Habitats of North Carolina
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Floodplain Forests
General Poplar Forests
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General Description The key factor for this habitat is the presence of poplars, aspens, or cottonwoods, all in the genus Populus. Individually these species occupy a range of different habitats, including high elevation summits, in the case of Bigtooth Aspen and a relict population of Quaking Aspen, to bottomlands in the case of Eastern Cottonwood and permanently flooded coastal swamps in the case of Swamp Cottonwood. None occupy the complete range of these environments and are included in separate habitats rather than this more generalized type.

Instead of the Populus species, it is the herbivorous insects that feed on the entire range of Populus species that are the Determining Species of this habitat; they are the ones that show a high fidelity to any habitat that contains any one of the Populus species. Some feed to some extent on Willows (also in the Salicaceae), but their ranges appear to be most closely determined by the presence of Populus.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Lower Coastal Plain to High Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: ridges, slopes, bottomlands, wet flats, and swamps. Slope Aspect: north, east, south, and west, also flat. Soil Moisture: Dry to hydric. Soil texture: loamy, silty,or mucky. Soil pH: acdic to circumneutral. Soil Nutrient Content: rich for most terrestrial sites to poor in blackwater swamps. Microclimate: cool to warm; dry to humid. Hydrological Features: streamheads on ridges and slopes, swamps in Outer Coastal Plain. Flood Frequency: essentially never flooded on ridges to permanently flooded in swamps. Flood Duration: nonexistent to permanent. Fire Frequency: uncommon on ridges, rare in swamps. Drought Frequency: uncommon in uplands, rare in swamp forests. Ice Storm Damage: high in the mountains, low in the Outer Coastal Plain. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: canopies are well insolated, lower strata are deeply shaded.

Biotic Structure Vegetation Type: Closed-canopy forests composed of broadleaf, deciduous trees. Key Species: One of the species of Populus must be present. Strata Subcanopy, shrub, and herb-layers are generally sparse in both floodplain and ridgetop examples. Woody debris and leaf litter plentiful in bottomland examples but often submerged in swamp forests and frequenbtly swept away in bottomlands subject to flooding.

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Populus species // Acronicta lepusculina-Catocala amatrix-Catocala concumbens-Catocala marmorata-Gluphisia septentrionis-Ipimorpha pleonectusa-Lobophora nivigerata-Nycteola metaspilella-Pachysphinx modesta-Paranthrene dollii-Raphia frater

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Acronicta lepusculina - Cottonwood Dagger G5S2S30.0164
Amphipyra glabella - Smooth Amphipyra Moth G5S1S20.1284
Apotomis deceptana - Deceptive Apotomis Moth GNRS2S40.0058
Catocala amatrix - Sweetheart Underwing G5S40.0007
Catocala concumbens - Pink Underwing G5S1S30.0460
Catocala marmorata - Marbled Underwing G3G4S1S30.0460
Gluphisia septentrionis - Common Gluphisia G5S3S40.0020
Ipimorpha pleonectusa - Even-lined Sallow GNRSU0.0020
Lobophora nivigerata - Powdered Bigwing Moth G5S1S30.0460
Meroptera cviatella - Poplar Bud Borer Moth GNRS1S20.1284
Metanema inatomaria - Pale Metanema Moth G5S1S30.0460
Notodonta scitipennis - Finned-willow Prominent G5SH0.00
Pachysphinx modesta - Big Poplar Sphinx G5S1S30.0460
Paraleucoptera albella - Cottonwood Leafminer Moth GNRSU0.0020
Paranthrene dollii - Poplar Clearwing Moth
Pheosia rimosa - Black-rimmed Prominent G5S1S20.1284
Protitame virginalis - Virgin Moth G5S1S30.0460
Raphia frater - The Brother G5S3S40.0020
Scaphoideus cylindratus
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.6921
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 16
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0433
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.6921

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species
Estimated Security of the Habitat
Index of Habitat Imperilment
Identified Risks
Observed Trends
Distribution Map
Major Conservation Reserves
Priority Areas for Surveys and Conservation Protection
Stewardship and Management Recommendations
References Ostry, M.E., L.F. Wilson, H.S. McNabb, and L.M. Moore. 1989. A guide to insect, disease, and animal pests of poplars. Agriculture Handbook 677; USDA Forest Service, 118 p. Available online at: https://bugwoodcloud.org/resource/files/14931.pdf
Updated on 2021-12-13 13:06:50