Modeling the Northern Great Barrier Reef Population of Green Sea Turtles

July 21, 2023
Undergraduate Research

By Jackson D. Nowacek

NCSSM Online, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina


Population modeling is an established, effective tool for assessing the effects of environmental conditions on a specific population. The model this paper outlines is based on the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) population of the Northern Great Barrier Reef. The model shows the effects of variable temperature, light, nutrients, predation, and availability of food (seagrass) on the long-term health of the population. Several tests were run by adjusting variables such as initial seagrass levels, seagrass threshold, mortality rates, nest temperature, light, and nutrients. The model showed biologically and ecologically plausible reactions to each variable change.

Keywords: Population, Green Sea Turtle, Adult, Adolescent, Juvenile, Hatchling, Egg, Chelonia mydas, Rate, Environmental Conditions, Seagrass

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