Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Maritime Forests and Dunes:
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Maritime Forests and Dunes
Live Oak Forests and Maritime Scrub Thickets
Habitat Overview The evergreen oaks, shrubs, and other vegetation, along with their symbionts, are typically thought to be associated with barrier islands, making up the Maritime Forest natural community type. While there is a strong concentration of these habitat in the Tidewater region of the state, most of the members of this habitat type extend inland to some extent, with some reaching as far west as Robeson, Bladen and Cumberland Counties in the Inner Coastal Plain.

All are associated with sandy habitats and as barrier island species must cope with at least some degree of salt spray and the damage caused by hurricanes. Inland examples occur along rivers in the form of evergreen hammocks, again on sandy substrates. Some of the species are also found on the xeric sand rims of Carolina Bay, with a few species in this group extending into the Fall-line Sandhills.

Related NHP Natural Communities Tidewater communities that provide habitat for members of this guild include Maritime Evergreen Forest (Mid Atlantic Subtype), Maritime Evergreen Forest (South Atlantic Subtype), Maritime Deciduous Forest, Maritime Shrub (Stunted Tree Subtype), Coastal Fringe Evergreen Forest (Typic Subtype), Coastal Fringe Evergreen Forest (Sand Spit Woodland Subtype), Coastal Fringe Shell Woodland, Calcareous Coastal Fringe Forest (Northern Subtype), Calcareous Coastal Fringe Forest (Southern Subtype), Marsh Hammock, Pine/scrub Oak Sandhill (Coastal Fringe Subtype). Communities located inland within riparian systems include Swamp Island Evergreen Forest, Blackwater Bottomland Hardwoods (Evergreen Subtype). Additionally, at least some examples belonging to the Pine/scrub Oak Sandhill community types may support populations of Quercus geminata and hemisphaerica, along with their associated herbivores.

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Cartrema americanum - Wild Olive G5S30.0058
Ilex vomitoria - Yaupon Holly G5S40.0007
Prunus caroliniana - Carolina Laurel Cherry G5S30.0058
Sageretia minutiflora - Smallflower Mock-buckthorn G4S10.3584
Sideroxylon tenax - Tough Bumelia G3S10.3584
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis - Hercules-club G4S2S30.0164
Catocala messalina - Messalina Underwing G4S20.0460
Cymatophora approximaria - Giant Gray Moth G4G5S40.0007
Heterocampa astarte G4S3S40.0020
Homaledra sabalella - Palm Leaf Skeletonizer Moth GNRS1S30.0460
Lepidomys irrenosa GNRS2S30.0164
Litoprosopus futilis - Palmetto Borer G4SU0.0020
Metalectra albilinea - White-lined Fungus Moth GNRS2S30.0164
Metria amella - Live Oak Metria Moth G5S3S40.0020
Palpita maritima - Coastal Palpita Moth GNRS1S30.0460
Panopoda repanda - Orange Panopoda Moth G5S3S40.0020
Pimaphera sparsaria GNRS1S20.1284
Zale declarans - Dixie Zale G5S2S30.0164
Cyperus tetragonus - Four-angle Flatsedge G4S20.0460
Erythrina herbacea - Coral-bean G5S20.0460
Juniperus silicicola - Southern Red Cedar G4G5S20.0460
Passerina ciris - Painted Bunting G5S30.0058
Quercus geminata - Sand Live Oak G5S30.0058
Quercus hemisphaerica - Darlington Oak G5S40.0007
Quercus virginiana - Live Oak G5S30.0058
Sabal palmetto - Cabbage Palmetto G5S10.3584
Scaphytopius elegans
Smilax bona-nox var. littoralis - Maritime Saw Greenbrier G5TNRS30.0058
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 1.5843
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 26
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0609
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 1.5843

Phagic and Competitory Symbioses: (Cartrema americanum/Palpita maritima) // (Live Oaks/Heterocampa astarte-Metria amella-Panopoda repanda-Zale declarans) // (Sabal species/Homaledra sabalella-Litoprosopus futilis) // (Sideroxylon species/Pimaphera sparsaria)

Candidates for Inclusion Neoprocris floridana is a Zygaenid moth that feeds solely on Carolina Laurel Cherry, which makes it a likely candidate for this habitat group. However, our sole record comes from Southern Pines, where larvae were found feeding on a cultivated patch of the Laurel Cherry.
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 2.82. That roughly corresponds to an NHP rank of G5 S2, which can be interpreted as having essentially no conservation concern at the global level but a high level of concern at the state level. Only one of the 21 species has a global rank as high as G3, but eight have a state rank of S2 or higher.
High Quality Habitat Occurrence Table
High Quality Habitat Occurrences
Protected Habitat Occurrences
Threats and Trends
Status Summary
Stewardship Recommendations
Updated on 2020-01-04 01:58:07