Further to the Occurrence of Red Abalone, Haliotis rufescens, in British Columbia
Keywords:Red Abalone, Haliotis rufescens, Northern Abolone, Haliotis kamtschatkana, giant kelp, Nereocystis leutkeana, indigenous people, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
AbstractWe report on additional occurrences of Red Abalone (Haliotis rufescens Swainson, 1822) that bring the total to seven from British Columbia coastal waters. Possible causes of the presence of Red Abalone include northward (winter) transport via kelp rafts from the Oregon-California area. We tested this hypothesis by performing DNA barcoding analyses on a fragment of kelp holdfast on the surface of one such shell establishing its identity as Nereocystis luetkeana (Mertens) Postels & Ruprecht - a giant kelp with a hollow stipe terminating in a bulbous pneumatocyst (gas-filled float). The occurrence of Red Abalone due to natural processes, besides being important biogeographically, has had important implications for indigenous peoples' pre- and post-contact trade and material culture.
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