Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. David L. Thomson
Sabir Bin Muzaffar
It is getting warmer throughout the world but it is not getting warmer by the same amount in all regions, leading to speculations that the biggest impact will be the impact on species living in the hot regions is widely assumed to be slight in comparison to the temperate and higher latitude regions. Temperature changes in hot regions are smaller, but it may be that the species in those regions have reached their optimum temperatures. In which case the effects of even a small temperature increase could be steeply negative. To test this thoroughly in terms of demographic parameters I had to quantify demographic parameters and reconstruct their relationship with temperature. For this, I needed long-term population data which allowed me to quantify the fitness and the probability of species breeding. Within the United Arab Emirates, extensive monitoring programs have been in place for Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) with systematic nesting counts being conducted annually since 2001. Sea turtles as a species are an endangered one, and are an interest, as well as being a good study species to determine whether a species in hot regions is vulnerable to climate change. Using a Generalized Linear Model (GLM), I reconstructed two separate relationships. One is the relationship between fitness and temperature and the other is the relationship between breeding probability and temperature. Although I was not able to detect any significant relationship between fitness and temperature, I found that there is a direct positive relationship between temperature in the nine months prior to breeding and the probability of female turtles nesting which implies that hawksbill turtles in Abu Dhabi waters may not be living above their optimum temperature yet.
Alshamsi, Obaid Ali, "THE ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN HOT REGIONS – ARE HAWKSBILL TURTLES LIVING ABOVE THEIR OPTIMUM TEMPERATURE IN THE UAE?" (2019). Theses. 919.