Habitats of North Carolina
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Conifer Forests
Loblolly Pine Forests
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General Description This habitat includes forests and woodlands that contain populations of Loblloly Pine (Pinus taeda), one of the most abundant trees in the state. This species is our only native pine that is associated with wet, non-peaty bottomlands and shorelines. Its native habitats include maritime forests, Coastal Evergreeen Forests, and the edges of marshes in the Tidewater region; both blackwater and brownwater river floodplains in the inner portion of the Coastal Plain; and brownwater bottomlands and mesic slopes in the Piedmont. Probably largely due to human influences, it is also an abundant pioneer in old-field succession and now occupies a wide range of mesic-to-dry sites in the uplands.

In its broad but restricted range in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, it is probably the major host for herbivorous species and other animals that are associated with Pines. Nearly all of those species, however, make use of a wide range of Pine species and are placed in the General Pine Forests and Woodlands habitat. The Determining Species for this habitat more narrowly include Loblloly itself and just those herbivores that are specialists on it, which are surprisingly few.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: barrier islands to the western Piedmont. USDA Hardiness Zones: 7b-8. Landform: bottomlands to low ridges Slope Aspect: all slope aspects as well as flats and ridges. Soil Moisture: dry to wet. Soil texture: alluvial to well-drained loams. (b>Soil pH: typically acidic but can be circumneutral in brownwater bottomlands. Soil Nutrient Content: usually nutrient poor but rich in brownwater bottomlands. Microclimate: cool to warm; moist to dry. Fire Frequency: rare to frequent. Drought Frequency: rare to frequent. Ice Storm Damage: low to moderate. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: canopies are well insolated; lower strata are usually only partially shaded where Pines are the dominant canopy species.

Biotic Structure Key Species: Loblolly Pines must be present. Vegetation Type: closed- to open-canopy forests. Strata: Subcanopy is usually composed of shade-tolerant hardwoods that are in the process of replacing the pines; a shrub layer is also often present, including dense thickets of American Hollies and other shade-tolerant species; the herb layer is usually sparse, consisting of only a few species that are tolerant of the acidic leaf litter produced by pines. Woody debris and leaf litter: logs and fallen branches are common and loose bark on dead Pines are used as shelter by many species of herps and invertebrates; pine leaf litter can be thickly developed.

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Pinus taeda // Dioryctria taedae

Determining Species
Pinus taedaLoblolly PineG5S5S50.00000
Dioryctria taedaeA pyralid mothGNRSUSU0.00202
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 2
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 2
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 0
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 1
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 1
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.50000
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.00202
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00101
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 1 x 0.00101 = 0.00101

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 2022-01-02 14:39:38