Visconti, G.; Scopelliti, G.; Caldareri, F.; Agate, M.; Cambera, I.; Sulli, A., and Arculeo, M., 2022. Hatching success of Caretta caretta on a Mediterranean volcanic beach: Impacts from environmental parameters and substrate composition. Journal of Coastal Research, 38(3), 603–612. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

New data on the potential impact of environmental parameters and the mineralogical nature of the substrate on the hatching success of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta on a volcanic beach on Linosa Island in the central Mediterranean Sea are reported. During 2 years of investigation (2018–19), five nests were observed. The temperature and moisture of the nests were determined along with the grain size and mineralogical nature of the substrate. The temperature values of the nests recorded at depths of 5 and 35 cm showed an average temperature incubation of 32.2°C ± 1.4°C and 32.8°C ± 1.6°C, respectively, with peaks close to 37°C. The sedimentological analysis carried out on two cores revealed the prevalence of large sandy particle and sediment moisture of about 35% in the deeper layers. A total of 214 laid eggs were recorded in 2018 with only 44 emerged turtles, whereas 45 turtles emerged from 199 laid eggs in 2019. Both years showed a low hatching success (25%–30%) and a high frequency of anomalies (>60%), which were present in individuals as nonmodal scutes or bifid limbs. Results suggest that environmental parameters such as temperature, sand moisture, and the geological nature of the substrate seem to play an important role in the reproductive success of this species. Some aspects for improving the nesting site and egg development conditions are also discussed.

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