Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Upland Hardwood Forests:
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Upland Hardwood Forests
General Forests
General Description The presence of trees of any type -- hardwoods or conifers -- is the key feature of this habitat. A wide range of temperatures, moisture conditions, and elevations are included as factors and this habitat is consequently broadly distributed across the state.

Determining Species of plants are understory, shrub, or ground-layer species that require the shaded conditions provided by closed-canopy forests. All make use of a wide range of moisture and soil regimes. Animal members include herbivores that either feed on a wide range of tree species or that feed on bark algae, lichens, mosses, or on the detritus associated with tree species. Also included are arboreal predators that either find their prey on trees or use trees of any kind for nesting or shelter. Some ground-dwelling species are included that depend on woody debris for shelter and/or foraging.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: High Mountains to the Barrier Islands. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: Ridges, slopes, and bottomlands Soil Moisture: dry-xeric to hydric. Soil Texture: all types Soil pH: acidic to circumneutral. Soil Nutrients:rich to poor. Microclimate: warm to cool, humid to xeric. Flood Frequency: frequent to never. Flood Duration: permanent to absent Presence of Pools: present or absent Fire Frequency: rare to frequent. Drought Frequency:rare to common. Ice Storm Damage: low to severe. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: the canopy is well-insolated, lower strata are deeply shaded.

Biotic Structure Vegetation Type: Closed- to open-canopy forests composed of either hardwoods or conifers or both. Strata Subcanopy, shrub, and herb-layers are variously developed. Organic Shelter, Foraging, and Nesting Structures: standing snags and downed branches are plentiful; leaf litter can be composed of either hardwood leaves or conifer needles or both.

Co-evolved Species Groups Resource Competition Guilds:
Woodpeckers: Dryobates pubescens-Dryobates villosus-Dryocopus pileatus-Melanerpes carolinus
Lichen and Bark Algae/Fungi Feeders: Abablemma brimleyana-Cisthene plumbea-Clemensia albata-Hypoprepia fucosa-Hypoprepia miniata

Determining Species
Aegomorphus modestusa longhorned beetleS4S50.00010
Neandra brunneaPole BorerG5S5S50.00000
Orthosoma brunneumBrown PrionidG5S5S50.00000
Antrostomus vociferusEastern whip-poor-willG5S4S40.00041
Dryobates villosusG5S4S40.00041
Melanerpes erythrocephalusRed-headed WoodpeckerG5S4S40.00041
Dryobates pubescensDowny WoodpeckerG5S5S50.00000
Dryocopus pileatusPileated WoodpeckerG5S5S50.00000
Melanerpes carolinusRed-bellied WoodpeckerG5S5S50.00000
Myiarchus crinitusGreat Crested FlycatcherG5S5S50.00000
Piranga rubraSummer TanagerG5S5S50.00000
Poecile carolinensisCarolina ChickadeeG5S5S50.00000
Setophaga dominicaYellow-throated WarblerG5S5S50.00000
Vireo solitariusBlue-headed (or Solitary) VireoG5S5S50.00000
Botrypus virginianusRattlesnake Fern, Sang-findG5S5S50.00000
Polystichum acrostichoidesChristmas FernG5S5S50.00000
Pyrola americanaAmerican ShinleafG5S2S3S2S30.01230
Hexastylis lewisiiLewis's HeartleafG3S3S30.00407
Elephantopus tomentosusTobaccoweedG5S5S50.00000
Goodyera pubescensDowny Rattlesnake-orchid, Downy Rattlesnake-plantainG5S5S50.00000
Mitchella repensPartridge-berryG5S5S50.00000
Sanicula canadensisShort-styled SanicleG5S5S50.00000
Tipularia discolorCranefly OrchidG5S5S50.00000
Cornus florida (= Benthamidia florida)G5S4S40.00041
Plestiodon fasciatusCommon Five-lined SkinkG5S5S50.00000
Plestiodon laticepsBroad-headed SkinkG5S5S50.00000
Packardia geminataa slug caterpillar mothG5S4S40.00041
Zanclognatha theralisan owlet mothG4S4S40.00041
Abablemma brimleyanaBrimley's HalflingGNRS4S5S4S50.00010
Campaea perlataPale BeautyG5S5S50.00000
Cisthene plumbeaLead-colored Lichen MothG5S5S50.00000
Clemensia albataLittle White Lichen MothG5S5S50.00000
Euplexia benesimilisAmerican Angle ShadesG5S5S50.00000
Glenoides texanariaTexas GrayS50.00000
Hypoprepia fucosaPainted Lichen MothG5S5S50.00000
Hypoprepia miniataScarlet-Winged Lichen MothG5S5S50.00000
Idia americalisAmerican IdiaG5S5S50.00000
Melanolophia canadariaCanadian MelanolophiaG5S5S50.00000
Palthis angulalisDark-spotted PalthisG5S5S50.00000
Phlogophora periculosaBrown Angle Shades MothG5S5S50.00000
Schrankia maculaBlack-spotted SchrankiaG5S5S50.00000
Virginia valeriaeSmooth EarthsnakeG5S3S30.00407
Agkistrodon contortrixCopperheadG5S5S50.00000
Pantherophis alleghaniensisBlack Rat SnakeG4S5S50.00000
Storeria occipitomaculataNorthern Red-bellied SnakeG5S5S50.00000
Smilax glaucaGlaucous-leaved GreenbrierG5S5S50.00000
Smilax rotundifoliaCommon GreenbrierG5S5S50.00000
Nr = Number of Ranked Species = 47
Ner = Number of Extant, Ranked Species = 47
Nv = Number of Historic and Extirpated Species = 0
Nar = Number of Species at Risk of Extirpation (State rank > S5) = 11
Nss = Number of Secure Species (State Rank = S5) = 36
Pss = Proportion of Secure Species (Nss/Ner) = 0.76596
ENE = Expected Number of Extirpations (Sum of PE) = 0.02310
Average PE (ENE/Ner) = 0.00049
Habitat Risk Index = (Nar+Nv) x Average PE = 11 x 0.00049 = 0.00539

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species A single species is ranked as high as S2S3 and only two others are ranked as high as S3. The Average Probability of Extirpation, consequently, is very low, the equivalent of a state rank of S4.
Estimated Risk to the Co-evolved Species Groups
Estimated Security of the Habitat Thirty-five species are considered secure and the Proportion of Secure Species of 76% is fairly high. This reflects the wide distribution of this habitat across the state and its occurrence as large blocks or well-connected clusters, facilitating the dispersal of its species.

Index of Habitat Imperilment The combination of a low value of ENE, a high value of PSS, and no identified Historic or Extirpated Species, makes the value of HRI quite low, falling within our Tier 4 (0.05 ≥ HRI > 0.005) Level of Conservation Concern. That indicates only a low priority for conservation actions.

Identified Risks Habitat conversion and increasing cutting of lower quality and younger stands of trees are the main threats to general forest habitats. While some of the species in this group do well in silvicultural stands, planting of vast pine monocultures and the use of herbicides and insecticides more generally greatly reduce the value of these stands to native species.

Observed Trends
Distribution Map
Distribution This is a common, widespread, and well-documented habitat across the state. Areas with a low percentages of the total number of Determining Species represent some of the less well-surveyed counties.

Major Conservation Reserves
Priority Areas for Surveys and Conservation Protection
Stewardship and Management Recommendations
Updated on 2022-07-20 23:59:48