Past and future patterns of freshwater mussel extinctions in North America during the Holocene

  • Authors: Haag, Wendell R.
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Publication Series: Book
  • Source: Holocene Extinctions Pages 107-128 in: S. Turvey, editor, Holocene Extinctions. Oxford University Press.

Abstract

Humans have had profound impacts on the ecology of North America both before and since colonization by Europeans. Modern-day human impacts extend to nearly every type of habitat, but evidence for pre-Columbian human impacts is limited almost exclusively to terrestrial ecosystems. In pre-Columbian times, human activities, especially burning and agriculture, transformed significant areas of North America (Delcourt and Delcourt 2004; Mann . 2005; see also Chapter 11 in this volume) and, in some cases, even short-term, small-scale agriculture resulted in persistent ecosystem changes (Briggs et al. 2006). The linkage between current-day landuse practices and freshwater ecosystem integrity is clear and central to some of the most pressing contemporary conservation issues (e.g. Diaz and Rosenberg 1995; Malakoff 1998), but this linkage has not been shown widely for pre-Columbian human land use. Recent studies in the Americas and Europe have shown that prehistoric Holocene human activities, including low-intensity agriculture, caused long-lasting and sometimes drastic changes in productivity, faunal composition, and water chemistry of small lakes and ponds (Douglas et al. 2004; Ekdahl et al. 2004; Miettinen et al. 2005).

  • Citation: Haag, Wendell R. 2009. Past and future patterns of freshwater mussel extinctions in North America during the Holocene. Pages 107-128 in: S. Turvey, editor, Holocene Extinctions. Oxford University Press.
  • Posted Date: October 19, 2009
  • Modified Date: November 5, 2009
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