Proposed Abstract Title

Quantifying Food Species Produced by Ancient Clam Garden Technologies of the Salish Sea

Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

General species and food webs

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Adaptation to food systems impacted by climate change is one of the greatest challenge facing the world today. Indigenous peoples of North America have built a body of knowledge that is based on experience and awareness of the natural world around them. Since time immemorial, First Nations have shaped the environment to create and maintain highly productive food systems. One example of this knowledge is the ancient mariculture known as clam gardens, a purposely constructed rock-walled terrace that increases the habitat and productivity of traditional foods. This study aims to quantify the food species found within the rock wall structure of a clam garden compared to a non-walled beach to provide a baseline representation of the food species associated with a modified beach. This was done using low tide observational surveys to measure the abundance of edible invertebrates found within the intertidal portion of a clam garden rock wall and control site. Data analysis shows higher abundance of individual invertebrates found at the clam garden rock wall compared to the control non modified beach. The rock wall site show a significant difference in diversity of food species found compared to the control non-walled site. This research supports a growing understanding that Indigenous communities have been active managers of ecosystems and food systems for thousands of years, and highlights the positive relationship that can exist between increased ecosystem productivity and abundance of traditional foods.

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Quantifying Food Species Produced by Ancient Clam Garden Technologies of the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

Adaptation to food systems impacted by climate change is one of the greatest challenge facing the world today. Indigenous peoples of North America have built a body of knowledge that is based on experience and awareness of the natural world around them. Since time immemorial, First Nations have shaped the environment to create and maintain highly productive food systems. One example of this knowledge is the ancient mariculture known as clam gardens, a purposely constructed rock-walled terrace that increases the habitat and productivity of traditional foods. This study aims to quantify the food species found within the rock wall structure of a clam garden compared to a non-walled beach to provide a baseline representation of the food species associated with a modified beach. This was done using low tide observational surveys to measure the abundance of edible invertebrates found within the intertidal portion of a clam garden rock wall and control site. Data analysis shows higher abundance of individual invertebrates found at the clam garden rock wall compared to the control non modified beach. The rock wall site show a significant difference in diversity of food species found compared to the control non-walled site. This research supports a growing understanding that Indigenous communities have been active managers of ecosystems and food systems for thousands of years, and highlights the positive relationship that can exist between increased ecosystem productivity and abundance of traditional foods.