Chaparral

Chaparral

Image: California montane chaparral plant community, Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara County, Southern California. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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Colorado Plateau shrublands Last Updated on 2014-05-29 09:37:44 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection   The Colorado Plateau shrublands is epitomized by the Grand Canyon, an area that has been called the "land of color and canyons." The Plateau can be thought of as an elevated, northward-tilted saucer. It is characterized by its high elevation and arid to semi-arid climate. The Colorado Plateau has developed great relief through the erosive action of high-gradient, swift-flowing rivers that have downcut and incised the plateau. Approximately 90 percent of the plateau is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries, notably the lower catchmentCatchment is the entire area of a hydrological drainage basin. of the Green River. This ecoregion is classified within the Deserts and Xeric Shrublands biome, and is codified as WWF Ecoregion NA1304. There are 416 recorded vertebrate species within... More »
California coastal sage and chaparral Last Updated on 2014-05-25 13:50:23 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion, situated along the southern and central coast of California, and extending along the Pacific coast of the northwest Baja Peninsula, exhibits very high levels of species diversity and endemism. The coastal sage scrub is an endangered ecosystem that holds a number of endangered species. The California gnatcatcher is currently used as an umbrella species to protect the endemic flora and fauna of this region from urban development. The region is listed as an Endemic Bird Area with a large number of avian endemic scrub species. Generally located on high value coastal zone real estate and threatened by land development, the ecoregion represents the struggle between ecological preservation and human population expansion. The California coastal sage and chaparral... More »
California montane chaparral and woodlands Last Updated on 2014-05-22 22:42:40 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The California montane chaparral and woodlands is a near coastal ecoregion in Southern California, USA. This ecoregion is disjunctive, with a major element in Southern California and another along the Monterey County coast. The California montane chaparral and woodlands ecoregion is classified as an element of the Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands and Scrub Biome. The faunal diversity of this ecoregion is moderate, with a total of 347 vertebrates having been recorded here. The montane habitats of southern California share many species with the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to the north and the lower-elevation mediterranean woodlands and chaparral. Their communities, however, are distinctive in structure and composition, in addition to supporting a number of endemic and relict species. The ecoregion... More »
California interior chaparral and woodlands Last Updated on 2014-05-20 15:23:00 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection 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... More »
Iberian sclerophyllous and semi-deciduous forests Last Updated on 2014-05-16 16:04:57 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Iberian sclerophyllous and semi-deciduous forests support a complex and diverse flora with a notable number of endemic species. This vegetation is very valuable in terms of biodiversity conservation, soil protection, and hydrological stability. This element of of the Iberian Peninsula’s habitat is crucial for the preservation of some of the most endangered animal species in Europe, including the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), and the great bustard (Otis tarda). A large wolf (Canis lupus) population resides here also. In recent history, deforestation, intensive agriculture, and resultant erosion have altered the landscape significantly, and the ecoregion continues to be degraded by these practices as well as by hydroelectric dam construction, road building, and... More »