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
Lophiola aureaGolden Crest
Hexastylis sorrieiSandhills HeartleafG3S1S2S1S20.11107
Lilium pyrophilumSandhills Bog LilyG2S2S20.03699
Sarracenia minorHooded Pitcher PlantG4S2S20.03699
Lycopus cokeriCoker's BugleweedG3S3S30.00407
Lysimachia asperulifoliaRough-leaf LoosestrifeG3S3S30.00407
Lysimachia loomisiiLoomis's LoosestrifeG3S3S30.00407
Pleea tenuifoliaRush False-asphodelG4S3S30.00407
Sarracenia rubraSweet Pitcher PlantG4S3S30.00407
Xyris chapmaniiChapman's Yellow-eyed-grassG3S3S30.00407
Tofieldia glabraCarolina AsphodelG4S4S40.00041
Carex exilisCoastal SedgeG5S2S20.03699
Rhynchospora macraSouthern White BeaksedgeG3G4S2S20.03699
Carex elliottii Elliott's SedgeG4S3S30.00407
Carex turgescensPinebarren SedgeG4G5S3S30.00407
Rhynchospora leptocarpaa beaksedgeG3S3S30.00407
Rhynchospora pallidaPale BeaksedgeG4S3S30.00407
Rhynchospora stenophyllaLittleleaf BeaksedgeG4S3S30.00407
Ctenium aromaticumToothache GrassG5S4S40.00041
Hemipachnobia monochromateaSundew Cutworm MothG4S1S10.33330
Tettigidea prorsaCone-headed Grouse LocustGNRSHSH
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 20
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 19
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 1
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 19
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 0
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.00000
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.63792
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.03357
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 20 x 0.03357 = 0.6714

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species
Estimated Risk to the Co-evolved Species Groups
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