Research ArticleANTHROPOLOGY

Ecosystem stability and Native American oyster harvesting along the Atlantic Coast of the United States

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Science Advances  10 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 28, eaba9652
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba9652
  • Fig. 1 The Georgia and South Carolina Coast showing islands that contain sites in the study area and the extent of mapped oyster beds in Georgia.

    Digitation of the oyster reef locations (in blue) was performed by M. Strickland for South Carolina and Clark Alexander’s Laboratory for Georgia. All sites are located on barrier islands; however, exact locations are not provided to protect site locations from looting.

  • Fig. 2 Box plots showing variations in LVH and LVL measurements between different levels at St. Catherines Shell Ring.

    LVH measurements, top; LVL measurements, bottom.

  • Fig. 3 Box plots showing variations in LVH and LVL measurements between different levels at McQueen Shell Ring.

    LVH measurements, top; LVL measurements, bottom. Radiocarbon dates are shown below box plots.

  • Fig. 4 Box plots showing a non-random pattern of variations in mean LVH and LVL between sites moving north to south.

    Mean LVH, top; mean LVL, bottom. Gray boxes are Late Archaic period sites, and blue boxes are Mississippian period sites. Sites are organized from north to south starting at the left.

  • Fig. 5 Plot showing correlation between mean LVH and total oyster bed lengths within 5 km (blue) and 10 km (green) foraging radii.

    Diamonds represent Mississippian period sites and circles represent Late Archaic period sites. Inset oyster drawing shows measurement locations on C. virginica [adapted from (5, 6)]. Drawing by E. R. Parham. ASH, anterior scar height; LHL, left hinge length.

  • Table 1 LVL and LVH measurements (millimeters) for Late Archaic and Mississippian (Miss) sites.

    SiteIslandPeriodNMin LVLMax LVLMean LVLMin LVHMax LVHMean LVH
    Pockoy Ring 1PockoyLate Archaic69811.464.433.621.7152.357.3
    Spanish
    Mount
    EdistoLate Archaic21,0015.795.937.97.6212.073.6
    Cane PatchOssabawLate Archaic2228111.487.640.117.3182.262.6
    Ossabaw Shell
    Ring
    OssabawLate Archaic14322.774.937.86.8184.685.5
    St. Cath. Shell
    Ring
    St.
    Catherines
    Late Archaic55718.475.344.325.0148.472.2
    McQueen
    Shell Ring
    St.
    Catherines
    Late Archaic202119.984.843.734.9171.373.9
    A Busch KrickNear SapeloLate Archaic4820.570.843.354.5178.090.9
    Sapelo Shell
    Ring 1
    SapeloLate Archaic6518.381.735.338.1123.665.3
    Sapelo Shell
    Ring 2
    SapeloLate Archaic105714.374.934.125.7202.965.3
    Sapelo Shell
    Ring 3
    SapeloLate Archaic10085.265.432.128.8150.758.4
    TotalTotalLate Archaic30,1152.7295.838.26.8212.072.9
    Finley’s PondOssabawMiss18304.272.835.16.4162.466.8
    Bluff FieldOssabawMiss47814.673.641.235.7132.465.8
    Meeting
    House
    St.
    Catherines
    Miss50959.878.643.227.6187.078.6
    Kenan FieldSapeloMiss23718.470.942.333.3132.171.2
    Sapelo SouthSapeloMiss5025.752.135.145.2114.471.9
    TotalTotalMiss76904.278.641.16.5187.075.6

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Ecosystem stability and Native American oyster harvesting along the Atlantic Coast of the United States

    Victor D. Thompson, Torben Rick, Carey J. Garland, David Hurst Thomas, Karen Y. Smith, Sarah Bergh, Matt Sanger, Bryan Tucker, Isabelle Lulewicz, Anna M. Semon, John Schalles, Christine Hladik, Clark Alexander, Brandon T. Ritchison

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    • Tables S1 to S8

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