Assessing the role of climate change and human predation on marine resources at the Fatu-ma-Futi site, Tutuila Island, American Samoa: an agent based model



In the tropical Pacific, climate change has been implicated as a causal variable in the development of a variety of social processes, including resource scarcity, cultural diversification, changes in spatial organization, and conflict. Hypotheses concerning the effects of climatic variability on cultural change can be better evaluated once links between environmental processes and subsistence patterns are established. Here we present data on approximately 1500 years of shellfish exploitation at the Fatu-ma-Futi site, Tutuila Island, American Samoa. We generate an Agent Based Model to test hypotheses regarding resource exploitation and the effects of climate change on near-shore marine fauna. To date, little archaeological data regarding prehistoric marine resource use in Samoa is available, demonstrating the need for more field research. Integrating models generated from foraging theory and agent based computer simulations provides a new technique for modeling social and ecological processes in complex environments.