Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of General Hardwood Forests:
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General Hardwood Forests
Wet-Mesic Forests with Seepages/Headwater Streams
General Description This habitat is used by amphibious species of animals whose larvae require seepage wetlands or small, low-order streams for their development but whose adults forage widely in the forests in which the breeding habitats are embedded. The Amphibian members of this habitat range out from the wetlands to varying extents, foraging or dwelling under hardwood leaf litter, underground burrows, or fallen logs. The Odonates feed primarily on aerial prey, including arthropods associated with both the wetland and forest components of their environment.

This particular habitat is used by the most wide ranging of these species and are associated primarily with hardwood forests, including dry or mesic stands, but also with at least some examples from floodplains. Species that are more limited in range or that are restricted to Longleaf Pine woodlands or other specific types of forest are treated in other habitats. Species that make use of deeper pools that are more isolated from fish-containing habitats are treated in the General Hardwood Forests with Isolated Pools habitat.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Lower Coastal Plain to High Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: slopes, bottomlands, and wet flats and occasionally on ridges. Slope Aspect: north and east facing on slopes, otherwise flat. Soil Moisture: Mesic to wet. Soil texture: loamy to silty. Soil pH: acidic to circumneutral. Soil Nutrient Content: nutrient-poor to rich in mafic or calcareous minerals.Microclimate: Cool and humid. Hydrological Features: springs and seeps must be present and are usually common, particularly at the interface between slopes and bottomlands. Flood Frequency: upper slopes usually never flood but lower slopes and bottomlands may flood several times per year. Flood Duration: hours to days in the bottomlands and lower slopes. Fire Frequency: very rare. Drought Frequency: uncommon to rare. Ice Storm Damage: low to moderate. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: the ground layer of these forests are deeply shaded.

Biotic Structure Vegetation Type: closed-canopy forest composed primarily of broadleaf, deciduous trees. Strata: Subcanopy, shrub, and herb-layers are sparse and often very open; never as lush as in the Rich Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests. Shelter: Woody debris and leaf litter are plentiful except in flood channels or other areas frequently scoured by floods.

Co-evolved Species Groups Competitory Guilds:
Seep and Spring-Run Patrolling and Breeding Odonates: Cordulegaster bilineata-Cordulegaster erronea-Cordulegaster obliqua-Somatochlora tenebrosa-Tachopteryx thoreyi
Seep and Small Stream Breeding Forest Salamanders: Eurycea chamberlaini-Eurycea cirrigera-Eurycea guttolineata-Pseudotriton ruber

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Calopteryx maculata - Ebony Jewelwing G5S50.00
Cordulegaster bilineata - Brown Spiketail G5S40.0007
Cordulegaster erronea - Tiger Spiketail G4S3S40.0020
Cordulegaster obliqua - Arrowhead Spiketail G4S30.0058
Somatochlora provocans - Treetop Emerald G4S20.0460
Somatochlora tenebrosa - Clamp-tipped Emerald G5S40.0007
Tachopteryx thoreyi - Gray Petaltail G4S40.0007
Eurycea chamberlaini
Eurycea cirrigera
Eurycea guttolineata
Pseudotriton ruber
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.0559
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 6
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0093
Number of S5 species = 1
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.1667
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.0466

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
References Seymour, S.D. 2011. Vegetation of Non-alluvial Wetlands of the Southeastern Piedmont. M.S. Thesis. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Updated on 2021-12-22 00:30:02