Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of General Hardwood Forests:
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General Hardwood Forests
Montane Mesic Forests with Seepages/Headwater Streams
Habitat Overview Members of this habitat include species such as semi-terrestrial salamanders, whose larvae require seeps and headwater streams for development, but whose adults roam widely across the forest floor in search of food and that take shelter under logs or in terrestrial burrows. Also included are species that do the opposite, for example, the American Water Shrew, which den and raise their young on land but that forage primarily in streams or along their edges. All members of this habitat occur almost entirely in the Mountains.

Related NHP Natural Communities Most of the seepage communities used by this habitat group are small and probably best fit the Low Elevation Seep (Piedmont/Mountain Springhead Subtype) NHP community type. Other communities that are larger, more open, and more closely akin to montane bogs may also be used, including High Elevation Boggy Seep, Rich Montane Seep, and Low Elevation Seep (Typic, Montane, and Floodplain Subtypes). Mesic forest communities used by the adults of this group include: Northern Hardwood Forest, High Elevation Birch Boulderfield Forest, Rich Cove Forest, Acidic Cove Forest, and Canada Hemlock Forest.
Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Desmognathus aeneus - Seepage Salamander G3S30.0058
Desmognathus carolinensis - Carolina Mountain Dusky Salamander G4S30.0058
Desmognathus imitator - Imitator Salamander G3S30.0058
Desmognathus ocoee - Ocoee Salamander G5S40.0007
Desmognathus orestes - Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander G4S30.0058
Sorex palustris - American Water Shrew G5S30.0058
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.0297
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 6
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0050
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.0297

Candidates for Inclusion Crayfish and other invertebrates associated with montane seeps can be included in this habitat type once websites have been developed for their taxa
Habitat Sub-sets
Distribution Map
Survey Coverage Map
Survey Coverage
Survey Priorities
Average Imperilment of Habitat Members
Habitat Conservation Status The average Imperilment Score for this habitat group is 4.02, roughly corresponding to an NHP rank of G5 S1S2, i.e., of no conservation significance at the global level but of high significance at the state level. However, two of the five members of this habitat are ranked as G3, indicating at least a minimum level of significance at the global level. Conversely, none of the members have a high level state rank, although four of the five have a state rank of S3, a moderate level of significance at the state level.
High Quality Habitat Occurrence Table
High Quality Habitat Occurrences
Protected Habitat Occurrences
Threats and Trends
Status Summary
Stewardship Recommendations
References Burley, L.A., Moyer, A.T. and Petranka, J.W., 2006. Density of an intraguild predator mediates feeding group size, intraguild egg predation, and intra-and interspecific competition. Oecologia, 148(4):641-649.

Petranka, J.W., 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press.

Petranka, J.W. and Smith, C.K., 2005. A functional analysis of streamside habitat use by southern Appalachian salamanders: Implications for riparian forest management. Forest Ecology and Management, 210:443-454.

Weakley, A.S., and M.P. Schafale. 1994. Non-alluvial wetlands of the southern Blue Ridge: diversity in a threatened ecosystem. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 77: 359-383. [Also published in Trettin, C.C., W.M. Aust, and J. Wisniewski. 1995. Wetlands of the interior southeastern United States. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands]

Wichmann, B.L. 2009. Vegetation of geographically isolated montane non-alluvial wetlands of the southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina. M.S. Thesis. North Carolina State University.
Updated on 2020-11-14 21:23:06