Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of General Hardwood Forests:
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General Hardwood Forests
Nutmeg Hickory Forests
Habitat Overview This habitat is based primarily on a symbiotic complex composed of just two species: Nutmeg Hickory and its obligate herbivore, the Nutmeg Underwing Moth. The Widow Sedge is also included since it appears to share the same habitat requirements as Nutmeg Hickory, occurring at the same site as that species although also at one other site in North Carolina with very similar habitat features but where the hickory and the underwing are absent.

Nutmeg Hickory is a strong calciphile, growing along rivers or mesic uplands where some form of calcareous geological formation located at or close to the surface. In North Carolina, the sole population of this species grows in a non-riverine wet flat where marl has outcrops right at the surface. Populations of this species are typically widely disjunct, with some -- as in the North Carolina population -- separated by hundred of miles from the next nearest occurrence. Surprisingly, many of the highly isolated stands of the tree are occupied by the Nutmeg Underwing -- patterns of dual disjunction this extreme are quite rare.

Related NHP Natural Communities The sole NHP Natural Community (Schafale and Weakely, 1990; Schafale, 2012) that supports members of this habitat group is Wet Marl Forest.

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Carex basiantha - Widow Sedge G5S10.3584
Carya myristiciformis - Nutmeg Hickory G4S10.3584
Catocala myristica - Nutmeg Underwing G3G4S10.3584
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 1.0752
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 3
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.3584
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 1.0752

Phagic and Competitory Symbioses: (Carya myristiciformis/Catocala myristica)

Candidates for Inclusion No other insect species are known to be closely associated with Nutmeg Hickory or the habitats that it occupies; species identified as pests of Nutmeg Hickory (see Maisenhelder and Francis, 1990) all appear to be generalists on hickories or hardwood species in general. Most of the plant species associated with the Wet Marl Forest community type occur in other types of basic-mesic forests and are consequently not at all closely tied to Nutmeg Hickory Forests as defined here (see Maisenhelder and Francis, 1990). One species that appears to be strongly limited to wet marl forests is Eastern Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus asperifolia). However, it is unclear whether its distribution closely matches that of the Nutmeg Hickory. In North Carolina, at least, it occurs at several other sites besides the one occupied by our one stand of Nutmeg Hickory. Maisenhelder and Francis, 1990) also mention Durand's Oak (Quercus durandii=sinuata) as being very similar in range and habitats as myristiciformis but has not been recorded in North Carolina (Weakley, 2015).

Habitat Sub-sets With only a single known occurrence in North Carolina, no subtypes are definable.

Distribution Map
Survey Coverage Map
Survey Coverage
Survey Priorities
Average Imperilment of Habitat Members
Habitat Conservation Status
High Quality Habitat Occurrence Table
High Quality Habitat Occurrences
Protected Habitat Occurrences
Threats and Trends
Status Summary
Stewardship Recommendations
References Maisenhelder, L.C. and Francis, J.K., 1990. Carya myristiciformis (Michx. f.) Nutt. Nutmeg Hickory. Silvics of North America: Hardwoods, (654), p.215. Accessible online at: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bMnRqCA3uzwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA215&dq=%22nutmeg+hickory%22&ots=JhhprXjbrq&sig=4_MUkaF_PF6zZ2Ydafmwr4htUfs#v=onepage&q=%22nutmeg%20hickory%22&f=false
Updated on 2020-09-25 14:37:28