Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Peatland Forests and Shrublands:
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Peatland Forests and Shrublands
General Herbaceous Peatlands
General Description Various types of peatland habitats occur across the state, from close to the shores of coastal sounds to elevations above 4,000 ft in the mountains. They are all characterized by having constantly saturated and often anoxic soils. These conditions limit decomposition and particularly where sphagnum mosses are present lead to the development of deep layers of peat. Most are nutrient poor and highly acidic, but some may be fed by nutrient-rich groundwaters associated with mafic or calcareous substrates.

Plants included as Defining Species for this habitat are capable of coping with the soil and moisture conditions typical of peatland habitats and also require open, sunny conditions. These habitats typically occur at sites that would succeed to forest but are kept open due to hydrological factors, grazing, beaver activity, or -- especially in the Coastal Plain -- frequent fires. This particular habitat occurs in all three of the state's physiographic provinces, with the Defining Species not limited to any specialized temperature regimes and capable of dealing with a variety of factors that keep the habitat open.

Most of the animals restricted to these habitats are obligate herbivores on the defining plant species. Additionally, Bog Turtles are included, which are associated with both naturally occurring, herb-dominated peatlands and also "wet meadows", which are valley bottom habitats kept open either by grazing by livestock or by beaver activity.

Abiotic Factors
Biotic Structure
Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Sarracenia species // Exyra semicrocea-Papaipema appassionata);(Sarracenia flava/Exyra ridingsii
Sarracenia purpurea // Exyra fax
Drosera species-Vaccinium macrocarpon // Hemipachnobia monochromatea

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Calopogon tuberosus - Tuberous Grass-pink G5S30.0058
Drosera rotundifolia - Roundleaf Sundew G5S30.0058
Helenium brevifolium - Shortleaf Sneezeweed G4S10.3584
Oenothera perennis - Small Sundrops G5S20.0460
Oxypolis rigidior - Stiff Cowbane G5S40.0007
Packera crawfordii - Bog Ragwort G2S10.3584
Ranunculus ambigens - Water-plantain Spearwort G4SH0.00
Sarracenia flava - Yellow Pitcherplant G5S3S40.0020
Sarracenia purpurea - Purple Pitcherplant G5S30.0058
Xyris baldwiniana - Baldwin's Yellow-eyed-grass G5S20.0460
Carex barrattii - Barratt's Sedge G4SH0.00
Carex howei - Howe's Sedge G5S3S40.0020
Carex leptalea - Bristly-stalk Sedge G5S30.0058
Eleocharis tortilis - Twisted Spikerush G5S20.0460
Eriophorum virginicum - Tawny Cottongrass G5S30.0058
Rhynchospora alba - White Beaksedge G5S20.0460
Rhynchospora rariflora - Fewflower Beaksedge G5S40.0007
Scleria minor - Slender Nutrush G4S30.0058
Exyra fax - Epauletted Pitcher-plant Moth G4S2S30.0164
Exyra ridingsii G2G4S20.0460
Exyra semicrocea G3G4S2S30.0164
Papaipema appassionata - Pitcher-plant Borer G4S2S30.0164
Vaccinium macrocarpon - Cranberry G5S20.0460
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 1.0822
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 21
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0515
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 1.0822

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
Updated on 2022-01-01 00:04:48