Sea turtle eggs are heavily infuenced by the environment in which they incubate, including efects on hatching success and hatchling viability (hatchling production). It is crucial to understand how the hatchling production of marine turtles is infuenced by local climate and how potential changes in climate may impact future hatchling production. Generalized Additive Models were used to determine the relationship of six climatic variables at diferent temporal scales on loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchling production at seventeen nesting beaches in Bahia, Espirito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Using extreme and conservative climate change scenarios throughout the 21st century, potential impacts on future hatching success (the number of hatched eggs in a nest) were predicted using the climatic variable(s) that best described hatchling production at each nesting beach. Air temperature and precipitation were found to be the main drivers of hatchling production throughout Brazil. CMIP5 climate projections are for a warming of air temperature at all sites throughout the 21st century, while projections for precipitation vary regionally. The more tropical nesting beaches in Brazil, such as those in Bahia, are projected to experience declines in hatchling production, while the more temperate nesting beaches, such as those in Rio de Janeiro, are projected to experience increases in hatchling production by the end of the 21st century.
Full reference: Montero, N., P. S. Tomillo, V. S. Saba, M. A. G. dei Marcovaldi, M. López-Mendilaharsu, A. S. Santos, and M. M. P. B. Fuentes. 2019. Effects of local climate on loggerhead hatchling production in Brazil: Implications from climate change. Scientific Reports 9:8861.