Mediterranean scrub

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Mediterranean scrub Two principal varieties are recognized on the basis of the stature of the constituent shrubs. The tall variety is called maquis, the short variety garrigue; but the distinction is somewhat arbitrary and there are many intergrade types. Both occupy vast areas and were derived by burning and grazing from an earlier forest cover. Indeed, constant use of fire has created distinctive plant associations within the scrub, such as the giane (rosemary and Genista species) and ericeto (tree heath) in southern Italy. In Iberia such associations are even more extensive and include the brezales (heathers), jorales (Cistus species), goscojales (Quercus coccifera, kermes oak) and bujedales (Buxus sempervirens, box).

Mediterranean scrub

views updated

Mediterranean scrub Two principal varieties are recognized on the basis of the stature of the constituent shrubs. The tall variety is called maquis, the short variety garrigue; but the distinction is somewhat arbitrary and there are many intergrade types. Both occupy vast areas and were derived by burning and grazing from an earlier forest cover. Indeed, constant use of fire has created distinctive plant associations within the scrub, such as the giane (rosemary and Genista species) and ericeto (tree heath) in southern Italy. In Iberia such associations are even more extensive and include the brezales (heathers), jorales (Cistus species), goscojales (Quercus coccifera, kermes oak), and bujedales (Buxus sempervirens, box).