Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Upland Hardwood Forests:
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Upland Hardwood Forests
Chestnut Forests
General Description 100 years ago, hardwood forests across eastern North America had American Chestnut as one of their most magnificent and dominant species. That all changed in just a couple of decades following the introduction in 1904 of Chestnut Blight -- a fungus that kills mature trees -- at the Bronx Zoo in New York (see Kuhlman, 1978, for a history of the event).

In addition to American Chestnut itself, Defining Species include herbivores that have only been recorded on Chestnut, plus some species that have been recorded on several species of Castanea but whose status in North Carolina in unclear. Species that are known to feed on Castanea pumila are included in the General Dry-Xeric Hardwood Forests habitat.

Abiotic Factors
Biotic Structure
Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Castanea dentata // Argyresthia castaneella-Coleophora leucochrysella-Zimmermannia phleophaga
Castanea species // Phyllonorycter kearfottella-Pseudexentera faracana-Synanthedon castaneae

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Argyresthia castaneella - Chestnut Ermine Moth GHSNA
Cameraria macrocarpella GNRSU0.0020
Coleophora leucochrysella - Chestnut Casebearer Moth GUSNA
Coptotriche perplexa - Chestnut Leaf Miner Moth GHQSNA
Phyllonorycter kearfottella GNRSNA
Pseudexentera faracana GNRSNA
Stigmella castaneaefoliella GNRS2S30.0164
Synanthedon castaneae - Chestnut Borer G3G5SU0.0020
Zimmermannia phleophaga GHSNA
Castanea dentata - American Chestnut G4S40.0007
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 0.0211
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 4
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0053
Number of S5 species = 0
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.0000
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 0.0211

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 Gravatt, G.F., 1925. The chestnut blight in North Carolina. In: Chestnut and chestnut blight in North Carolina. NC Geologic and Economic Survey, Raleigh, NC. Economics Paper 56:14-17. Available online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/55871

Kuhlman, E.G., 1978. The devastation of American chestnut by blight. In: Proceedings of the American Chestnut Symposium. Edited by WL MacDonald. West Virginia University Press, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Opler, P.A., 1978. Insects of American chestnut: possible importance and conservation concern. In: The American Chestnut Symposium (pp. 83-85). Morgantown, West Virginia: West Virginia University Press. Available online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/55871
Updated on 2022-01-01 00:42:10