Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of High Elevation Forests:
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High Elevation Forests
General High Elevation Forests
General Description Species composing this habitat group are associated with high elevation -- > 4,000' -- forests. Canopy composition itself is not a deciding factor and the forests can include either pure stands of Spruce-Fir Forest or Northern Hardwood Forest or a mixture of the two. Cool temperatures and high moisture content are critical factors and having a dense forest canopy overhead helps maintain those conditions. Abundant leaf litter and fallen logs on the forest floor are also key habitat features and are again associated with forest cover, as are the mosses and lichens that thrive in dense shade.

This habitat includes both mixed stands of high elevation conifers and hardwoods but can also include pure stands of hardwoods, but where the associated species are limited to high elevations. We do not have a separate habitat that represents Northern Hardwood Forests, since most of the species that characterize that natural community type are also found in cove forests at lower elevations (Schafale, 2012). Instead, we treat all species confined to high elevation forests -- apart from the specialists on spruce and fir -- in this habitat type.

Abiotic Factors
Biotic Structure
Co-evolved Species Groups
Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Acer spicatum - Mountain Maple G5S30.0058
Populus grandidentata - Bigtooth Aspen G5S20.0460
Populus tremuloides - Quaking Aspen G5S10.3584
Sorbus americana - American Mountain-ash G5S30.0058
Aegolius acadicus - Northern Saw-whet Owl G5S20.0460
Certhia americana - Brown Creeper G5S30.0058
Regulus satrapa, summer -
Anaplectoides brunneomedia - Brown-lined Dart Moth G4S3S40.0020
Anaplectoides prasina - Green Arches Moth G5S3S40.0020
Aplectoides condita G4S2S30.0164
Arctia caja - Great Tiger Moth G5S10.3584
Diarsia rubifera - Red Dart Moth G5S2S40.0058
Dysstroma citrata - Dark Marbled Carpet Moth G5S2S30.0164
Dysstroma truncata - Marbled Carpet Moth GNRS30.0058
Eueretagrotis perattentus - Two-spot Dart Moth G5S3S40.0020
Eueretagrotis sigmoides - Sigmoid Dart Moth G5S2S30.0164
Eupithecia tripunctaria G5S2S30.0164
Korscheltellus gracilis - Conifer Swift Moth GNRS1S20.1284
Lithophane georgii G5S1S20.1284
Pachypolia atricornis - Three-horned Sallow G3G4S2S30.0164
Perizoma basaliata - Square-patched Carpet Moth G5S2S30.0164
Platarctia parthenos - St. Lawrence Tiger Moth G5S1S20.1284
Rheumaptera hastata - Spear-Marked Black Moth G5S2S30.0164
Venusia cambrica - Welsh Wave Moth G5S3S40.0020
Cinna latifolia - Drooping Woodreed G5S1S20.1284
Circaea alpina - Small Enchanter's-nightshade G5S30.0058
Circaea alpina ssp. alpina - Alpine Enchanter's-nightshade G5T5S30.0058
Clintonia borealis - Bluebead-lily G5S40.0007
Eurybia chlorolepis - Mountain Wood-aster G4S30.0058
Neottia cordata - Heartleaf Twayblade G5SH0.00
Oclemena acuminata - Whorled Wood-aster G5S40.0007
Oxalis montana - Mountain Woodsorrel G5S30.0058
Rugelia nudicaulis - Rugel's Ragwort G3S30.0058
Streptopus amplexifolius - Clasping Twisted-stalk G5S10.3584
Streptopus lanceolatus - Rosy Twisted-stalk G5S30.0058
Desmognathus organi
Desmognathus wrighti
Dryopteris campyloptera - Mountain Wood-fern G5S30.0058
Glaucomys sabrinus - Northern Flying Squirrel G5S20.0460
Sorex dispar - Long-tailed Shrew G4S30.0058
Rubus idaeus - European Red Raspberry G5T5SNA
Sabacon mitchelli GNRS1S20.1284
Sambucus racemosa - Red Elderberry G5S30.0058
Viburnum lantanoides - Hobblebush G5S40.0007
Trechus aduncus - GNRSHS1
Trechus barberi - GNRS3S40.0020
Trechus caliginis - GNR GHG1SHS1
Trechus cheoahensis - GNRS10.3584
Trechus coweensis - GNRS10.3584
Trechus haoe - GNRS10.3584
Trechus haoeleadensis - GNRS10.3584
Trechus howellae - GNRS10.3584
Trechus hydropicus avus - GNRTNRSHS1
Trechus hydropicus beutenmuelleri - GNRTNRSHS3
Trechus inexpectatus - GNRSH0.00
Trechus luculentus cheoahbaldensis - G23T1S10.3584
Trechus luculentus joannabaldensis - G2G33T1S10.3584
Trechus luculentus wayahensis - G2G33T2S1S20.1284
Trechus nantahalae - GNRS10.3584
Trechus satanicus - GH G1S10.3584
Trechus schwarzi schwarzi - GNRSHS2
Trechus schwarzi scopulosus - GNRTNRSHS1
Trechus snowbirdensis - GNRS10.3584
Trechus stefanschoedli - GNRS10.3584
Trechus subtilis - GH G1S1S30.0460
Trechus talequah - GNRS1S20.1284
Trechus thomasbarri - GNRS10.3584
Trechus thunderheadensis - GNRS10.3584
Trechus tobiasi - GNRS10.3584
Trechus toxawayi - GNRS10.3584
Trechus tusquitee - GNRS1S20.1284
Trechus tusquitensis - GNRS10.3584
Trechus vandykei pisgahensis - GNRS2S30.0164
Trechus vandykei vandykei - GNRS2S30.0164
Trechus wayahbaldensis - GNRS10.3584
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 7.3647
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 57
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.1292
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 7.3647

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species
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
References Haas, I., 2016. Habitat Use of Northern Pygmy Salamander (Desmognathus organi) and Southern Pygmy Salamander (D. wrighti) in North Carolina. 2016 NCUR. Accessible online at: https://www.ncurproceedings.org/ojs/index.php/NCUR2016/article/download/1674/882
Updated on 2019-10-27 19:25:45