Associated Species Highest Priority:
Grasshopper Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Yellow Rail, Upland Sandpiper, American Golden Plover
General Description and Location Maritime forests are the typical forested plant community in the coastal zone and are found on barrier islands, salt marsh islands (hammock islands) and mainland areas that are influenced by salt spray. Maritime forests are typically dominated live oaks (Quercus virginiana), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and one or more pine species. Typical shrubs and small trees include southern red cedar (Juniperus silicicola), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), American holly (Ilex opaca), red bay (Persea borbonia), wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) and yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria). The herbaceous layer is usually fairly sparse due to the dense canopy cover.
Maritime forests exhibit much greater species and structural diversity away from the direct effects of salt spray. Deciduous trees are more common and include southern red oak (Quercus falcata), water oak (Quercus nigra), sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and pignut hickory (Carya glabra). Dogwood (Cornus florida), American olive (Osmanthus americana) and Carolina laurel cherry (Prunus caroliniana) are common in the understory. Shrubs, including beauty- berry (Callicarpa americana) and red buckeye (Aesculus pavia), become more common, and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) reaches its northern extent of its range on Kiawah Island in Charleston County.
A variant maritime forest resembling xeric pine woodland of the coastal plain occurs on relict dune ridges inland from the barrier island forests. This habitat has an open super-canopy of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) with an understory composed of live oak (Quercus virginiana), laurel oak (Quercus hemisphaerica), sand live oak (Quercus geminata) and turkey oak (Quercus laevis). Unlike typical maritime forests, maritime sandhill forests are open and characterized by patches of bare sand and lichens such as reindeer lichens (Cladonia spp.). . Associated Species
Painted Bunting, Southern Hognose Snake, Island Glass Lizard, Northern Yellow Bat
Moderate Priority: Northern Flicker, Eastern Woodrat
General Description and Location Approximately 3,500 marsh hammocks are distributed through the coastal tidelands of South Carolina. They are most abundant within the expansive estuarine and brackish marshlands and tidal waterways of Charleston, Colleton and Beaufort Counties, where nearly 90 percent of such islands occur. Hammock islands range in size from 0.04 to 404.5 hectares (0.108 to 999.9 acres) and are surrounded by tidal wetlands; hammock islands are located inland of barrier islands. Most were naturally formed while some, particularly along the Intracoastal Waterway, were created by disposal of dredged materials or sediments excavated from post-civil war era