Habitats of North Carolina
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Habitat Type:
Members of Floodplain Forests:
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Floodplain Forests
Rich Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Habitat Overview Members of this habitat require nutrient-rich soils and cool, shaded, and humid microclimates. Over most of the state, these conditions occur on forested slopes with underlying mafic or other base-rich rock formations. They are particularly associated with slopes that have east- or north-facing exposures, limiting insolation especially during the hottest parts of the day. Where particularly rich soils are present, species normally restricted to cool slopes can grow on flats, including those on the tops of ridges.

Other examples of this habitat are associated with the rich alluvial soils that are produced where streams flow through nutrient-rich rock formations. These soils are deposited in bottomlands, where the soils are kept wet by stream flow and where the microclimate is kept moist due to evaporation from the abundant surface waters. Species growing well out on the floodplain must be adapted to surviving at least some degree of flooding, but species on the lower slopes and upper terraces can be less so.

Due to the cool, moist conditions typical of these habitats, they burn very infrequently, if at all. Flooding and major wind storms are the main natural disturbances that return these habitats to earlier successional stages.

These conditions are relatively frequent in the Mountains, especially in rich cove forests and northern hardwood forests, and are also widespread, if scattered, across the Piedmont. In the Coastal Plain, the largest examples are associated with brownwater rivers, which carry sediments derived from rich soils in the Mountains and Piedmont. A few isolated examples are associated with areas underlain by marl, a calcium-rich rock formed from deposits of fossil mollusk shells.

The plant members are directly associated with the abiotic factors that characterize these habitats. These include a number of basophilic trees and shrubs but the herbaceous species are particularly diverse and lush.

Animal members mostly consist of herbivores that are highly specialized on the plant species. At least one insectivore is also included, the Kentucky Warbler, which nests on the ground within the rich herb cover typical of these habitats.

Related NHP Natural Communities Northern Hardwood Forest (Rich Subtype), Rich Cove Forest (Montane Intermediate Subtype), Rich Cove Forest (Montane Rich Subtype), Rich Cove Forest (Foothills Intermediate Subtype), Rich Cove Forest (Foothills Rich Subtype), Rich Cove Forest (Red Oak Subtype), Rich Cove Forest (Boulderfield Subtype), Basic Mesic Forest (Piedmont Subtype), Basic Mesic Forest (Coastal Plain Subtype), High Elevation Red Oak Forest (Rich Subtype), Montane Oak–Hickory Forest (Basic Subtype), Dry-Mesic Basic Oak–Hickory Forest (Piedmont Subtype), Dry-Mesic Basic Oak–Hickory Forest (Coastal Plain Subtype), Coastal Plain Marl Outcrop (Bluff Subtype), Brownwater Levee Forest (High Levee Subtype), Brownwater Levee Forest (Medium Levee Subtype), Brownwater Levee Forest (Low Levee Subtype), Brownwater Bottomland Hardwoods (High Subtype), Montane Alluvial Forest (Small River Subtype), Piedmont Alluvial Forest, Piedmont Bottomland Forest (High Subtype), Wet Marl Forest

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Acer floridanum - Florida Maple G4G5S50.00
Carya cordiformis - Bitternut Hickory G5S40.0007
Carya laciniosa - Shellbark Hickory G5S10.3584
Carya ovata - Shagbark Hickory G5S40.0007
Celtis laevigata - Sugarberry G5S50.00
Juglans nigra - Black Walnut G5S40.0007
Magnolia macrophylla - Bigleaf Magnolia G5S20.0460
Morus rubra - Red Mulberry G5S50.00
Quercus bicolor - Swamp White Oak G5S20.0460
Quercus shumardii - Shumard Oak G5S40.0007
Ulmus rubra - Slippery Elm G5S50.00
Acrobasis demotella - Walnut Shoot Moth GNRS3S40.0020
Acrobasis juglandis - Pecan Leaf Casebearer Moth GNRSU0.0020
Acrobasis latifasciella GNRS2S30.0164
Acronicta hamamelis - Witch Hazel Dagger G4S3S40.0020
Acronicta morula - Ochre Dagger G5S3S40.0020
Baileya australis - Small Baileya G5S4S50.0002
Baileya dormitans - Sleeping Baileya G5S4S50.0002
Baileya levitans - Pale Baileya G5S40.0007
Caloptilia blandella GNRS3S40.0020
Cameraria aesculisella GNRSU0.0020
Canarsia ulmiarrosorella - Elm Leaftier Moth GNRS3S40.0020
Catocala agrippina - Agrippina Underwing Moth G5S2S40.0058
Catocala luctuosa - Hulst's Underwing Moth G4S10.3584
Catocala maestosa - Sad Underwing G5S3S40.0020
Catocala nebulosa - Clouded Underwing G5S40.0007
Catocala neogama - Bride Underwing G5S40.0007
Catocala orba - Orb Underwing G4S2S30.0164
Catocala piatrix - Penitent Underwing G5S40.0007
Catocala subnata - Youthful Underwing G5S3S40.0020
Dypterygia rozmani - American Bird's-wing Moth G5S3S40.0020
Hypena abalienalis - White-lined Bomolocha G5S3S40.0020
Hypena humuli - Hop Vine Moth G5S3S40.0020
Hypena madefactalis - Gray-edged Bomolocha G5S4S50.0002
Hypena sordidula - Sordid Bomolocha G4S3S40.0020
Nerice bidentata - Double-toothed Prominent G5S40.0007
Omphalocera munroei - Asimina Webworm Moth GNRS3S40.0020
Papaipema polymniae - Cup Plant Borer G4SU0.0020
Papaipema rutila - Mayapple Borer G4S2S30.0164
Peridea basitriens - Oval-Based Prominent G5S40.0007
Phyllonorycter lucidicostella - Lesser Maple Leaf Blotch Miner Moth GNRSU0.0020
Scopula ordinata GUS3S40.0020
Talponia plummeriana - Speckled Talponia Moth GNRS2S40.0058
Trigrammia quadrinotaria - Four-spotted Angle G4S40.0007
Actaea pachypoda - White Baneberry G5S40.0007
Actaea racemosa - Black Cohosh G5S40.0007
Amsonia tabernaemontana - Eastern Bluestar G5S50.00
Arisaema dracontium - Green Dragon G5S3S40.0020
Aruncus dioicus - Eastern Goat's-beard G5S40.0007
Asarum reflexum - Reflexed Wild-ginger GNRS4S50.0002
Cardamine angustata - Slender Toothwort G5S40.0007
Cardamine concatenata - Cutleaf Toothwort G5S40.0007
Cardamine diphylla - Two-leaved Toothwort G5S50.00
Cardamine dissecta - Forkleaf Toothwort G4S20.0460
Cardamine douglassii - Limestone Bittercress G5S20.0460
Caulophyllum thalictroides - Common Blue Cohosh G5S50.00
Chaerophyllum procumbens - Spreading Chervil G5S30.0058
Circaea canadensis - Broadleaf Enchanter's-nightshade G5S50.00
Collinsonia canadensis - Canada Horsebalm G5S50.00
Collinsonia tuberosa - Deepwoods Horsebalm G3G4S1S20.1284
Coreopsis tripteris - Tall Tickseed G5S30.0058
Corydalis flavula - Yellow Fumewort G5S40.0007
Cryptotaenia canadensis - Canadian Honewort G5S50.00
Cypripedium parviflorum - Yellow Lady's-slipper G5S30.0058
Delphinium tricorne - Dwarf Larkspur G5S30.0058
Dicentra cucullaria - Dutchman's Breeches G5S40.0007
Enemion biternatum - False Rue-anemone G5S20.0460
Erigenia bulbosa - Harbinger-of-spring G5S10.3584
Erythronium americanum - Yellow Trout-lily G5S30.0058
Euonymus atropurpureus - Eastern Wahoo G5S20.0460
Euphorbia obtusata - Woodland Spurge G4S30.0058
Eurybia mirabilis - Bouquet Aster G3S30.0058
Galearis spectabilis - Showy Orchis G5S40.0007
Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium G5S50.00
Geum canadense - White Avens G5S50.00
Hydrophyllum canadense - Bluntleaf Waterleaf G5S40.0007
Hylodesmum glutinosum - Pointedleaf Tick-trefoil G5S20.0460
Iris cristata - Dwarf Crested Iris G5S50.00
Laportea canadensis - Canada Wood-nettle G5S50.00
Menispermum canadense - Canada Moonseed G5S40.0007
Mertensia virginica - Virginia Bluebells G5S20.0460
Nanopanax trifolius - Dwarf Ginseng G5S30.0058
Nemophila aphylla - Small-flower Baby-blue-eyes G5S40.0007
Panax quinquefolius - American Ginseng G3G4S3S40.0020
Persicaria virginiana - Jumpseed G5S50.00
Phacelia covillei - Coville's Phacelia G3S30.0058
Podophyllum peltatum - Mayapple G5S50.00
Polemonium reptans - Creeping Jacob's-ladder G5S10.3584
Ranunculus micranthus - Rock Buttercup G5S10.3584
Sanguinaria canadensis - Bloodroot G5S50.00
Scrophularia marilandica - Late Figwort G5S30.0058
Symphyotrichum phlogifolium - Thinleaf Late Purple Aster G5S30.0058
Tiarella cordifolia - Heartleaf Foamflower G5S50.00
Tradescantia virginiana - Virginia Spiderwort G5S2S30.0164
Trillium cuneatum - Little Sweet Trillium G4G5S30.0058
Viola walteri - Prostrate Blue Violet G4G5S10.3584
Adiantum pedatum - Northern Maidenhair Fern G5S50.00
Athyrium asplenioides - Southern Lady Fern G5S50.00
Parathelypteris noveboracensis - New York Fern G5S50.00
Phegopteris hexagonoptera - Broad Beech Fern G5S50.00
Aesculus sylvatica - Painted Buckeye G5S50.00
Asimina triloba - Common Pawpaw G5S50.00
Calycanthus floridus - Sweetshrub G5S50.00
Cornus alternifolia (= Swida alternifolia) - Alternate-leaf Dogwood G5S40.0007
Crataegus spathulata - Littlehip Hawthorn G5S1S20.1284
Dirca palustris - Eastern Leatherwood G4S30.0058
Philadelphus inodorus - Scentless Mock-orange G4G5S30.0058
Staphylea trifolia - American Bladdernut G5S40.0007
Ampelopsis cordata - Heartleaf Peppervine G5S20.0460
Smilax hispida - Bristly Greenbrier G5S50.00
Vitis labrusca - Fox Grape G5S40.0007
Vitis riparia - Riverbank Grape G5S20.0460
Anthocharis midea - Falcate Orangetip G5S50.00
Eurytides marcellus - Zebra Swallowtail G5S50.00
Polygonia comma - Eastern Comma G5S50.00
Polygonia interrogationis - Question Mark G5S50.00
Bromus pubescens - Hairy Woodland Brome G5S40.0007
Carex blanda - Eastern Woodland Sedge G5S40.0007
Carex bromoides ssp. bromoides - Brome-like Sedge G5T5S30.0058
Carex crebriflora - Coastal Plain Sedge G4S20.0460
Carex jamesii - James's Sedge G5S20.0460
Chasmanthium latifolium - River Oats G5S40.0007
Elymus macgregorii - Early Wild-rye G5S30.0058
Leersia virginica - White Cutgrass G5S50.00
Dikrella maculata
Pediopsoides distinctus
Geothlypis formosa - Kentucky Warbler G5S3S40.0020
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 3.1838
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 93
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0342
Number of S5 species = 31
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.3333
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 2.1226

Phagic and Competitory Symbioses: Acer floridanum-Acer saccharum/Cameraria saccharella-Peridea basitriens-Phyllonorycter lucidicostella) // (Aesculus species/Cameraria aesculisella-Trigrammia quadrinotaria complex) // (Apocarya Hickory species/Catocala agrippina-Catocala nebulosa) // (Asimina species/Eurytides marcellus-Omphalocera munroei-Talponia plummeriana) // (Cardamine species/Anthocharis midea) // Carya cordiformis/Catocala subnata) // (Carya laciniosa-Carya ovata/Catocala luctuosa) // (Juglans nigra/Baileya australis-Caloptilia blandella-Hypena madefactilis) // (Juglans species/Acrobasis juglandis-Catocala neogama-Hypena madefactalis-Pediopsoides distinctus) // ((Laportea canadensis/Hypena sordidula) // (Podophyllum peltatum/Papaipema rutila) // (Trillium species/Scopula ordinata) // (Ulmus species/Acronicta morula-Nerice bidentata) // (Urticaceae species/Hypena humuli-Polygonia comma )

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 2021-07-23 22:18:52