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¿Más tortugas hembras a causa del cambio climático?

diciembre 1, 2020

En el caso de las aves y los mamíferos, el sexo viene determinado por una herencia cromosómica; así, ser macho o hembra depende de los genes recibidos.

Sin embargo, en el caso de los reptiles, su sexo está determinado por la temperatura de la arena donde eclosionan los huevos (salir del cascarón).

Con los años, los científicos se han dado cuenta de que en algunas especies, los huevos que son incubados a temperaturas bajas producen machos; de otra forma, la proporción de hembras se incrementa a temperaturas superiores.

Actualmente, el aumento en la temperatura del mar y el aire tendría incidencia en una mayor población de tortugas hembras.

A esto hay que sumarle que las hembras frecuentemente vuelven a nidificar en las playas donde nacieron.

Así, debido a que las playas cálidas producen más hembras que las playas frías, tendrán a largo plazo un mayor retorno de hembras adultas.

Esto terminará concentrando la población reproductora y, por lo tanto, incentivando el nacimiento de crías femeninas.

En este sentido, ya hay una inquietante evidencia: en 2018 se descubrió que las altas temperaturas estaban convirtiendo al 99 por ciento de las tortugas verdes marinas en hembras.

“Este es uno de los documentos de conservación más importantes de la década. No pasará mucho tiempo, tal vez en el transcurso de un siglo, hasta que no haya suficientes machos en las poblaciones de tortugas marinas”, señaló el biólogo David Owens a propósito de la investigación que fue publicada en Current Biology.

Es tan preocupante esta situación, que muchos expertos han llegado a soluciones insólitas, como la instalación de un paraguas gigante para reducir la temperatura de la arena en las playas donde las tortugas marinas confeccionan sus nidos.

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