Ecology of Disturbance

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Serpentine Barrens have been maintained for the last 12,000 years by periodic disturbance in the form of fire.  The plants that are endemic to serpentine barrens soil have evolved to withstand and often thrive with periodic fire. 

The following slideshow shows the progressive loss of open savanna grassland on the Cherry Hill Barrens over time with fire suppression.

We are grateful to R. Wayne Tyndall PhD for providing the photographs.

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Compare the loss of open savanna grassland on the barrens over 48 years