|SREL Reprint #0911|
Behavioral Thermoregulations of Turtles, Pseudemys scripta, in
Response to Microclimatology of a Nuclear Reactor Cooling Reservoir
Spotila, Robert E. Foley, Joseph P. Schubauer, Raymond D. Semlitsch, Kenneth M.
Crawford, Edward A. Standora, and J. Whitfield Gibbons
Thermal effluents raised water temperature in one
arm of a nuclear reactor cooling reservoir as much as 9 C but had little or no
effect on temperature of other areas, or on shoreline microclimate.
Pseudemys scripta used an opportunistic strategy of
thermoregulation. None resided near
the point of thermal discharge. Turtles
in heated areas underwent aquatic basking.
Body temperatures telemetered from unrestrained turtles were within the
preferred temperature range and indicated that aquatic basking raised body
temperature 1-3 C above water temperature.
In normothermic portions of the reservoir, turtles underwent atmospheric
basking on sunny days throughout the year.
In summer, basking frequency during the day showed a bimodal curve. Thermoregulatory strategies of these turtles and other
turtles from diverse ecological habitats and geographic areas are discussed.
Pseudemys scripta; Turtles; Behavioral thermoregulation;
Preferred temperature; Basking; Thermal effluents; Microclimate; Savannah River
Plant; Par Pond; Nuclear reactors; Cooling reservoir.
SREL Reprint #0911
Spotila, J.R., R.E. Foley, J.P. Schubauer, R.D. Semlitsch,
Crawford, E.A. Standora, and J.W. Gibbons. 1984. Opportunistic behavioral
thermoregulation of turtles, Pseudemys scripta, in response to microclimatology
of a nuclear reactor cooling reservoir. Herpetologica 40:299-308.