Studies of Northeast Barrens

Understanding the unique biology associated with this geography

A number of studies have explored bees, butterflies and moths, and other species associated with these fire-adapted barrens habitats. Here we highlight some key papers, and provide a reference list for further reading.


A zotero library of relevant references is being developed over the course of this project. Please feel free to contribute to this group resource! The following are included as of February 2021.

  • Albanese, G., P. D. Vickery, and P. R. Sievert. 2007. Habitat characteristics of adult frosted elfins (Callophrys irus) in sandplain communities of southeastern Massachusetts, USA. Biological Conservation 136:53–64. Special section: Coastal Sandplains.

  • Albanese, G., P. D. Vickery, and P. R. Sievert. 2008. Microhabitat use by larvae and females of a rare barrens butterfly, frosted elfin (<Emphasis Type="Italic">Callophrys irus</Emphasis>). Journal of Insect Conservation 12:603–615.

  • Antoine, C. M., and J. R. Forrest. 2020. Nesting habitat of ground-nesting bees: a review. Ecological Entomology. Wiley Online Library.

  • Bried, J. T., J. E. Murtaugh, and A. M. Dillon. 2012. Local Distribution Factors and Sampling Effort Guidelines for the Rare Frosted Elfin Butterfly. Northeastern Naturalist 19:673–684.

  • Bried, J. T., W. A. Patterson, and N. A. Gifford. n.d. Why Pine Barrens Restoration Should Favor Barrens Over Pine. Restoration Ecology 22:442–446.

  • Cameron, S. A., J. D. Lozier, J. P. Strange, J. B. Koch, N. Cordes, L. F. Solter, and T. L. Griswold. 2011. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:662–667.

  • Corbin, J. D., and R. K. Thiet. 2020. Temperate biocrusts: mesic counterparts to their better‐known dryland cousins. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 18:456–464.

  • Ferster, B., B. R. Leppo, M. T. Swartz, K. Vulinec, F. Habegger, and A. Mehring. 2008. Lepidoptera of Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center, Annville, Pennsylvania. Northeastern Naturalist 15:141–148.

  • Fowler, J. 2016. Specialist Bees of the Northeast: Host Plants and Habitat Conservation. Northeastern Naturalist 23:305–320. Eagle Hill Institute.

  • Goldstein, P. Z., and M. W. Nelson. 2017. Two psammophilic noctuids newly associated with beach plum, Prunus maritima (Rosaceae): The Dune Noctuid (Sympistis riparia) and Coastal Heathland Cutworm (Abagrotis benjamini) in Northeastern North America (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae). ZooKeys 61–89.

  • Howard, L. F., T. D. Lee, and R. T. Eckert. 2011. Forest community composition and dynamics of the Ossipee Pine Barrens, New Hampshire. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 138:434–452. Torrey Botanical Society.

  • Kalhorn, K. D., E. M. Barrows, and W. E. LaBerge. 2003. Bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformes) Diversity in an Appalachian Shale Barrens. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76:455–468.

  • Koh, I., E. V. Lonsdorf, N. M. Williams, C. Brittain, R. Isaacs, J. Gibbs, and T. H. Ricketts. 2016. Modeling the status, trends, and impacts of wild bee abundance in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:140–145.

  • Kurczewski, F. E. 1999a. Historic and Prehistoric Changes in the Rome, New York Pine Barrens. Northeastern Naturalist 6:327–340. Eagle Hill Institute.

  • Kurczewski, F. E. 1999b. Historic and Prehistoric Changes in the Rome, New York Pine Barrens. Northeastern Naturalist 6:327–340.

  • Kurczewski, F. E., and H. F. Boyle. 2000. Historical Changes in the Pine Barrens of Central Suffolk County, New York. Northeastern Naturalist 7:95–112. Eagle Hill Institute.

  • Leuenberger, W., S. Bearer, J. Duchamp, S. Johnson, B. Leppo, P. McElhenny, and J. Larkin. 2016. A Comparison of Lepidoptera Communities Inhabiting Restored and Late Successional Pitch Pine—Scrub Oak Barrens in Pennsylvania. Natural Areas Journal 36:38–47. Natural Areas Association.

  • MASON, S. C. 2015. Butterflies & Skippers (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea) of the Franklin Parker Preserve, Burlington County, New Jersey. Transactions of the American Entomological Society (1890-) 141:351–368. American Entomological Society.

  • Orr, R. L. 2010. Preliminary list of the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Assateague Island National Seashore, Worcester County, Maryland. The Maryland Entomologist 5:41–50.

  • Pfitsch, W. A., and E. H. Williams. n.d. Habitat Restoration for Lupine and Specialist Butterflies. Restoration Ecology 17:226–233.

  • Selfridge, J. A., C. T. Frye, J. Gibbs, and R. P. Jean. 2017. The Bee Fauna of Inland Sand Dune and Ridge Woodland Communities in Worcester County, Maryland. Northeastern Naturalist 24:421–445.

  • Shapiro, L., and S. Droege. 2011. Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Facility and Vicinity, Calvert County, Maryland. The Maryland Entomologist 5:45–65.

  • SHUEY, J. A., E. H. METZLER, and K. TUNGESVICK. 2012. Moth Communities Correspond with Plant Communities in Midwestern (Indiana, USA) Sand Prairies and Oak Barrens and Their Degradation Endpoints. The American Midland Naturalist 167:273–284. University of Notre Dame.

  • Swengel, A. B. 2001. A literature review of insect responses to fire, compared to other conservation managements of open habitat. Biodiversity & Conservation 10:1141–1169.

  • Tucker, E. M., and S. M. Rehan. 2019. Wild Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Ossipee Pine Barrens. Northeastern Naturalist 26:379–391.

  • Vora, R. S. 1993. Moquah Barrens Pine Barrens Restoration Experiment Initiated in Chequamegon National Forest. Ecological Restoration 11:39–44.

  • Wagner, D. L., M. W. Nelson, and D. F. Schweitzer. 2003. Shrubland Lepidoptera of southern New England and southeastern New York: ecology, conservation, and management. Forest Ecology and Management 185:95–112. Early-Successional Forests and Shrubland Habitats in the North Eastern United States :Critical Habitats dependent on Disturbance.

  • Weiss, H. B., and E. West. 1924. Insects and Plants of a Dry Woods in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Ecology 5:241–253. Ecological Society of America.

  • Wheeler, A. G. 1991. Plant Bugs of Quercus ilicifolia: Myriads of Mirids (Heteroptera) in Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak Barrens. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 99:405–440. New York Entomological Society.

  • Woodside, C. 2016. The Disappeared Sandplains. Connecticut Woodlands 81:6–9. Connecticut Forest & Park Association.