Habitats of North Carolina
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Upland Hardwood Forests
General Oak-Hickory Forests
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General Description This habitat comprises all forests that contain species of oaks or hickories. This general category spans a wide range of environmental conditions, from mesic, high elevation forests containing North Red Oaks, to hot, dry maritime forests on the Barrier Islands that support Live Oaks. Both closed-canopy stands are included as well as relative open woodlands; stands growing on uplands are represented as well as those growing in bottomlands or even swamps. No distinction is made relative to soil nutrients or pH.

No single species of oak or hickory spans this entire range. Consequently, the trees that are the key feature of this habitat are themselves members of habitats to which they show much higher individual fidelity. The Determining Species of this habitat are instead primarily stenophagous herbivores that specialize on oak or hickories at the generic level. Additionally included are a few species of mammals that are dependent on acorns and/or hickory nuts for a large part of their diet. Although less specific than the relationship between the herbivores and their host species, nut feeding species also belong to a long-co-evolved relationship with their food plants, serving as major dispersers of the trees' seeds.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Lower Coastal Plain to High Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: ridges, slopes, bottomlands, and wet flats. Slope Aspect: occurs on all slopes aspects as well as on ridges and flats. Soil Moisture: Dry to wet; more rarely hydric. Soil texture: loamy, sandy, to alluvial. Soil pH: acidic to circumneutral. Soil Nutrient Content: rich to relatively poor.Microclimate: Warm and dry to cool and humid. Hydrological Features: springs, seeps, and streams are common; some examples occur along river shorelines Flood Frequency: ridges and 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; permanent in the swamps occupied by Overcup Oak Fire Frequency: frequent in the sandhills but rare in the bottomlands and mesic slopes. Drought Frequency: occasional on upper slopes, rare in bottomlands. Ice Storm Damage: low to moderate. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: most Maples are tolerant of shade and Red Maple in particular is also tolerant of sun, being a common pioneering species in old field succession.

Biotic Structure Key Species one or mores species of Quercus or Carya must be present Vegetation Type: open woodlands or closed-canopy forests. Strata: sparse to well-developed. Shelter: woody debris and leaf litter are generally plentiful

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Carya species // Acrobasis caryae-Acrobasis caryalbella-Acrobasis exsulella-Acrobasis stigmella-Acrobasis tumidulella-Catocala dejecta-Catocala epione-Catocala lacrymosa-Catocala palaeogama-Catocala vidua-Coptodisca lucifluella-Ectoedemia trinotata-Eratoneura era-Eratoneura osborni-Phyllonorycter caryaealbella-Stigmella caryaefoliella
Carya tomentosa// Acrobasis elyi
Fagaceae species // Acronicta increta-Acronicta ovata-Cameraria castaneaeella-Coptotriche citrinipennella-Coptotriche fuscomarginella-Coptotriche zelleriella-Ophiderma definita-Dyseriocrania griseocapitella-Macrurocampa marthesia-Meganola phylla-Neurobathra strigifinitella-Oligocentria lignicolor-Panopoda rufimargo-Pseudexentera haracana-Psilocorsis quercicella-Symmerista albifrons-Symmerista canicosta-Tischeria quercitella
Juglandaceae species // Acrobasis caryaevorella-Cameraria caryaefoliella-Catocala flebilis
Quercus alba // Acronicta exilis-Acronicta immodica-Acronicta modica-Cameraria hamadryadella-Coptotriche badiiella-Cyrtolobus flavolatus-Ossiannilssonola tunicarubra
Quercus species // Acrobasis minimella-Acrocercops albinatella-Acronicta afflicta-Acronicta increta-Acronicta lobeliae-Acronicta ovata- Anisota virginiensis-Antaeotricha humilis-Antaeotricha osseella-Antaeotricha schlaegeri-Archasia auriculata- Archasia pallida-Arogalea cristifasciella-Blastobasis glandulella-Bucculatrix ainsliella-Cameraria fletcherella- Cameraria cincinnatiella-Cameraria conglomeratella-Cameraria quercivorella-Catastega timidella-Catocala amica-Catocala connubialis-Catocala ilia-Catocala lineella-Catocala micronympha-Catocala umbrosa-Cissusa spadix-Coleotechnites quercivorella-Coptotriche castaneaeella-Cosmia calami-Cyclophora packardi-Cyrtolobus arcuatus-Cyrtolobus auroreus-Cyrtolobus dixianus-Cyrtolobus fenestratus-Cyrtolobus fuliginosus-Cyrtolobus fuscipennis-Cyrtolobus griseus-Cyrtolobus maculifrontis-Cyrtolobus pallidifrontis-Cyrtolobus togatus-Cyrtolobus tuberosus-Cyrtolobus vau-Ectoedemia similella-Empoa casta-Empoa rubricola-Eratoneura stephensoni-Erynnis juvenalis-Eutettix pictus-Glossonotus univittatus-Heterocampa obliqua-Heterocampa umbrata-Hyperstrotia secta-Meganola minuscula-Meganola spodia-Pubitelphusa latifasciella-Ophiderma evelyna-Ophiderma flavicephala-Ophiderma pubescens-Ophiderma salamandra-Ossiannilssonola australis-Ossiannilssonola berenice-Paraeschra georgica-Penthimia Americana-Peridea angulosa-Phoberia atomaris-Povolnya quercinigrella-Psaphida grandis-Psaphida resumens-Psaphida rolandi-Psaphida thaxterianus-Phyllonorycter aeriferella-Phyllonorycter argentifimbriella-Phyllonorycter basistrigella-Phyllonorycter fitchella-Phyllonorycter quercialbella-Rectiostoma xanthobasis-Rugosana querci-Stigmella quercipulchella-Stigmella sclerostylota-Telamona projecta-Telamona reclivata

Determining Species
Ecyrus dasycerusa longhorn beetleS3S40.00132
Erynnis horatiusHorace's Duskywing
Erynnis juvenalisJuvenal's DuskywingG5S5S50.00000
Carya glabraSweet Pignut HickoryG5S5S50.00000
Carya tomentosaMockernut Hickory, White HickoryG5S5S50.00000
Quercus albaWhite OakG5S5S50.00000
Archasia auriculataSNR
Archasia pallidaSNR
Cyrtolobus arcuatusSNR
Cyrtolobus auroreusSNR
Cyrtolobus dixianusSNR
Cyrtolobus fenestratusSNR
Cyrtolobus flavolatusSNR
Cyrtolobus fuliginosusSNR
Cyrtolobus fuscipennisSNR
Cyrtolobus griseusSNR
Cyrtolobus maculifrontisSNR
Cyrtolobus pallidifrontisSNR
Cyrtolobus togatusSNR
Cyrtolobus tuberosusSNR
Cyrtolobus vauSNR
Empoa castaSNR
Empoa rubricolaSNR
Eratoneura eraSNR
Eratoneura osborniSNR
Eratoneura stephensoniSNR
Eutettix pictusSNR
Glossonotus univittatusSNR
Ophiderma definitaSNR
Ophiderma evelynaSNR
Ophiderma flavicephalaSNR
Ophiderma pubescensSNR
Ophiderma salamandraSNR
Ossiannilssonola australisSNR
Ossiannilssonola bereniceSNR
Ossiannilssonola tunicarubraSNR
Penthimia americanaSNR
Rugosana querciSNR
Smilia fasciataSNR
Telamona projectaSNR
Telamona reclivataSNR
Glaucomys volansSouthern Flying SquirrelG5S5S50.00000
Peromyscus leucopusWhite-footed MouseG5S5S50.00000
Sciurus carolinensisEastern Gray SquirrelG5S5S50.00000
Decodes basiplagana
Ulolonche culeaSheathed Quaker
Antaeotricha osseellaGNRSHS1S20.11107
Cameraria fletcherellaGNRSUS1S30.03699
Cameraria tubiferellaS1S30.03699
Coptotriche fuscomarginellaGNRSUS1S30.03699
Phyllonorycter argentifimbriellaGNRSUS1S30.03699
Phyllonorycter fitchellaGNRSUS1S30.03699
Cameraria obstrictellaGNRS2S3S2S30.01230
Catocala sapphoSappho UnderwingG4SUS2S30.01230
Stigmella sclerostylotaGNRSUS2S30.01230
Acrobasis caryaevorellaHickory Shoot MothGNRSUS2S40.00407
Acrocercops albinatellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Cameraria bethunellaS2S40.00407
Cameraria castaneaeellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Cameraria cincinnatiellaGregarious Oak Leafminer MothGNRSUS2S40.00407
Cameraria hamadryadellaSolitary Oak Leafminer MothGNRSUS2S40.00407
Cameraria quercivorellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Coptodisca lucifluellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Coptotriche badiiellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Coptotriche castaneaeellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Dyseriocrania griseocapitellaChinquapin Leaf-miner MothGNRS2S4S2S40.00407
Ectoedemia trinotataGNRSUS2S40.00407
Phyllonorycter aeriferellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Phyllonorycter basistrigellaa leaf blotch miner mothGNRSUS2S40.00407
Phyllonorycter quercialbellaGNRSUS2S40.00407
Acleris semipurpuranaa tortricid mothS3S40.00132
Acrobasis caryalbellaa mothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Acrobasis stigmellaa mothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Catastega timidellaOak Trumpet Skeletonizer MothGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Catocala insolabilisan underwing mothG5S3S4S3S40.00132
Catocala umbrosaUmber Underwing MothG5SUS3S40.00132
Cydia caryanaHickory Shuckworm MothS3S40.00132
Hydriomena transfigurataTransfigured HydriomenaGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Psaphida grandisGray SallowG4S3S4S3S40.00132
Psaphida thaxterianusThaxter's SallowG4S3S4S3S40.00132
Pseudexentera haracanaGNRS3S4S3S40.00132
Stigmella caryaefoliellaGNRSUS3S40.00132
Stigmella quercipulchellaGNRSUS3S40.00132
Tischeria quercitellaOak Blotch Miner MothGNRSUS3S40.00132
Acrobasis caryaeHickory Shoot Borer MothGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Acrobasis exsulellaCordovan Pyralid MothGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Acrobasis minimellaGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Acrobasis tumidulellaa pyralid mothGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Povolnya quercinigrellaGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Psilocorsis quercicellaOak Leaftier MothGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Pubitelphusa latifasciellaWhite-banded Telphusa MothGNRS3S5S3S50.00041
Acronicta exilisExiled DaggerG4S4S40.00041
Anisota senatoriaOrange-striped Oakworm MothG5S4S40.00041
Catocala amicaGirlfriend UnderwingG5S4S40.00041
Catocala coccinataan underwing mothG5S4S40.00041
Catocala connubialisCannubial UnderwingG5S4S40.00041
Catocala dejectaan underwing mothG4S4S40.00041
Catocala flebilisan underwing mothG5S4S40.00041
Catocala lineellaan underwing mothG5S4S40.00041
Catocala palaeogamaan underwing mothG5S4S40.00041
Cissusa spadixBlack-dotted Brown MothG4S4S40.00041
Meganola spodiaAshy MeganolaG5S4S40.00041
Psaphida resumensFigure-eight SallowGNRS4S40.00041
Psaphida rolandiRoland's SallowG5S4S40.00041
Symmerista canicostaRed-humped OakwormG5S4S40.00041
Acronicta ovataOvate Dagger MothG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Antaeotricha humilisDotted Anteotricha MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Antaeotricha schlaegeriSchlaeger's Fruitworm MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Arogalea cristifasciellaStripe-backed MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Blastobasis glandulellaAcorn MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Cameraria caryaefoliellaPecan Leafminer MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Catocala lacrymosaTearful UnderwingG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Catocala micronymphaan underwing mothG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Catocala viduaan underwing mothG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Coleotechnites quercivorellaa twirler mothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Coptotriche citrinipennellaa mothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Coptotriche zelleriellaGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Cosmia calamiAmerican Dun-barG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Cyclophora packardiPackard's WaveG4G5S4S5S4S50.00010
Cydia latiferreanaFilbertworm MothS4S50.00010
Datana contractaContracted DatanaG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Eupsilia cirripaleaFranclemont's SallowS4S50.00010
Lacosoma chiridotaScalloped Sack-BearerG5S4S5S4S50.00010
Neurobathra strigifinitellaa leaf blotch miner mothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Rectiostoma xanthobasisYellow-vested MothGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Acronicta afflictaAfflicted Dagger MothG5S5S50.00000
Acronicta immodicaMedium DaggerG5S5S50.00000
Acronicta incretaSouthern Oak DaggerG5S5S50.00000
Acronicta lobeliaeLobelia Dagger Moth, Greater Oak Dagger MothG5S5S50.00000
Acronicta modicaMedium DaggerG5S5S50.00000
Anisota stigmaSpiny Oakworm MothG5S5S50.00000
Anisota virginiensisPink-striped Oakworm MothG5S5S50.00000
Catocala epioneEpione UnderwingG5S5S50.00000
Catocala iliaIlia UnderwingG5S5S50.00000
Datana integerrimaWalnut CaterpillarG5S5S50.00000
Heterocampa obliquaOblique HeterocampaG5S5S50.00000
Heterocampa umbrataWhite-blotched HeterocampaG5S5S50.00000
Hyperstrotia pervertens Dotted Graylet MothG5S5S50.00000
Hypsopygia olinalisYellow-fringed DolichomiaG5S5S50.00000
Macrurocampa marthesiaMottled ProminentG5S5S50.00000
Meganola minusculaConfused MeganolaG5S5S50.00000
Meganola phyllaCoastal Plain Meganola MothGNRS5S50.00000
Oligocentria lignicolorWhite-Streaked ProminentG5S5S50.00000
Panopoda carneicostaBrown PanopodaG5S5S50.00000
Panopoda rufimargoRed-lined PanopodaG5S5S50.00000
Paraeschra georgicaGeorgian ProminentG5S5S50.00000
Peridea angulosaAngulose ProminentG5S5S50.00000
Phoberia atomarisCommon Oak MothG5S5S50.00000
Symmerista albifronsWhite-headed ProminentG5S5S50.00000
Acrobasis elyiGNRSUSHS1
Phyllonorycter caryaealbellaPecan Blotchminer MothGNRSUSHS1
Ectoedemia similellaGNRSUSNR
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 113
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 111
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 0
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 80
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 31
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.27928
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.42438
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00382
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 80 x 0.00382 = 0.3056

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species Several leaf-mining moths in this habitat have not received much attention in biodiversity surveys and have uncertain State Ranks. Two are known only from historic records but are assigned a rank here of SHS1, indicating some doubt about the status of SH; this rank is not assigned a PE value in this analysis. The Average PE is equivalent to a State Rank of S3, indicating a moderate level of conservation concern.

Estimated Risk to the Co-evolved Species Groups
Estimated Security of the Habitat Thirty-one species in this habitat are considered secure in North Carolina. The Proportion of Secure Species is 30%, which is moderately high. These relatively high values reflect the fact that Oak-Hickory forests are still widespread across the state and are represented by large blocks of habitat or well-connected smaller tracts.

Index of Habitat Imperilment Although the ENE value is low and the PSS value moderately high, the large number of species in this habitat gives it a moderately high HRI value, falling within our Tier 3 Level of Conservation Concern (0.5 ≥ HRI > 0.05) and meriting a moderate priority for conservation actions. Given the key importance of this habitat across the state, any significant reduction or fragmentation would be cause for serious concern.

Identified Risks A number of diseases of oaks have been documented in North Carolina (Eshleman and Oten, 2022), several of which can cause mortality in their hosts. So far, however, major decimating diseases, such Sudden Oak Death caused by Phytophthora ramorum, have not yet appeared in North Carolina.

Observed Trends
Distribution Map
Major Conservation Reserves
Priority Areas for Surveys and Conservation Protection
Stewardship and Management Recommendations
References Eshelman, R. and Oten, K. 2022. Common Disease Pests of Oak in North Carolina. NC Extension Service. Available online at: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/common-disease-pests-of-oak-in-north-carolina
Updated on 2022-08-26 20:53:29