Variation in reproductive output as a function of maternal age and weather conditions in the cultured Asian yellow pond turtle, Mauremys mutica

In: Animal Biology
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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Tropical & Subtropical Fishery Resource Application & Cultivation of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangdong, Guangzhou, 510380, China
  • | 2 College of Life Science, Nanchang University, Jiangxi, Nanchang, 330031, China
  • | 3 College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China
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Biotic factors (e.g., maternal age) and abiotic factors (e.g., weather) play vital roles in reproduction. However, there is little information about the combined effects of maternal age and weather on the reproductive output of cultured Asian yellow pond turtles, Mauremys mutica. To address this issue, we surveyed and compared the reproductive output of 13-year-old and 25-year-old female turtles on non-rainy and rainy days. The results showed that older females produced larger eggs than younger females regardless of the weather conditions. Females laid larger clutch sizes (number of eggs per nest) under non-rainy conditions compared with those under rainy conditions. However, the variation in clutch frequency (number of clutches per day) was independent of maternal age and weather. There was no effect of an interaction between maternal age and weather on egg mass, clutch size or clutch frequency. Our results suggest that maternal age and weather had significant effects on egg mass and clutch size, respectively. These results imply that maternal age, together with weather conditions (mainly conditions of rain), can affect the reproductive output of M. mutica. Our results provide useful information for the artificial breeding and stock management of M. mutica.

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