Growth rate and an evaluation of age estimation for the endangered big-headed turtle (platysternon megacephalum) in China

Yik Hei SUNG*, Billy C.H. HAU, Michael W.N. LAU, Paul A. CROW, Roger C. KENDRICK, Kurt A. BUHLMANN, Gary W.J. ADES, Nancy E. KARRAKER

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding growth patterns is critical for determining age and size at sexual maturity and longevity in species that are severely threatened by over-collection and habitat loss, particularly in poorly understood species in tropical East Asia. Using data collected during a 9-year mark-recapture study, we fit the von Bertalanffy and logistic growth models to examine growth patterns of the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum). Growth rate of P. megacephalum was best described by the von Bertalanffy model. Mean age at maturation for female and male P. megacephalum was 8 and 13 years. At maturity for female and male P. megacephalum, mean carapace length was 100 mm and 130 mm, respectively. We determined that counting growth rings on the carapace and plastron was not a reliable method for estimating ages. The long time to maturation in P. megacephalum may be costly in harvested populations, with individuals potentially being removed from populations prior to first reproduction. The growth patterns we have documented, and associated information on body size and age at sexual maturity, yield metrics that may be used to assess the effects of harvesting in populations and may contribute to conservation efforts for this endangered species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Herpetology
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

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turtle
turtles
China
sexual maturity
maturation
mark-recapture studies
growth rings
East Asia
habitat destruction
growth models
endangered species
habitat loss
body size
logistics
evaluation
methodology

Cite this

SUNG, Y. H., HAU, B. C. H., LAU, M. W. N., CROW, P. A., KENDRICK, R. C., BUHLMANN, K. A., ... KARRAKER, N. E. (2015). Growth rate and an evaluation of age estimation for the endangered big-headed turtle (platysternon megacephalum) in China. Journal of Herpetology, 49(1), 99-103. https://doi.org/10.1670/12-166
SUNG, Yik Hei ; HAU, Billy C.H. ; LAU, Michael W.N. ; CROW, Paul A. ; KENDRICK, Roger C. ; BUHLMANN, Kurt A. ; ADES, Gary W.J. ; KARRAKER, Nancy E. / Growth rate and an evaluation of age estimation for the endangered big-headed turtle (platysternon megacephalum) in China. In: Journal of Herpetology. 2015 ; Vol. 49, No. 1. pp. 99-103.
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abstract = "Understanding growth patterns is critical for determining age and size at sexual maturity and longevity in species that are severely threatened by over-collection and habitat loss, particularly in poorly understood species in tropical East Asia. Using data collected during a 9-year mark-recapture study, we fit the von Bertalanffy and logistic growth models to examine growth patterns of the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum). Growth rate of P. megacephalum was best described by the von Bertalanffy model. Mean age at maturation for female and male P. megacephalum was 8 and 13 years. At maturity for female and male P. megacephalum, mean carapace length was 100 mm and 130 mm, respectively. We determined that counting growth rings on the carapace and plastron was not a reliable method for estimating ages. The long time to maturation in P. megacephalum may be costly in harvested populations, with individuals potentially being removed from populations prior to first reproduction. The growth patterns we have documented, and associated information on body size and age at sexual maturity, yield metrics that may be used to assess the effects of harvesting in populations and may contribute to conservation efforts for this endangered species.",
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SUNG, YH, HAU, BCH, LAU, MWN, CROW, PA, KENDRICK, RC, BUHLMANN, KA, ADES, GWJ & KARRAKER, NE 2015, 'Growth rate and an evaluation of age estimation for the endangered big-headed turtle (platysternon megacephalum) in China', Journal of Herpetology, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 99-103. https://doi.org/10.1670/12-166

Growth rate and an evaluation of age estimation for the endangered big-headed turtle (platysternon megacephalum) in China. / SUNG, Yik Hei; HAU, Billy C.H.; LAU, Michael W.N.; CROW, Paul A.; KENDRICK, Roger C.; BUHLMANN, Kurt A.; ADES, Gary W.J.; KARRAKER, Nancy E.

In: Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 49, No. 1, 01.03.2015, p. 99-103.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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AU - SUNG, Yik Hei

AU - HAU, Billy C.H.

AU - LAU, Michael W.N.

AU - CROW, Paul A.

AU - KENDRICK, Roger C.

AU - BUHLMANN, Kurt A.

AU - ADES, Gary W.J.

AU - KARRAKER, Nancy E.

PY - 2015/3/1

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N2 - Understanding growth patterns is critical for determining age and size at sexual maturity and longevity in species that are severely threatened by over-collection and habitat loss, particularly in poorly understood species in tropical East Asia. Using data collected during a 9-year mark-recapture study, we fit the von Bertalanffy and logistic growth models to examine growth patterns of the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum). Growth rate of P. megacephalum was best described by the von Bertalanffy model. Mean age at maturation for female and male P. megacephalum was 8 and 13 years. At maturity for female and male P. megacephalum, mean carapace length was 100 mm and 130 mm, respectively. We determined that counting growth rings on the carapace and plastron was not a reliable method for estimating ages. The long time to maturation in P. megacephalum may be costly in harvested populations, with individuals potentially being removed from populations prior to first reproduction. The growth patterns we have documented, and associated information on body size and age at sexual maturity, yield metrics that may be used to assess the effects of harvesting in populations and may contribute to conservation efforts for this endangered species.

AB - Understanding growth patterns is critical for determining age and size at sexual maturity and longevity in species that are severely threatened by over-collection and habitat loss, particularly in poorly understood species in tropical East Asia. Using data collected during a 9-year mark-recapture study, we fit the von Bertalanffy and logistic growth models to examine growth patterns of the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum). Growth rate of P. megacephalum was best described by the von Bertalanffy model. Mean age at maturation for female and male P. megacephalum was 8 and 13 years. At maturity for female and male P. megacephalum, mean carapace length was 100 mm and 130 mm, respectively. We determined that counting growth rings on the carapace and plastron was not a reliable method for estimating ages. The long time to maturation in P. megacephalum may be costly in harvested populations, with individuals potentially being removed from populations prior to first reproduction. The growth patterns we have documented, and associated information on body size and age at sexual maturity, yield metrics that may be used to assess the effects of harvesting in populations and may contribute to conservation efforts for this endangered species.

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DO - 10.1670/12-166

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

AN - SCOPUS:84925424512

VL - 49

SP - 99

EP - 103

JO - Journal of Herpetology

JF - Journal of Herpetology

SN - 0022-1511

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