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
Helocordulia selysiiSelys' Sundragon
Somatochlora provocansTreetop EmeraldG4S2S20.03699
Cordulegaster obliquaArrowhead SpiketailG4S3S30.00407
Cordulegaster erroneaTiger SpiketailG4S3S4S3S40.00132
Cordulegaster bilineataBrown SpiketailG5S4S40.00041
Somatochlora tenebrosaClamp-tipped EmeraldG5S4S40.00041
Tachopteryx thoreyiGray PetaltailG4S4S40.00041
Calopteryx maculataEbony JewelwingG5S5S50.00000
Eurycea chamberlainiChamberlain's Dwarf SalamanderG4S4S40.00041
Eurycea cirrigeraSouthern Two-lined SalamanderG5S5S50.00000
Eurycea guttolineataThree-lined SalamanderG5S5S50.00000
Pseudotriton ruberRed SalamanderG5S5S50.00000
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 11
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 11
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 0
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 7
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 4
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.36364
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.04402
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00400
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 7 x 0.004 = 0.028

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 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