SARAH A. HAGGERTY - UMASS 2006
Early seral habitats in the northeastern U.S. are being threatened by succession brought on by the alteration of natural ecosystem dynamics (Noss 1995). In fire- dependent systems such as sandplain barrens, this is compounded by the threat of catastrophic fire from increased fuel loads created by long-term fire suppression. Efforts are currently underway in many areas to restore open habitats through the reintroduction of natural disturbances or by alternative techniques which mimic their effects. In fire prone systems, the goal of these efforts is twofold: 1) to reduce fire danger in areas with heavy fuel loads and 2) to restore natural open habitats. The effects of such management on the native insect species, including rare species dependent on open systems, are just beginning to be examined (Swengel 2001, Swengel and Swengel 2001, Panzer and Schwartz 2002).