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      Blood biochemistry and haematology of migrating loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta) in the Northwest Atlantic: reference intervals and intra-population comparisons

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          We established reference intervals for blood biochemistry and haematology of loggerhead turtles captured off the Mid-Atlantic coast of the USA. This assessment of blood variables in healthy, wild loggerhead turtles allows for comparisons with turtles impacted by anthropogenic and environmental threats, as well as turtles sampled in different habitats and life stages.


          We documented blood biochemistry and haematology of healthy loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta) in the Northwest (NW) Atlantic in order to establish clinical reference intervals (RIs) for this threatened population. Blood samples were analysed from migratory loggerheads captured off the Mid-Atlantic coast of the USA in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 as part of a long-term research program. Blood variables were determined using a point-of-care analyser, and a veterinary diagnostic laboratory service. We calculated 95% RIs with associated 90% confidence intervals (CIs) for each blood variable. We compared results obtained from our study of migratory loggerheads with published data for similarly sized loggerheads resident at a seasonal temperate latitude foraging area. Significant differences in several blood variables between migratory and resident turtles provided insight on energetic and health status during different behavioural states. Temperature was significantly correlated with several blood variables: lactate, pCO 2, sodium, haemoglobin and lactate dehydrogenase. Our assessment of blood chemistry in healthy loggerhead turtles in the NW Atlantic provides a baseline for clinical comparisons with turtles impacted by anthropogenic and environmental threats, and highlights the importance of identifying unique aspects of biochemical and haematological profiles for sea turtles at the intra-population level.

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          Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and trophic mismatch.

          Phenology, the study of annually recurring life cycle events such as the timing of migrations and flowering, can provide particularly sensitive indicators of climate change. Changes in phenology may be important to ecosystem function because the level of response to climate change may vary across functional groups and multiple trophic levels. The decoupling of phenological relationships will have important ramifications for trophic interactions, altering food-web structures and leading to eventual ecosystem-level changes. Temperate marine environments may be particularly vulnerable to these changes because the recruitment success of higher trophic levels is highly dependent on synchronization with pulsed planktonic production. Using long-term data of 66 plankton taxa during the period from 1958 to 2002, we investigated whether climate warming signals are emergent across all trophic levels and functional groups within an ecological community. Here we show that not only is the marine pelagic community responding to climate changes, but also that the level of response differs throughout the community and the seasonal cycle, leading to a mismatch between trophic levels and functional groups.
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            A Stage-Based Population Model for Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Implications for Conservation

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              ASVCP reference interval guidelines: determination of de novo reference intervals in veterinary species and other related topics.

              Reference intervals (RI) are an integral component of laboratory diagnostic testing and clinical decision-making and represent estimated distributions of reference values (RV) from healthy populations of comparable individuals. Because decisions to pursue diagnoses or initiate treatment are often based on values falling outside RI, the collection and analysis of RV should be approached with diligence. This report is a condensation of the ASVCP 2011 consensus guidelines for determination of de novo RI in veterinary species, which mirror the 2008 Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute (CLSI) recommendations, but with language and examples specific to veterinary species. Newer topics include robust methods for calculating RI from small sample sizes and procedures for outlier detection adapted to data quality. Because collecting sufficient reference samples is challenging, this document also provides recommendations for determining multicenter RI and for transference and validation of RI from other sources (eg, manufacturers). Advice for use and interpretation of subject-based RI is included, as these RI are an alternative to population-based RI when sample size or inter-individual variation is high. Finally, generation of decision limits, which distinguish between populations according to a predefined query (eg, diseased or non-diseased), is described. Adoption of these guidelines by the entire veterinary community will improve communication and dissemination of expected clinical laboratory values in a variety of animal species and will provide a template for publications on RI. This and other reports from the Quality Assurance and Laboratory Standards (QALS) committee are intended to promote quality laboratory practices in laboratories serving both clinical and research veterinarians. © 2012 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                Conserv Physiol
                Conserv Physiol
                Conservation Physiology
                Oxford University Press
                07 February 2019
                07 February 2019
                : 7
                : 1
                [1 ]Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA
                [2 ]National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, MA, USA
                [3 ]Coonamessett Farm Foundation, East Falmouth, MA, USA
                [4 ]Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Population Ecology Division, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, NS, Canada
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Amanda S. Williard, Tel: +1 910-962-4064; Fax: +1 910-962-4066. Email williarda@
                © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 15
                Funded by: U.S. Department of the Interior 10.13039/100000201
                Funded by: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 10.13039/100012475
                Funded by: National Marine Fisheries Service
                Award ID: M10PG00075
                Funded by: M14PG00005
                Funded by: Sea Scallop Research Set Aside
                Funded by: Northeast Fisheries Science Center
                Award ID: NA10NMF4540472
                Award ID: NA14NMF4540079
                Award ID: F5238-160240
                Research Article


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