Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Peatland Forests and Shrublands:
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Peatland Forests and Shrublands
Coastal Plain Herbaceous Peatlands
General Description The Coastal Plain of North Carolina contains an abundance of peatland habitats, associated with the flat, water-rich terrain in general and with Carolina Bays and other depressions in particular. In all these cases, these habitats are characterized with constantly saturated, highly acidic, nutrient poor, and often anoxic soils. Such sites typically have mats of sphagnum mosses, which along with other vegetation, do not decompose in these environments and form instead deep deposits of peat.

Most such sites in the North Carolina Coastal Plain support pocosin shrubs or peatland trees such as Pond Pines, Atlantic White Cedars, or hardwood Bays. The herbaceous peatlands treated here, however, lack a canopy. Some are associated with particularly deep deposits of peat -- located in the centers of large peat domes -- where trees cannot establish. More commonly, they occur as narrow ecotones located between peatlands dominated by woody species and fire-maintained savannas, flatwoods, and sandridges. In these cases, it is the frequency of fires spilling over from the adjoining habitats that keeps the habitats open.

Consequently, the Defining Species must be adapted not only to the peatland soils but also a high frequency of burns. Plant species in these habitats normally survive as well-protected underground rhizomes or seeds in the seed bank. Animals such as the Sundew Cutworm Moth probably do not survive through a fire in place but instead rely on recolonization from unburned patches of their habitat to maintain their presence within the area.

Abiotic Factors
Biotic Structure
Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Drosera species+Cranberry // Hemipachnobia monochromatea

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Carex elliottii - Elliott's Sedge G4S30.0058
Carex exilis - Coastal Sedge G5S20.0460
Carex turgescens - Pinebarren Sedge G4G5S30.0058
Ctenium aromaticum - Toothache Grass G5S40.0007
Rhynchospora leptocarpa - Slender-fruit Beaksedge G3S30.0058
Rhynchospora macra - Large Beaksedge G3G4S20.0460
Rhynchospora pallida - Pale Beaksedge G4S30.0058
Rhynchospora stenophylla - Coastal Plain Beaksedge G4S30.0058
Hemipachnobia monochromatea - Sundew Cutworm Moth G4S10.3584
Hexastylis sorriei - Sandhills Heartleaf G3S1S20.1284
Lilium pyrophilum - Sandhills Lily G2S20.0460
Lycopus cokeri - Coker's Bugleweed G3S30.0058
Lysimachia asperulifolia - Roughleaf Loosestrife G3S30.0058
Pleea tenuifolia - Rush-featherling G4S30.0058
Sarracenia minor - Hooded Pitcherplant G4S20.0460
Sarracenia rubra - Sweet Pitcherplant G4S30.0058
Tofieldia glabra - Carolina Bog-asphodel G4S40.0007
Xyris chapmanii - Chapman's Yellow-eyed-grass G3S30.0058
Tettigidea prorsa - Cone-headed Pygmy Grasshopper GNRSH0.00
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.7302
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 18
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0406
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.7302

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 00:35:58