Publications related to the Serpentine Barrens
Rajakaruna, N., Harris, T., Alexander, E. (2009). Serpentine geoecology of Eastern North America: A review. RHODORA, 111, (945), 21- 108.
In the first part, Rajakaruna et al. describes the formation of the serpentine rock and the uniqueness of these high in metal and low in nutrients ultramafic rocks. The authors discuss Lichens, bryophytes, algae, and microbes native to the serpentine rock, pointing out that there has been very little work to understand these microscopic creatures and little evidence that any cryptogams are endemic to the serpentine substrate. The authors examine vascular plants, listing many that have become rare and endangered due to loss of habitat. The also describe some flora that is normally found farther west but is native to the barrens.
The authors conclude that there is still much research needed on the taxonomy of this ecosystem. The metal (Ni) loving plants are not to be looked at as a novelty but perhaps tools for phytoremediation in restoring contaminated sites.
Dann, K. (1988). Traces on the Appalachians, A natural history of serpentine in Eastern North America,New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Unlike the scientific texts that usually describe the uniqueness of the serpentine barrens, this unique travel log describes in lay terms the history and geology of known sites up and down the Appalachian mountain chain. While devoting 5 chapters specifically to the State Line barrens, the author describes the area and geology like a scientist, all with a historical perspective.
The Nature Conservancy. (2009). State-Line Serpentine Barrens. Accessed October 24, 2009, from http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/pennsylvania/preserves/art1594.html
Some of the State-Line Barrens are managed by The Nature Conservancy. Each site is described, listing plants and flowers likely to be seen, the threats and actions needed to protect and manage the land. Also there are directions and contacts for each site, making it a great place to start for anyone wishing to visit.
Chester County Parks & Recreation. (2009). Accessed October 24, 2009, from http://dsf.chesco.org/ccparks/cwp/view.asp?a=1578&q=642029
Designated a National Natural Landmark in 2009, Nottingham County Park is a Chester County run park and it is part of the State Line group. The website provides a brief history and efforts to preserve the barren ecosystem. There is a list of trails with approximate lengths and descriptions but no map. Directions and times are available as well.