An austere heathland defined by poor, sandy, and acidic soil created from glacial outwash deposits hosts extensive ground cover composed of low shrubs, areas of dense lichen, and scattered pine in this dry, exposed setting. Harsh yet fragile, Sand Barrens are one of the most fragmented and at-risk habitats in the Acadian Forest. The habitat depends on natural disturbances like fire for ecological stability. Not only do fires resist encroaching trees, they enable the germination of seeds from species such as jack pine and broom-crowberry. Given the loss of crucial natural disturbance due to modern fire controls, less than 3 per cent of original Sand Barren habitat remains in the Annapolis Valley.