Forests are one of the most important biomes on earth. They provide a wide range of “ecosystem services,” from watershed protection and carbon absorption to renewable energy and timber production.
Important reservoirs of plant and animal biodiversity in locations ranging from China to Latin America and many places in between, forests provide key components of the environmental, social and economic well-being of societies around the world.
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Alberta Mountain forestsLast Updated on 2014-03-01 17:11:36This ecoregion lies almost wholly within Alberta but hugs the Alberta-British Columbia border from Banff northward to Jasper and Kakwa.
Mean annual temperature in the Eastern Continental Ranges is 2.5°C, mean summer temperature is 12°C and mean winter temperature is -7.5°C. Precipitation increases from east to west with elevation, from 600-800 millimeters (mm) per year. Valley regions are marked by warm, dry summers and mild, snowy winters, and subalpine areas have cool, showery summers and cold, snowy winters.
This region covers the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, incorporating the eastern flanks of the Continental Ranges. The major peaks cluster around the Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains. The ranges themselves are linear with great cliffs and precipitous faces of thick sections of gray carbonate strata, and peaked by rock... More »
Southland temperate forestsLast Updated on 2014-02-20 13:10:50The Southland temperate forests ecoregion covers the southeastern tip of New Zealand's South Island; however, much of the Southland region is modified and large areas are intensively farmed. Nevertheless, there are still significant coastal wetlands and upland areas of beech forest and tussock grasslands. The Eyre Mountains support distinctive local endemic plant species and the Catlins National Park contains an outstanding range of habitats, ranging from coastal habitat to alpine bogs.
The region entered a biodiversity downturn with advent of the Maori peoples, who significantly deforested this ecoregion; moreover, the destruction expanded with advent of Europeans and introduction of lanrge scale domesticated livestock grazing. A number of protected areas are found in the region, but lowland and grassland communities are underrepresented in conservation reserves; moreover,... More »
Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundraLast Updated on 2014-02-02 17:08:35
This ecoregion consists of five island groups spread out across the Southern Ocean: Bounty Islands, Auckland Islands, Antipodes Islands, Campbell Island, and Macquarie Island. Their remote location means they are critically important as resting and breeding areas for thousands of marine mammals and millions of seabirds. Biological and geological values are outstanding, with the islands boasting a highly endemic plant flora and a range of endemic and endangered birds. All of the islands are Nature Reserves and listed as World Heritage Sites, but introduced animals, especially mammalian predators, are of serious concern.
Scattered throughout the Southern Ocean, these islands range from the cold temperate zone (Macquarie Island) to the cool temperate zone, where the rest of the islands lie. All the islands are situated between the Antarctic and Sub-tropical Convergences. Area,... More »
California interior chaparral and woodlandsLast Updated on 2014-01-28 16:15:28
The California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion forms a nearly continuous ellipse of oak woodland and chaparral around the California Central Valley, ranging from 300 to 3000 feet in elevation. This California ecoregion continues across the coast ranges to the Pacific Ocean from Point Reyes to Santa Barbara, with breaks around the redwood belt south of San Francisco Bay and the montane communities of the Santa Lucia Range that parallel the coast south of Monterey Bay. This ecoregion is classified as an element of the Mediterranean Forests, Woodland and Scrub Biome. There is moderate faunal species richness,; for example, a total of 369 vertebrate taxa are recorded within the ecoregion.
Within the California Interior Chaparral and Woodland ecoregion, one finds a mosaic of grasslands, chaparral shrublands, open oak savannas, oak woodlands, serpentine communities,... More »
Leather OakLast Updated on 2014-01-18 12:16:02
The Leather Oak, a California endemic, occurs primarily in the California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion. It is a species with strong affinity for ultramafic soils, a geochemical class of high magnesium, low calcium and nutrient deficient media. In appearance this is a shrub-like tree whose leathery leaves reveal its common name and obvious membership in the sclerophyll vegetation category, a morphological class of hard leaved species that may occur in such diverse places as Australia, Southern Africa, the Chilean matorral and the Mediterranean Basin as well as the California Floristic Province.
Q durata has two recognized varieties:
* var. durata, occurs at elevation 150 to 1500 m in the California North and South Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area and northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Upper leaf sufaces of this variety are severely... More »
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