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Mediterranean Vegetation

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  • Last Updated : 27 Dec, 2022
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A group of plants that grow naturally without human assistance is called natural vegetation. For a long time, they were also not exposed to human influence. This is what we call virgin plants. Cultivated fruits and crops and orchards are considered plants, but not natural plants. Plants from a particular region or period are called flora. The word “fauna” refers to an animal species.

Mediterranean vegetation refers to a biome of broad leaves evergreen shrubs, bushes, and small trees, which height is mostly  2.5 meters tall and growing in the regions 30 degrees and 40 degrees north and south latitudes.

Mediterranean Vegetation

Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrubs are WWF-designated biomes. Biomes are generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, but rainfall may be uniform in some areas. Summers are generally hot in inland areas in the lowlands but can be cool near cooler waters. Winters are generally mild or cool in the lowlands but can be cold on land and in the highlands. All these ecoregions are very unique and together contain 10% of the Earth’s plant species.

Mediterranean vegetation shows some adaptability to frequent drought, grazing, and wildfire regimes. The small scaly leaves that characterize many of the perennials and shrubs in this biome help conserve water and prevent nutrient loss. Soils are generally fertile soils and many plant species have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Some trees have thick, hard bark that is resistant to fire, such as the Mediterranean cork  (Quercus suber) oak. Other plants, such as Australian grass (Xanthorrhoea) and South African aloes (Aloe), retain dense dead leaves around their stems to provide insulation against the heat of a bushfire. In addition, some plants have moist tissue that both insulates and protects against water loss in the event of a fire. This strategy is common in some Cape Floral Protea species, which have cork tissues to protect their shoots from drying out. Still, others are actually high in flammable essential oils and are easy to regrow after a fire. Herbivorous mammals are common among Mediterranean vegetation. These include deer, wild sheep, and goats, small antelopes in southern Africa, and kangaroos in Australia.

The Mediterranean region lies between north and south latitudes about 30° to 40°  on the western side of the continent. Temperatures in these areas range from warm to hot during the high dry season with high evaporation rates and mild during the low dry season with reduced evaporation. These regions are therefore described as “rainy in winter and dry in summer” climates. The climate chart shows a range of Mediterranean climates differing only in the degree of summer drought.  The arid summer climate of the Mediterranean regions is the result of seasonal variations in the position of subtropical high-pressure systems semi-permanent centered on tropical deserts almost above the tropics of Capricorn and Evil. The westerly winds generated will provide a steady stream of dry and warm air to  Mediterranean regions, some areas like Santa Ana which can be quite strong with real fire. As the subtropical convection recedes toward the equator during winter, oceanic air masses and cyclonic storms develop along the poles into the Mediterranean region, bringing coolness and humidity.

Types of Mediterranean Vegetation

There are many types of Mediterranean vegetation, including:

  • Evergreen shrubs: These are the most common type of Mediterranean vegetation, and include species like olive trees, rosemary, and lavender.
  • Deciduous shrubs: These shrubs lose their leaves in the winter and include species like myrtle and broom.
  • Grasses and herbs: These include species like sagebrush and thyme.
  • Trees: There are not many trees in the Mediterranean, but the ones that do grow there include oak, cypress, and pine.

Where is Mediterranean Vegetation Located?

The Mediterranean vegetation is located in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. These countries include Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The climate in these countries is characterized by warm summers and mild winters. This type of climate is ideal for the growth of evergreen trees and shrubs.

Benefits

The Mediterranean vegetation is characterized by a number of benefits, including:

  • The Mediterranean climate is ideal for a wide variety of plant life, including many fruits and vegetables.
  •  The soil in the Mediterranean region is extremely fertile, making it perfect for agriculture.
  • The diverse landscape of the Mediterranean provides a home for a wide variety of wildlife.
  • The moderate temperatures and ample rainfall of the Mediterranean region make it an ideal place to live for humans and animals alike.
  • The beautiful scenery and pleasant climate of the Mediterranean make it a popular tourist destination.

How to Preserve Mediterranean Vegetation?

The Mediterranean vegetation is a major component of the Earth’s ecosystems. This biome is characterized by its dry, hot summers and wet, mild winters. The Mediterranean vegetation has many unique features that make it an important part of the world’s ecosystem.

One way to preserve the Mediterranean vegetation is to use irrigation systems. Irrigation systems help to keep the soil moist and prevent evaporation. They also help to distribute water evenly throughout the landscape.

Another way to preserve the Mediterranean vegetation is to use mulch. Mulch helps to protect against erosion and keeps the roots of plants cool in the summer months. It also helps to retain moisture in the soil, yet another method for preserving Mediterranean vegetation is through controlled burning. This method can help to remove invasive species and promote new growth. It is important to only burn small areas at a time so as not to damage the surrounding ecosystem.

Conclusion

The Mediterranean vegetation is an important aspect of the geography of the region. It is characterized by a variety of plant life, which has adapted to the harsh conditions of the Mediterranean climate. This vegetation provides a home for many animals and helps to regulate the local ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What types of plants are found in the Mediterranean region?   

Answer:

Mediterranean vegetation is dominated by evergreen shrubs and foliage adapted to a unique climate regime of cool, wet winters with summer drought and rare frosts.

Question 2: Why is there so little wildlife in the Mediterranean?  

Answer:

The Mediterranean region lacks adequate wildlife as much of the forest has been cleared to expand cultivation. This has resulted in a significant decline in wildlife in the area.

Question 3: What are the characteristics of Mediterranean plants?  

Answer:

Mediterranean Vegetation, is low, dense vegetation consisting of hardwood evergreen shrubs, shrubs, and small trees, typically less than 2.5 m (about 8 ft) tall and growing in areas located between 30° and 40° N and 30° S.

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