New study on human-clam relationships informs modern marine resource management | 2/27/2019 | Staff
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A new study on the long-term relationship between humans and clams in B.C."s Salish Sea is helping to inform modern marine resource management.

Researchers from Simon Fraser University and the Hakai Institute have found that since European contact, the combination of beach siltation from industrial logging and the cessation of ancient Indigenous management practices has resulted in small, slow-growing clams similar to those from early post-glacial times.

Years - Terraces - Indigenous - Production

Yet more than 3,500 years ago, clam gardens—intertidal rock-walled terraces built by Indigenous communities—boosted clam production.

Researchers say these findings have significant implications for how we manage clam populations today.

Study - Proceedings - National - Academy - Sciences

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is co-authored by SFU archaeologists Ginevra Toniello and Dana Lepofsky, SFU biologists Gavia Lertzman-Lepofsky and Anne Salomon, and biologist Kirsten Rowell from the University of Colorado.

The study is one of many initiatives of the "Clam Garden Network," a collective of researchers who are interested in the cultural and ecological importance of clams.

Baselines - Researchers - Processes - Ways - Humans

"Establishing deeper-time baselines will help researchers to fully appreciate dynamic natural processes and the intricate ways in which humans interact with their landscape over the long term," says Toniello.

By measuring growth rings in...
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