Habitats of North Carolina
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Lentic Habitats
General Herbaceous Ponds
General Description This habitat consists of shallow ponds supporting masses of aquatic plant species with floating stems and leaves. Examples include beaver ponds and artificial impoundments located along perennial streams, as well as isolated pools, particularly the large depressional wetlands that occur in the Coastal Plain. Oxbows and large openings along slow flowing rivers are also included. This is the most generalized of the vegetated pool habitats in the state, with examples found across at least two of the state's physiographic provinces. Vegetated pools in the Mountains and Coastal Plain that support different assemblages of species and are treated separately.

In addition to their characteristic plant species, a number of specialized herbivores are also Determining Species for this habitat. One predatory species, the Lilypad Forktail, that hunts primarily over lily pads and other floating vegetation is also included. Other animals that are associated with open, shallow ponds but that are not tied specifically to floating vegetation are treated in other habitats.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: High Mountains to Lower Coastal Plain. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: Open ponds located in stream and river floodplains and isolated ponds in poorly drained flats. Soil Moisture: hydric. Soil Texture: alluvial/loamy/silty/mucky. Soil pH: acidic to circumneutral -- includes blackwater as well as brownwater examples. Soil Nutrients: poor to rich. Microclimate: warm to cool, humid. Flood Frequency: permanently flooded. Flood Duration: year-round. Fire Frequency: generally not a factor except around the margins of the ponds; fires in depressional wetlands may be important for nutrient recycling. Drought Frequency: extremely rare. Insolation: full sun

Biotic Structure Vegetation Type: floating vegetation covering large areas of a pond's surface; trees and shrubs are very sparse or absent. Woody Debris: standing snags and fallen logs are a common feature of beaver ponds, especially in their earlier successional stages; woody debris may be nearly absent in depressional wetlands that are burned during pond drawdowns

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Nuphar advena // Donacia piscatrix-Donacia proxima
Nymphaea species // Elophila gyralis
Lemna species // Elophila tinealis

Determining Species
Rhopalosiphum nymphaeaeSNR
Spirodela polyrhizaGreater Duckweed, Minnow-foleS40.00041
Donacia piscatrixSNR
Donacia proximaSNR
Galerucella nymphaeaeWater-lily Leaf BeetleSNR
Azolla carolinianaCarolina Mosquito-fernS3S40.00132
Elodea canadensisCanada ElodeaG5S1S10.33330
Potamogeton amplifoliusLargeleaf PondweedG5S1S10.33330
Elodea nuttalliiNuttall's ElodeaG5S2S20.03699
Lemna minorLesser DuckweedG5S2S20.03699
Potamogeton berchtoldii Slender PondweedG5S2S20.03699
Potamogeton foliosusLeafy PondweedG5S2S20.03699
Ceratophyllum demersumCommon HornwortG5S3S30.00407
Lemna valdivianaPale DuckweedG5S3S30.00407
Potamogeton epihydrusNuttall PondweedG5S3S30.00407
Lemna perpusillaMinute DuckweedG5S4S40.00041
Nymphaea odorataFragrant Water-lilyG5S4S40.00041
Potamogeton pulcherSpotted PondweedG5S4S40.00041
Potamogeton pusillusSlender PondweedG5S4S40.00041
Utricularia gibbaHumped BladderwortG5S4S40.00041
Nuphar advenaBroadleaf PondlilyG5S5S50.00000
Potamogeton diversifoliusWater-thread PondweedG5S5S50.00000
Potamogeton nodosusAmerican PondweedG5SHSH
Megamelus davisiCommon Waterlily PlanthopperS2S40.00407
Draeculacephala inscriptaWaterlettuce LeafhopperS3S40.00132
Homophoberia cristataYellow Pond Lily MothG4SUS2S30.01230
Bellura gortynoidesWhite-tailed Diver MothG4S2S4S2S40.00407
Elophila gyralisWaterlily Borer MothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Elophila icciusalisPondside Pyralid MothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Elophila tinealisa crambid mothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Ostrinia penitalisAmerican Lotus BorerGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Parapoynx maculalisPolymorphic Pondweed MothGNRS1S3S3S50.00041
Elophila obliteralisWaterlily Leafcutter MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Ischnura kellicottiLilypad ForktailG5S4S40.00041
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 30
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 29
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 1
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 27
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 2
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.06897
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.85851
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.02960
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 28 x 0.0296 = 0.8288

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species This habitat contains two species ranked as S1 and four ranked as S2. Overall, the Average PE is equivalent to a State Rank of S2, indicating a high degree of conservation concern.
Estimated Risk to the Co-evolved Species Groups
Estimated Security of the Habitat Only two species belonging to this habitat are considered secure in North Carolina. The Proportion of Secure Species of 7% is fairly low. This probably reflects the fact that these habitats are sparsely distributed across the state with very few large or well-connected examples.

Index of Habitat Imperilment The high value of ENE, low value of PSS, and the presence of one SH species combine to produce a fairly high value of HRI, falling within our Tier 2 of Conservation Concern (5 ≥ HRI > 0.5), meriting a high 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 21:44:18