Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of General Hardwood Forests:
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General Hardwood Forests
General Mesic Forests with Seepages/Headwater Streams
Habitat Overview Members of this habitat type are species that depend on seepage wetlands and small, low-order streams for breeding and larval development but that use the surrounding forest for adult foraging and/or residence. One species, the Four-toed Salamander, also makes use of upland depression ponds, but only where there is seepage-like vegetation -- mosses and sedges -- growing along the margins. Seepage vegetation itself is typically not confined to seeps, usually also occurring in bottomlands, bogs, marshes, and other types of wetlands or very mesic habitats. On the other hand, these plants rarely extend into the surrounding forest floor, as is characteristic of the members of this habitat type. Consequently, seepage plant species (and their associated herbivores) are treated as members of other intersecting habitat groups.

This particular habitat type contains the most generalized of these species, including those that not strongly limited by temperature regime and that are found in two or all three of the main physiographic provinces in the state. These species are associated primarily with hardwood forests, including dry or mesic stands, but also with at least some floodplain examples. The amphibian members of this habitat group 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 habitat intersects both purely wetland and stream communities on the one hand and purely terrestrial forest communities on the other, all of which are treated in separate habitat groups.
Related NHP Natural Communities Small seepage wetlands occur in most natural communities dominated by dry-to-mesic hardwoods. Communities that have large enough seepage wetlands to support distinctive vegetation include Rich Montane Seep, Low Elevation Seep (Typic Subtype), Low Elevation Seep (Montane Subtype), Low Elevation Seep (Piedmont/Mountain Springhead Subtype), Low Elevation Seep (Floodplain Subtype), Piedmont Boggy Streamhead. Larger and more open, herb- and/or shrub-dominated communities are treated as various kinds of boggy wetlands.
Defining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankImperilment ScoreHabitat Risk Index
Cordulegaster bilineata - Brown Spiketail G5S41.000.2500
Cordulegaster erronea - Tiger Spiketail G4S3S41.270.3750
Cordulegaster obliqua - Arrowhead Spiketail G4S31.750.5000
Somatochlora provocans - Treetop Emerald G4S23.330.6650
Somatochlora tenebrosa - Clamp-tipped Emerald G5S41.000.2500
Tachopteryx thoreyi - Gray Petaltail G4S41.000.2500
Eurycea chamberlaini - Chamberlain's Dwarf Salamander G4S41.000.2500
Hemidactylium scutatum - Four-toed Salamander G5S31.490.5000
Pseudotriton ruber - Red Salamander G5S51.000.0000
Sum: 12.84
ENE Value of 2.5400 * (1 - # of S5: 1 / # Species 9) = 2.26
Average of 9: 1.43

Candidates for Inclusion Crayfish and other invertebrates associated with seeps can be included in this habitat type once websites have been developed for their taxa
Habitat Sub-sets
Distribution Map
Survey Coverage Map
Survey Coverage
Survey Priorities
Average Imperilment of Habitat Members
Habitat Conservation Status The average Imperilment Score for this group is 1.25, roughly corresponding to an NHP rank of G4 S3S4, or an Element that is somewhat restricted in its occurrences but without conservation significance at either the Global or State levels. Only three of the nine species in this habitat have a state rank of S3, which indicates possible conservation significance or at least the need to monitor their situations. The Four-toed Salamander is the only species that is included on the state list of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern animal species, falling in the third of those categories.
High Quality Habitat Occurrence Table
High Quality Habitat Occurrences
Protected Habitat Occurrences
Threats and Trends
Status Summary
Stewardship 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 2019-07-25 12:56:57