Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of General Shrublands:
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General Shrublands
Myricaceous Thickets
General Description The presence of Morella species -- Bayberries and Waxmyrtles -- or Comptonia (Sweetfern) is the defining feature of this habitat. Vegetation types represented in this habitat include maritime forests and scrub, Longleaf woodlands, peatlands, and swamp forests.

None of the plant species are found across the entire range of this family,and consequently do not qualify as Determining Species for this habitat. Those instead are herbivores that specialize on members of Myricaceae. Most of them are stenophagous, feeding on the various species of Morella. The remainder are oligophagous, feeding on both Morella and Comptonia. In addition to these specialist species, Morella berries and the shelter offered by these thickets are important for wintering birds, especially the Yellow-rumped Warbler, whose eastern populations were previously named Myrtle Warblers.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Lower Coastal Plain to High Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. 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; tidewater examples are saline. Microclimate: Warm to cool; humid to dry. Hydrological Features: surface waters are common to scarce. Flood Frequency: transiently to never flooded. Flood Duration: nonexistent to transient. Fire Frequency: common to rare. Drought Frequency: frequent to rare. Insolation: full sun to full shade

Biotic Structure Key Species species belonging to the Myricaceae are a requirement Vegetation Type: shrublands to closed-canopy forests; all stages of natural succession are included. Organic Shelter, Foraging, and Nesting Structures: thickets of Bayberries provide important sheltering, foraging and nesting sites not only for the Determining Species of this habitat but also many more generalized species; woody debris and leaf litter, however, are fairly sparse under these fairly spindly, evergreen shrubs

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Morella species // Acrobasis cirroferella-Caloptilia flavella-Cameraria picturatella-Catocala muliercula-Cyclophora myrtaria-Metallata absumens-Pero zalissaria-Stigmella myricafoliella-Strepsicrates smithiana
Myricaceae species // Agonopterix walsinghamella-Aspilanta argentifera-Dichomeris bipunctellus

Determining Species
Dichomeris bipunctellusGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Metallata absumensVariable Metallata MothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Strepsicrates smithianaBayberry leaftierGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Cyclophora myrtariaMyrtaria Wave MothG4G5S4S5S4S50.00010
Catocala mulierculaThe Little WifeG5S5S50.00000
Acrobasis cirroferellaGNRSUSU0.00202
Agonopterix walsinghamellaWalsingham's Agonopterix MothGNRSUSU0.00202
Aspilanta argentiferaGNRSUSU0.00202
Caloptilia flavellaGNRSUSU0.00202
Cameraria picturatellaGNRSUSU0.00202
Stigmella myricafoliellaGNRSUSU0.00202
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) = 10
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 1
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.09091
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.01618
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00147
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 10 x 0.00147 = 0.0147

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species
Estimated Risk to the Co-evolved Species Groups
Estimated Security of the Habitat
Index of Habitat Imperilment
Identified Risks
Observed Trends
Distribution Map
Major Conservation Reserves
Priority Areas for Surveys and Conservation Protection
Stewardship and Management Recommendations
Updated on 2022-02-20 18:00:54