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Chaparral. By Linda Tucker. Geography. Found on every continent except Antarctica Found between 30° and 40° latitude in both southern and northern hemispheres In northern hemisphere, found to the north of deserts In southern hemisphere, found to the south of deserts. Distribution. Climate.

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chaparral

Chaparral

By Linda Tucker

geography
Geography
  • Found on every continent except Antarctica
  • Found between 30° and 40° latitude in both southern and northern hemispheres
  • In northern hemisphere, found to the north of deserts
  • In southern hemisphere, found to the south of deserts
climate
Climate
  • Cool and moist fall, winter, and spring
  • Hot and dry summer
  • Temperature ranges from 30° to 100° F
  • Gets 10-17 inches of rain per year
fire cycle
Fire Cycle
  • Fires are frequent due to hot, dry climate
  • This is a naturally occurring cycle
  • Fire cycle releases nutrients from plants back into the soil
  • Cycle also helps replace old growth with younger, more productive growth
  • Excessive fires can lead to soil erosion
plant life
Plant Life
  • Many are evergreen with hard, waxy leaves
  • Many plants have symbiotic relationships with microbes to fix atmospheric nitrogen
  • Many have adaptations to fire:
    • Thick, fire-resistant bark
    • Flammable parts above fire line
    • Store energy in roots to regrow after fire
    • Some seeds require fire to germinate
animal life
Animal Life
  • Animals are adapted to hot conditions
  • Many animals burrow to escape the heat
  • Many are nocturnal or only find food during the morning hours
  • Some mice and lizards have semi-solid urine
  • Animals like the Jackrabbit and Kit Fox have very large ears to regulate body temperature
human influences
Human Influences
  • Agriculture
    • Low-intensity allows soil to remain fertile
    • High-intensity can lead to soil depletion
  • Grazing and browsing by livestock
  • Intentional burning to clear woody plants
  • Increased human habitation
references
References
  • Molles, Manuel C. Ecology: Concepts and Applications. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
  • http://scientopia.org/blogs/voltagegate/2011/09/06/chaparral/
  • http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/chaparral.htm
  • http://fireecology.org/education/doc1.htm
  • http://biology.about.com/od/landbiomes/a/aa060906a.htm