Comments: The factors affecting the continued existence of the species as identified in the Status Survey (Kelly and Weakley 1992) are as follows: (1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range, mostly through commercial and residential development, paved road and foodplot construction, trampling by ORVs and military vehicles, trash dumping, and fire suppression. (2) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.
Only North Carolina and Georgia have laws protecting Stylisma from taking. Only North Carolina provides for management, and only New Jersey protects its habitat. After habitat destruction, disruption of the natural fire regime is probably the greatest threat to Stylisma pickeringii occurring in intact, upland habitats. Historically, frequent fires probably maintained large areas suitable for Stylisma pickeringii var. pickeringii; removal of this disturbance from the landscape over the past century, as well as altering its timing, frequency, and intensity have probably reduced large numbers of plants.
Occurrences along the Pee Dee River and Little River terraces may also be threatened by natural or human-related alterations in the flood cycles of these waterways. Although roadside and parachute drop zone populations appear to be thriving in the presence of some level of ground disturbance, they are always under the constant threat of catastrophic disturbance. Roadbed widening or heavy equipment activity on the drop zones, for example, may dramatically reduce the number of individuals in an occurrence. These reductions, if they come at a crucial stage in the species' reproductive cycle (i.e., during flower or fruit production), could have severe long-term effects on the population. Although it appears that this species can rebound from large disturbances, it is not clear how much seed bank and genetic diversity is lost from each disturbance.