the Trinity River Restoration Program
Author: Ashton, Don T.; Jamie B., Bettaso; Welsh, Hartwell H.
Source: USDA, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 58 p
Description: The western pond turtle (Actinemys = Emys [formerly Clemmys] marmorata) is widespread across the Pacific slope of North America, occurring in a wide variety of environments. They once were present almost everywhere aquatic habitats were available for at least a few months of the year, as long as appropriate terrestrial habitats for nesting, over-wintering, and aestivation were accessible. Formerly abundant, populations are now in decline throughout much of the historical range due primarily to habitat conversion for agriculture and urbanization, as well as from water diversions and competition from non-native species (Jennings and Hayes 1994; Bury and Germano 2008). The rivers of Northern California provide a stronghold for populations at the core of the species range, but even in remote areas, persistence can be threatened by resource uses such as water regulation and diversion. Here we compare ecological attributes, and by inference the relative fitness (the ability to produce subsequent generations), of turtle populations on the regulated (dammed) main stem fork of the Trinity River, Trinity County, California, with a population on the free-flowing south fork of this same river. We examined four areas of turtle ecology of particular interest because they can be adversely influenced by management actions: population demography, size and growth patterns, thermal ecology, and spatial dynamics.
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Ashton, Don T.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Welsh Jr., Hartwell H. 2011. Comparative ecology of Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata) populations on the free-flowing south fork and regulated main fork Trinity River: Demography, size and body condition comparisons, thermal ecology, and spatial dynamics - Final report to the Trinity River Restoration Program. USDA, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 58 p
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