Habitats of North Carolina
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General Shrublands
General Upland Heath Thickets
Habitat Overview A key factor of this habitat is the presence of shrubby species of the Ericaceae that form dense thickets in a variety of upland habitats. This group occurs widely across the state, with all members being found extensively in at least two of the state's physiographic provinces. All of these species occur in upland habitats; species that occur in both uplands and wetlands are included in other habitats.

Heaths included in this habitat are all shrubs and most occur in either open woodlands or in barrens that lack a tree canopy. Almost all are associated with acidic, rocky or sandy soils but at least one species, Vaccinium stamineum, also occurs in Basic Oak-Hickory Forests (LeGrand and Sorrie, 2019). Species of Vaccinium and Gaylucassia are found in most occurrences of this habitat. Dense tangles of Kalmia latifolia that exclude most other species of shrubs are also included.

Most of the insect members of this habitat are herbivores on Blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) and Huckleberries (Gaylussacea), although there are several that additionally feed on Azaleas (deciduous Rhododendrons), Staggerbush (Lyonia mariana), Fetterbush (Eubotrys sp.). One species, Callophrys augustinus, feeds primarily on Kalmia latifolia.

This habitat does not include thickets of evergreen Rhododendrons, which are more restricted to the mountains and support a different set of symbiotic species. Both the General Upland Heath Thickets and Montane Rhododendron Thickets and Balds intersect the General Shrublands and Thickets habitat, which contains generalists that make use of all types of shrubby habitats in the state.

Related NHP Natural Communities NHP Natural Communities (Schafale and Weakley, 1990; Schafale, 2012) that contain significant amounts of upland heaths are present in all three physiographic provinces of the state. Mountain examples include: High Elevation Red Oak Forest, Montane Oak–Hickory Forest, Heath Bald, White Pine Forest, Pine–Oak / Heath, Low Mountain Pine Forest, Southern Mountain Pine–Oak Forest, Southern Mountain Xeric Pine–Oak Woodland, Chestnut Oak Forest, High Elevation Rocky Summit, and Low Elevation Acidic Glade. Piedmont examples include: Dry-Mesic Oak–Hickory Forest, Dry-Mesic Oak-Hickory Forest, Dry Oak–Hickory Forest, Dry-Mesic Basic Oak–Hickory Forest, Acidic Shale Slope Woodland, Piedmont Monadnock Forest, Piedmont Acidic Glade, Piedmont/Coastal Plain Heath Bluff, Dry Piedmont Longleaf Pine Forest, and Xeric Hardpan Forest. Coastal Plain examples include Xeric Sandhill Scrub, Pine/Scrub Oak Sandhill , and Mesic Pine Savanna.
Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
MOTHS
Acrobasis amplexella GNRSU0.0020
Acrobasis vaccinii - Cranberry Fruitworm Moth GNRS3S40.0020
Catocala andromedae - Andromeda Underwing G5S4S50.0002
Catocala gracilis - Graceful Underwing G5S4S50.0002
Catocala sordida - Sordid Underwing G5S40.0007
Chrysanympha formosa - Formosa Looper G5S40.0007
Lyonetia latistrigella - Rhododendron Leaf Miner GNRSU0.0020
Probole nepiasaria - Heath Probole Moth GNRS2S40.0058
Xestia dilucida - Dull Reddish Dart Moth G5S4S50.0002
BUTTERFLIES
Callophrys augustinus - Brown Elfin G5S40.0007
SHRUBS
Gaylussacia baccata - Black Huckleberry G5S50.000000000
Gaylussacia dumosa - Dwarf Huckleberry G5S50.000000000
Gaylussacia frondosa - Dangleberry G5S50.000000000
Kalmia latifolia - Mountain Laurel G5S50.000000000
Vaccinium arboreum - Sparkleberry G5S50.000000000
Vaccinium fuscatum - Black Highbush Blueberry G5S50.000000000
Vaccinium pallidum - Hillside Blueberry G5S50.000000000
Vaccinium stamineum - Deerberry G5S50.000000000
Vaccinium tenellum - Small Black Blueberry G5S50.000000000
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.0145
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 10
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0015
Number of S5 species = 9
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.9000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.0015

Phagic and Competitory Symbioses: (Ericaceae species/Callophrys augustinus-Acronicta tritona-Catocala andromedae-Catocala gracilis-Pangrapta decoralis-Probole nepiasaria-Xestia dilucida) (Vaccinium species/Acrobasis vaccinii-Catocala sordida-Chrysanympha formosa)
Candidates for Inclusion
Habitat Sub-sets
Distribution Map
Distribution
Survey Coverage Map
Survey Coverage
Survey Priorities
Average Imperilment of Habitat Members
Habitat Conservation Status
High Quality Habitat Occurrence Table
High Quality Habitat Occurrences
Protected Habitat Occurrences
Threats and Trends
Status Summary
Stewardship Recommendations
References
Updated on 2020-05-26 01:46:43