Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Natural thin-soil environments are those which have little to no soil accumulation atop hard substrates. Many of these natural thin-soil environments, such as alvars, rocky lakeshores or glades, cliffs and cliff bluffs, and barrens, are found in the Great Lakes Region of North America. Due to their ubiquity and ecosystem services they provide, characterizing insects in sensitive environments such as these is important. This study monitored insects in nine thin-soil sites, within three regions, on a 630 km latitudinal gradient in the Southeastern Great Lakes Region of North America from June - August 2019. Over 22,000 insect specimens collected were identified to order or family, and bee specimens were identified to genus or species. We found that overall insect community composition and biodiversity characteristics were similar between the three regions examined. However, the central region had higher taxonomic richness than the southern region. Although unique bee taxa were observed in each region, diversity metrics and community composition of bees were similar among sites. This study provides taxonomic information about the insect, particularly bees, and plant communities in thin-soil environments in this region, which could support conservation and management efforts.



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