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Chaparral Biome 2


external image Chaparral.JPG
external image Chaparral_Biome_2_600.jpg
external image 555_PS-Manzanita-chaparral.jpg

external image Chaparral_California.JPG

Warm, mild winters, hot, dry summers, and a little rain characterize the chaparral biome. Shrubland, or chaparral, doesn't cover much of the planet's surface, but this coastal biome is created when cooler seawater meets a landmass with high average temperatures. Chaparral lies 30-40 degrees above and below the Equator, beyond the tropics. In the north lies the "chaparral" of coastal California and Baja, and "maquis" around the Mediterranean Sea. In the south we find the "matorral" of Chile, "fynbos" of southern South Africa, and the westernmost coast of Australia's "mallee." The landscape can vary from furrowed valleys and plains to rolling hills and rocky mountains.

Across the world, the climate of the shrubland is known as Mediterranean. The dormant season, lasting most of spring, summer, and autumn, has little rain. Temperatures reach up to 100° F (38° C) and average 64° F (17° C), bringing fires in the driest months. Over the winter, the temperature averages a balmy 50° F (10° C), and brings 15-25" (38-64 cm) of rain, which allows vegetation other than cactus to flourish. Chaparral plants, accustomed to drought, use this rainfall to grow much more rapidly than desert scrub.

Some of the plants in the chaparral biome extend into adjacent deserts, but most of the vegetation is shrubs, dwarf trees, and grasses not found in the desert biome. These plants have evolved smaller, firmer leaves, with a waxy surface that conserves moisture. Some species are yucca, myrtle, oak, heather, dwarf Eucalyptus, sagebrush, and manzanita. To access scarce water, either they have a deep taproot, to reach a low water table, or a wide, shallow root system to collect surface moisture.

Animals found in the chaparral biome include jackrabbits, foxes, toads, coyotes, rattlesnakes,gophers, woodpeckers, aardvarks, kangaroo rats, wallabies, and many other insects and birds. They can burrow, extract water from certain plants, or migrate during the hottest months to withstand the heat and drought. There is much more species variation in these animals than in the desert, but they share methods of protection against frequent wildfires.

In its natural regime, chaparral is characterized by infrequent fires, with intervals ranging between 10–15 years to over a hundred years. Mature chaparral (stands that have been allowed greater intervals between fires) is characterized by nearly impenetrable, dense thickets (except the more open chaparral of the desert). These plants are highly flammable. They grow as woody shrubs with hard and small leaves; are non-leaf dropping (non-deciduous); and are drought tolerant. After the first rains following a fire, the landscape is dominated by soft-leaved non-woody annual plants, known as fire followers, which die back with the summer dry period.

Similar plant communities are found in the four other Mediterranean climate regions around the world, including the Mediterranean Basin (where it is known as maquis), central Chile (where it is called matorral), South African Cape Region (known there as fynbos), and in Western and Southern Australia (as kwongan). According to the California Academy of Sciences, Mediterranean shrubland contains more than 20% of the world's plant diversity.[1] The word chaparral is a loan word fromSpanish chaparro, meaning both "small" and "dwarf" evergreen oak, which itself comes from the Basque word txapar, with exactly the same meaning.

Conservation International and other conservation organizations consider the chaparral to be a biodiversity hotspot[2]- a biological community with a large number of different species - that are under threat by human activ

The chaparral biome is one that is found in areas of every single continent. However, many people don’t realize it is the same. That is because there are several different types of terrain that this particular biome is associated with. In some areas they are flat plains but in other regions there are hills. Still yet, others consist of mountain terrain areas. They really are lovely areas with lots to offer.

A chaparral biome is created when cool water from an ocean merges with a landmass that is at a high temperature. You will find them about 30 to 40 degrees below and above the equator. They are found just beyond the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The major chaparral biomes are found along the coast of Baja and California. They are also found in various areas around the Mediterranean Sea.
With a chaparral biome you will find that there is a very wet winter and also a very dry summer. The climate changes often with the emergence of different seasons. They summers can be dry enough to create a drought. This dry period can extend for up to five months out of the year. These dry conditions make the risk of fires breaking out very high.
These fires are usually the result of lightning striking in the area. However, there are times when they are started by people being careless. Occasionally those fires may be set intentionally too. While it can be hard to get the fires under control, studies show they really are an essential part of controlling the balance of living things in this particular biome.
The fact that many homes have been built on the edges of these biomes such as in California, it can be a huge threat when such fires break out. Evacuations may be required and homes may be damaged or destroyed. Even so, many people love the beauty of the chaparral biome and want to be able to be surrounded by it.
What is interesting is that many of the plants found in the chaparral biome have leaves that are made from highly flammable materials. That is why the fires are able to spread so quickly rather than just from the dry conditions. What is also interesting though is that those are also the plants that have the ability to withstand the fires. They have heavy bark and deep roots so it isn’t long after the fire that they are able to thrive again.
The temperatures in the chaparral biome is about 30 degrees in the winter time. It can be up to 100 degrees in the summer months. There is from 10 to 17 inches of rainfall annually in the chaparral biome. They are found in a mid latitude climate The average temperature in these areas is 64 degrees.
Most of the animals found in the chaparral biome are active at night. It is too hot for them to be very active during the day. There are some exceptions though such as the various lizards. Reptiles seem to do very well in the heat.

Parts of the chaparral biome exist in California, Oregon, South Africa, and Australia.
This biome is characterized by having both forests and grassland.
The summer season is very dry and can lasts up to five months.
The dry summer makes the chaparral biome sensitive to fires.
Occasional fires in the chaparral biome are helpful because they help balance out the living organisms and nonliving organisms.
The plants in the chaparral biome contain flammable material yet their barks resist fire.
Some plants have adapted to the summer fires in such a way that their seeds lie dormant until they are touched by fire.
The average rainfall is 10 to 17 inches a year.
During the winter, the temperature can get as low as 30° F and the summers can get up to 100° F.
The average temperature in the chaparral biome is 64° F.
Majority of the animals are nocturnal, sleeping during the day then coming out at night.
Animals living in the chaparral biome have to be able to survive on very little water. During the summer months there is usually a drought.
Many of the plants found in the chaparral biome are also found in the desert biome. This is because a chaparral biome normally borders a desert biome.
Some common animals of the chaparral biome are coyotes, mule deer, praying mantis, and ladybugs.
Shrubs are plentiful in the chaparral biome because they are able to survive on very little water. Chaparral comes from a Spanish word meaning shrub oak