Habitats of North Carolina
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Conifer Forests
General Cedar Woodlands
General Description This habitat consists of dense forests, low woodlands, or thickets that possess populations of either Red Cedars -- (Juniperus virginiana and J. silicicola) -- or Atlantic White Cedars (Chamaecyparis thyoides). As a group, these species occur across a very wide range of soils, hydrologic conditions, and disturbance regimes. Eastern Red Cedar is primarily an upland species, associated with open woodlands, forest edges, and successional habitats, including areas that have been stripped of vegetation. It does best on soils with a fairly high pH and is often abundant on mafic soils, particularly glades with underlying mafic rock formations and where the soil layer is shallow. Conversely, it is absent from much of the sandy, acidic soils of the Coastal Plain. Atlantic White Cedar, on the other hand, occurs only in highly acidic, nutrient poor, saturated, peatland soils (see White Cedar Forests account). Southern Red Cedar occupies still another set of abiotic conditions, found only in the Tidewater region of the Outer Coastal Plain, where it grows in marshes and barrier islands, all with a high exposure to salt spray or saline ground water. As is true for the Eastern Red Cedar, it is often associated with soils having a high nutrient content and pH, in this case provided by calcium-rich shell middens (see Wilhite, 1990). None of these three species survives directly through a fire, but burning may be an important factor keeping their habitats open. As described by Wilhite, fire appears to be a necessary factor in regenerating stands of Southern Red Cedar.

Since none of the cedars occur across the entire range of this habitat, they are consequently not treated as its Determining Species. The species that show the greatest fidelity to this habitat are instead the insect herbivores that are oligophagous on the Cupressaceae. In North Carolina, they feed on all native species in this family, but also may make some use of cultivated species.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Barrier Islands to the Low Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: bottomlands to ridgetops Slope Aspect: all slope aspects as well as flats and ridges. Soil Moisture: xeric to wet. Soil texture: sands, silts, loams, and peats. (b>Soil pH: circumneutral in the case of the Juniperus species; highly acidic in the case of Chamaecyparis. Soil Nutrient Content: poor in White Cedar peatlands but often rich in the habitats used by the Junipers. Microclimate: cool to warm; moist to dry. Fire Frequency: occasional. Drought Frequency: rare to frequent. Ice Storm Damage: low to moderate. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: generally well insolated

Biotic Structure Vegetation Type: dense, closed-canopy forests in the case of White Cedar stands; open-canopy woodlands or shrublands in the case of the Junipers. Strata: subcanopy, shrub, and herb-layers are usually poorly developed or absent. Organic Shelter, Foraging, and Nesting Structures: Cedars provide dense shelter used by many species of birds; logs are common but very slow to decompose; leaf litter is typically thin since the cedars are evergreen and have small leaves.

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Juniperus species // Aethes rutilana-Argyresthia alternatella-Callophrys gryneus-Choristoneura houstonana-Clastoptera arborina-Coleotechnites albicostata-Dichomeris marginella
Cupressaceae species // Digrammia continuata-Glena plumosaria-Lithophane lemmeri-Macaria multilineata-Patalene olyzonari)

Determining Species
Atimia confusaSmall Cedar BorerGNRSUSU0.00202
Callophrys gryneusJuniper HairstreakG5S4S40.00041
Clastoptera arborinaRed Cedar SpittlebugS3S40.00132
Scaphoideus opalinusS3S40.00132
Coleotechnites carbonariaGNRS1S3S1S30.03699
Lithophane lemmeriLemmer's PinionG3G4S1S3S1S30.03699
Dichomeris marginellaa twirler mothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Glena plumosariaPlumose GlenaG4S4S40.00041
Coleotechnites albicostataWhite-edged Coleotechnites MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Digrammia continuataCurve-lined AngleG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Glyphidocera juniperellaJuniper Tip MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Macaria multilineataMany-lined AngleG5S5S50.00000
Patalene olyzonariaJuniper-twig GeometerG5S5S50.00000
Aethes rutilanaGNRSHSH
Argyresthia alternatellaan ermine mothGNRSUSU0.00202
Choristoneura houstonana Juniper Budworm MothGNRSUSU0.00202
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 16
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 15
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 1
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 13
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 2
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.13333
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.08512
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00567
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 14 x 0.00567 = 0.07938

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
References Lawson, E.R. 1990. Juniperus virginiana L. eastern redcedar. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 131-140. [13378]. Accessed online at: https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/misc/ag_654_vol1.pdf

Rose, A.H., Lindquist, O.H. and Nystrom, K.L., 1992. Insects of eastern larch, cedar and juniper. Forestry Canada

Wilhite, L.P. 1990. Juniperus silicicola. (Small) Bailey. Southern Redcedar. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 131-140. [13378]. Accessed online at: https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/misc/ag_654_vol1.pdf

Updated on 2022-02-20 16:40:20