Habitats of North Carolina
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General Shrublands
General Wet-Dry Heath Thickets
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General Description This habitat includes both wet and dry thickets consisting of Blueberries, Huckleberries, and other low heaths and that occur in at least two of the state's physiographic provinces.

One heath species, Hairy Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium fuscatum ) is included, based on both its wide geographic range and environmental tolerances. The rest of the Determining Species are herbivores that specialize on heaths and have similar wide ranges and tolerances.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Tidewater and Lower Coastal Plain to High Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6b-8a. Landform: ridges, slopes, bottomlands, and wet flats. Slope Aspect: occurs on all slopes aspects as well as on ridges and flats. Soil Moisture: Dry to wet. Soil texture: sandy to loamy to alluvial. Soil pH: circumneutral to acidic. Soil Nutrient Content: rich to poor. Microclimate: Warm to cool; humid to dry. Hydrological Features: surface waters are common to scarce. Flood Frequency: semi-permanently to never flooded. Flood Duration: nonexistent to semi-permanent. Fire Frequency: common to rare. Drought Frequency: frequent to rare. Insolation: full sun to full shade

Biotic Structure Key Species species belonging to the Ericaceae -- particularly Blueberries and Huckleberries -- are a requirement Vegetation Type: shrublands to closed-canopy forests; all stages of natural succession are included. Woody debris and leaf litter are plentiful in forested examples but sparse in successional shrublands

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses
Vaccinium-Gaylussacea // Acronicta tritona-Metarranthis obfirmaria-Pangrapta decoralis-Clastoptera saintcyri

Determining Species
Clastoptera saintcyriHeath SpittlebugG4G5S4S5S4S50.00010
Xylotype capaxBroad SallowS2S30.01230
Acleris curvalanaBlueberry Leaftier MothGNRS2S4S2S40.00407
Sutyna privataS3S40.00132
Acronicta tritonaTriton Dagger MothG5S4S40.00041
Paonias astylusHuckleberry SphinxG4G5S4S40.00041
Datana drexeliiDrexel's DatanaG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Metarranthis obfirmariaYellow-washed MetarranthisG5S5S50.00000
Pangrapta decoralisDecorated OwletG5S5S50.00000
Zale aeruginosaGreen-dusted ZaleS50.00000
Vaccinium fuscatumHairy Highbush BlueberryG5S5S50.00000
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 11
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 11
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 0
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 7
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 4
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.36364
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.01871
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00170
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 7 x 0.0017 = 0.0119

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species No species are ranked as S2 or higher and the Average PE is equivalent to S3, indicating a low level of conservation concern
Estimated Risk to the Co-evolved Species Groups
Estimated Security of the Habitat Four species are considered secure in North Carolina and the Proportion of Secure Species at 36% is moderately high. This habitat is fairly common across the state and the dispersal abilities of this group are fairly high: the insect members are all capable of flight and the fruit of Vaccinium fuscatum is transported by birds.

Index of Habitat Imperilment The HRI value falls within our Tier 4 of Conservation Concern (0.05 ≥ HRI > 0.005), indicating a low priority for conservation actions.

Identified Risks
Observed Trends
Distribution Map
Major Conservation Reserves
Priority Areas for Surveys and Conservation Protection
Stewardship and Management Recommendations
Updated on 2023-01-24 21:55:49