Habitats of North Carolina
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Members of Marshes, Mires, and Shoreline Habitats:
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Marshes, Mires, and Shoreline Habitats
General Sedge, Grass, and Rush Mires
Habitat Overview Open, shallow, wetlands dominated by graminoids -- often called beaver meadows in the past -- were once major features of stream and river valleys, forming hummocks and larger wet meadows as beaver ponds gradually filled in with sediments. With the near extinction of beavers across North America at the beginning of the 20th Century, these habitats became greatly reduced and fragmented. Many of their distinctive species -- most prominently, Mitchell's Satyr -- were left as rare relicts, scattered across their once vast geographic range.

The plants in this habitat grow in wet, mucky soils and experience frequent, shallow flooding. Some species, such as Carex stricta, form hummocks that rise up to a foot above the surface of the waters. Most grow in full sun but are capable of surviving in narrow galleries along streams as shrub and tree cover develop due to succession. Some are even capable of persisting for at least a while under full shade. In some areas along the lower Roanoke and other brownwater river floodplains, extensive meadows of Carex occur under a closed hardwood canopy.

The Lepidoptera belonging to this habitat all occur in association with wetland graminoids, with many known to have larvae that are obligate feeders on Carex or the other species of graminoids. The Orthoptera probably feed more generally on both sedges and wetland grasses. The one predatory member of this habitat, Libellula flavida, is associated with sedgy bogs, seeps, and beaver sedge meadows. Adults perch in open, sunny areas; larvae have also been found with the same, shallow, graminoid- and sphagnum-choked waters.

Unlike bogs, fens, hillside seepage bogs, and sandhill seeps, all of which have significant amounts of sphagnum and thick deposits of peat, this habitat is more marsh-like in character, lacking these deposits. The openness characteristic of this habitat is maintained by frequent flooding and -- at least historically -- beaver activity, rather than occasional fire or the build up of peat too deep to allow tree growth.

Related NHP Natural Communities
Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Amolita fessa - Feeble Grass Moth G5S50.00
Amolita obliqua - Oblique Grass Moth G5S4S50.0002
Bactra furfurana GNRSU0.0020
Bactra verutana - Javelin Moth GNRSU0.0020
Cosmopterix clemensella - Clemens' Cosmopterix Moth GNRSU0.0020
Deltote bellicula - Bog Lithacodia Moth G5S40.0007
Hypenodes fractilinea - Broken-line Hypenodes Moth G4S4S50.0002
Macrochilo hypocritalis - Twin-dotted Macrochilo Moth G4S40.0007
Macrochilo litophora - Brown-lined Owlet Moth GNRS4S50.0002
Macrochilo orciferalis - Bronzy Macrochilo Moth G5S4S50.0002
Meropleon diversicolor - Multicolored Sedgeminer Moth G5S3S40.0020
Renia sobrialis - Sober Renia Moth G5S4S50.0002
Rivula propinqualis - Spotted Grass Moth G5S50.00
Amplicephalus osborni
Anaxipha vernalis - Spring Trig GNRS40.0007
Leptysma marginicollis - Cattail Toothpick Grasshopper G5S50.00
Metaleptea brevicornis - Clipped-Wing Grasshopper G5S50.00
Paroxya atlantica - Atlantic Grasshopper; Atlantic Locust GUS3S40.0020
Paroxya clavuligera - Olive-green Swamp Grasshopper G5S3S40.0020
Ancyloxypha numitor - Least Skipper G5S50.00
Euphyes dion - Dion Skipper G5S40.0007
Lethe appalachia - Appalachian Brown G4S40.0007
Carex alata - Broadwing Sedge G5S30.0058
Carex albolutescens - Greenish-white Sedge G5S40.0007
Carex allegheniensis - Allegheny Sedge GNRS30.0058
Carex atlantica - Prickly Bog Sedge G5S30.0058
Carex aureolensis - Goldenfruit Sedge GNRS20.0460
Carex bromoides - Brome-like Sedge G5S20.0460
Carex canescens var. disjuncta -
Carex collinsii - Collins's Sedge G4S30.0058
Carex crinita - Fringed Sedge G5S50.00
Carex festucacea - Fescue Sedge G5S30.0058
Carex intumescens - Bladder Sedge G5S50.00
Carex joorii - Cypress-swamp Sedge G4G5S30.0058
Carex laevivaginata - Smooth-sheath Sedge G5S40.0007
Carex longii - Long's Sedge G5S50.00
Carex lupuliformis - False Hop Sedge G4S10.3584
Carex lupulina - Hop Sedge G5S50.00
Carex lurida - Sallow Sedge G5S50.00
Carex mitchelliana - Mitchell's Sedge G4S20.0460
Carex normalis - Greater Straw Sedge G5S30.0058
Carex prasina - Drooping Sedge G4S30.0058
Carex scoparia - Pointed Broom Sedge G5S40.0007
Carex stipata - Awl-fruit Sedge G5S3S40.0020
Carex stipata var. maxima - Stalk-grain Sedge G5T5S30.0058
Carex stipata var. stipata - Awl-fruit Sedge G5T5S40.0007
Carex stricta - Tussock Sedge G5S30.0058
Carex styloflexa - Bent Sedge G4G5S40.0007
Cladium mariscoides - Twig-rush G5S30.0058
Coleataenia stipitata - Stalked Panicgrass G5S40.0007
Dichanthelium lucidum - Bog Witchgrass G4G5S4S50.0002
Dulichium arundinaceum - Three-way Sedge G5S50.00
Eleocharis quadrangulata - Squarestem Spikerush G4S20.0460
Glyceria striata - Fowl Mannagrass G5S50.00
Juncus canadensis - Canadian Rush G5S30.0058
Juncus coriaceus - Leathery Rush G5S50.00
Juncus effusus - Soft Rush G5S50.00
Juncus pylaei - Common Rush G5S30.0058
Leersia oryzoides - Rice Cutgrass G5S50.00
Schoenoplectiella purshiana - Weakstalk Bulrush G4G5S40.0007
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani - Softstem Bulrush G5S40.0007
Libellula flavida - Yellow-sided Skimmer G5S4S50.0002
Mesapamea fractilinea
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.6356
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 42
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0151
Number of S5 species = 15
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.3571
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.4086

Phagic and Competitory Symbioses: (Sedge species/Amolita fessa-Amolita obliqua-Cosmopterix clemensella-Deltote bellicula-Euphyes dion-Meropleon diversicolor); (Carex species/Lethe appalachia-Neonympha mitchellii)

Candidates for Inclusion
Habitat Sub-sets
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
Updated on 2019-11-14 20:00:43