OJE  Vol.2 No.3 , August 2012
Effect of localized oil spills on Atlantic loggerhead population dynamics
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyze the population dynamics of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) affected by localized oil spills. Methods include development of a spatial, stage-classified matrix model parameterized for the following primary loggerhead populations: Gulf of Mexico, western North Atlantic Ocean, and Florida peninsula. Oil spills are simulated deterministically in each population's nesting region, with 1) oil-induced mortality ranging from 25% to 100% and 2) stage classes affected either proportionally or equally. A transient sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the parameters most influential to the population growth rate. Results suggest that increased protection and understanding of young sea turtles found in the Sargasso Sea is essential to the survival of the species. In addition, findings provide insights into the population dynamics of the At- lantic loggerhead turtles and identify conservation measures appropriate in each oil spill case.
Cite this paper: Leung, M. , Marchand, M. , Stykel, S. , Huynh, M. and Flores, J. (2012) Effect of localized oil spills on Atlantic loggerhead population dynamics. Open Journal of Ecology, 2, 109-114. doi: 10.4236/oje.2012.23013.

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