SREL Reprint #0216




Reproductive Dynamics of a Turtle (Pseudemys scripta) Population in a Reservoir Heated Effluent from a Nuclear Reactor

J. Whitfield Gibbons and J. W. Gibbons



Individual yellow-bellied turtles (Pseudemys scripta) in Par Pond, a thermally populated reservoir on the Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina, U.S.A., reach exceedingly large body sizes and maintain extraordinary juvenile growth rates when compared with turtles of this species from other populations in the vicinity.  Increased water temperatures are not directly responsible for the observed size and growth differences.  Diet differences resulting from increased productivity at lower trophic levels as a result of the hot-water effluent may be the cause of the observed growth and size phenomena.  The increased growth rates and larger body sizes in the Par Pond turtles result in changes in reproductive rate which may have interesting consequences on the demography of the population.


SREL Reprint #0216

Gibbons, J.W. 1970. Reproductive dynamics of a turtle (Pseudemys scripta) population in a reservoir receiving heated effluent from a nuclear reactor. Canadian Journal of Zoology 48:881-885.
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