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determined by salinity. Interdune ponds, whether permanently or seasonally watered, may provide at least a short-term supply of low salinity water in areas where it is otherwise generally absent.

  • Maritime Shrub Thicket. Thickets of shrubs, vines and stunted trees often in swales within secondary dunes. Trees and shrubs must be salt tolerant and are “pruned” by windblown salt spray and sand. Typical plants are wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), red bay (Persea borbonia), groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia), saw greenbrier (Smilax bona-nox) and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).

Associated Species

Highest Priority:

Moderate Priority

Common Ground-dove, Wilson’s Plover, Gull-billed Tern, Painted Bunting, Island Glass Lizard, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Loggerhead Turtle : Eastern Woodrat


Atlantic Ghost Crab, Sheepshead Minnow

Isolated Nonforested uplands

General Description and Location Numerous small emergent landforms occur within inlets, sounds, bays and river deltas. They are generally sparsely vegetated and are constantly reshaped by the dynamic forces of currents, waves and wind. Such islands lying entirely within sounds and inlets and surrounded by expanses of open, relatively deep water are generally devoid of terrestrial predators, particularly raccoons. Lower-lying islands are vulnerable to over washing by storm-induced high tides and to salt spray from strong winds. In more sheltered situations, even though high-profile dunes are absent, vegetation develops to salt tolerant grasses and low shrubs. Sandy beach, intertidal beach and surf zone habitats may also be present. The extent and type of vegetation likely determines the utilization of such sites by nesting and resting seabirds, shorebirds and wading birds.

Emergent landforms influenced by human activity consist of diked spoil islands and shall rakes. Diked spoil islands are created from disposal of dredged materials in previously open tidal marshlands or on previously existing uplands. Both dikes and interior areas above normal spoil pooling are usually colonized by early successional grasses, such as broom sedges (Andropogon spp.) and shrubs and trees including groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia), tallowtree (Triadica sebiferum) and sugarberry (Celtis laevigata). Vegetation cover becomes more dense when spoil deposition is discontinued. Although the value of these sites to wildlife is highly variable, spoil islands receiving sediments consisting primarily of sand with a low organic content can be manipulated to maintain an unvegetated condition to facilitate use by sea and shorebirds.

Shell rakes are deposits of oyster and other mollusk shell produced by wave action from wind and/or boat wakes, occurring along exposed marsh borders of inlets, sounds, bays and other large waterways. These sites are partially abundant adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway where wave action from boat wakes can deposit shell, but can also overwash them. Shell rakes are highly valuable as nesting and roosting sites for American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliates) and as shorebird roost sites. High wakes are especially problematic during summer when overwashing can destroy oystercatcher nests (T. Murphy, SCDNR, pers. comm. 2004).

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