HOME

TheInfoList




Chaparral ( ) is a
shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or b ...

shrubland
plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relatively uniform patch, distinguishable from neighboring patches of different vegetation types. The compo ...
found primarily in the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a W ...
of
California California is a in the . With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the and the U.S. state by area. It is also the in North America and the in the world. The area and the are the nation's second and ...

California
, in
southern Oregon Image:Southern Oregon.svg, Dark red denotes counties that are always included in the definition, while light red denotes counties that are only sometimes included. Southern Oregon is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon south of Lane County, Oregon ...

southern Oregon
, and in the northern portion of the
Baja California Peninsula The Baja California Peninsula ( en, Lower California Peninsula, es, Península de Baja California) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while be ...
in
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...

Mexico
. It is shaped by a
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and ...
(mild wet winters and hot dry summers) and infrequent, high-intensity crown fires. Chaparral features summer-drought-tolerant plants with hard
sclerophyllous Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaf, leaves, short Internode (botany), internodes (the distance between leaves along the stem) and leaf orientation parallel or oblique to direct sunlight that are adapted to long periods of dryn ...
evergreen leaves, as contrasted with the associated soft-leaved,
drought-deciduous Drought deciduous, or drought semi-deciduous plants refers to the plants that shed their leaves during periods of drought or generally in a dry season. This phenomenon is a natural process of plants and is caused due to the limitation of water arou ...
,
scrub Scrub(s) may refer to: * Scrub, low shrub and grass characteristic of Shrubland, scrubland * Scrubs (clothing), worn by medical staff * Scrubs (TV series), ''Scrubs'' (TV series), an American television program * Scrubs (occupation), also called " ...

scrub
community of
coastal sage scrub Coastal sage scrub, also known as coastal scrub, CSS, or soft chaparral, is a low scrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant speci ...
, found often on drier, southern facing slopes within the chaparral biome. Three other closely related chaparral shrubland systems occur in central
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

Arizona
, western
Texas Texas (, ; : ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the region of the . At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, it is the second-largest by both (after ) and (after ). Texas shares borders ...

Texas
, and along the eastern side of central Mexico's mountain chains (mexical), all having summer rains in contrast to the Mediterranean climate of other chaparral formations. Chaparral comprises 9% of the California's wildland vegetation and contains 20% of its plant species. The name comes from the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
word , which translates to "place of the scrub oak".


Introduction

In its natural state, chaparral is characterized by infrequent fires, with natural fire return intervals ranging between 30 years and over a hundred years. Mature chaparral (at least 50 years since time of last fire) is characterized by nearly impenetrable, dense thickets (except the more open chaparral of the desert). These plants are flammable during the late summer and autumn months when conditions are characteristically hot and dry. They grow as woody shrubs with thick, leathery, and often small leaves, contain green leaves all year (are
evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Anci ...

evergreen
), and are typically drought resistant (with some exceptions). After the first rains following a fire, the landscape is dominated by small flowering herbaceous 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 In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
(where it is known as ), central
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Chile
(where it is called ), the
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities ...

South Africa
n Cape Region (known there as ), and in Western and Southern
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
(as ). According to the California Academy of Sciences, Mediterranean shrubland contains more than 20 percent of the world's plant diversity. The word ''chaparral'' is a
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
from
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
, meaning place of the scrub oak, which itself comes from a
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ...
word, , that has the same meaning.
Conservation International Conservation International (CI) is an American nonprofit environmental organization headquartered in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. Its mission is to spotlight and secure the critical benefits that nature provides to humanity, such as food, ...
and other conservation organizations consider chaparral to be a
biodiversity hotspot A biodiversity hotspot is a ecoregion, biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened by human habitation. Norman Myers wrote about the concept in two articles in “The Environmentalist” (1988), and 1990 revised ...
– a
biological community Aquatic ecosystem, aquatic and Ecoregion#Terrestrial, terrestrial food web. A biocenosis (UK English, ''biocoenosis'', also biocenose, biocoenose, biotic community, biological community, Community (ecology), ecological community, life assemblage ...
with a large number of different species – that is under threat by human activity.


California chaparral


California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion

The
California chaparral and woodlands The California chaparral and woodlands is a terrestrial ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion A bioregion is an ecology, ...
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including hu ...
, of the
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in l ...
biome A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological community (ecology ...
, has three sub-ecoregions with
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...

ecosystem
plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relatively uniform patch, distinguishable from neighboring patches of different vegetation types. The compo ...
subdivisions: *
California coastal sage and chaparral The California coastal sage and chaparral ( es, Salvia y chaparral costero de California) is a Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome ...
:
In coastal
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western Unite ...

Southern California
and northwestern coastal
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern h ...
, as well as all of the
Channel Islands The Channel Islands ( nrf, Îles d'la Manche; french: îles Anglo-Normandes or ''îles de la Manche'') are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two Crown Dependencies: the Jersey, Bailiwick of ...
off California and
Guadalupe Island Guadalupe Island or Isla Guadalupe is a volcanic island located off the west coast of Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the souther ...

Guadalupe Island
(Mexico). *
California montane chaparral and woodlands The California montane chaparral and woodlands is an ecoregion defined by the World Wildlife Fund The world is the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Ear ...
:
In
southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...

southern
and central coast adjacent and inland California regions, including covering some of the mountains of the
California Coast Ranges The Coast Ranges of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by popula ...

California Coast Ranges
, the
Transverse Ranges The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. stat ...
, and the western slopes of the northern
Peninsular Ranges The Peninsular Ranges (also called the Lower California province) are a group of mountain ranges that stretch from Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region th ...
. *
California interior chaparral and woodlands The California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than ...
:
In central interior California surrounding the Central Valley, covering the foothills and lower slopes of the northeastern Transverse Ranges and the western
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
range.


Chaparral and woodlands biota

For the numerous individual plant and animal species found within the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion, see: * Flora of the California chaparral and woodlands *
Fauna of the California chaparral and woodlands Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...
. Some of the indicator plants of the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion include: * ''
Quercus An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including onl ...

Quercus
'' species – oaks: ** ''
Quercus agrifolia ''Quercus agrifolia'', the California live oak coast live oak, or holm oak, is a highly variable, often shrubby evergreen oak tree, a type of live oak, native to the California Floristic Province. It grows Western California, west of the Sierra N ...

Quercus agrifolia
'' – coast live oak ** ''
Quercus berberidifolia ''Quercus berberidifolia'', the California scrub oak, is a small evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs ...
'' – scrub oak ** ''
Quercus chrysolepis An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus ''Quercus'' (; Latin "oak tree") of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately list of Quercus species, 500 extant species of oaks. The common name "oak" also appears in the names of species in rel ...
'' – canyon live oak ** ''
Quercus douglasii ''Quercus douglasii'', known as blue oak, is a species of to (found only in) , common in the and the of the . It is California's most drought-tolerant oak, and is a dominant species in the ecosystem. It is occasionally known as mountain oa ...
'' – blue oak ** ''
Quercus wislizeni ''Quercus wislizeni'', known by the common name interior live oak, is an evergreen oak, highly variable and often shrubby, found in many areas of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3milli ...
– interior live oak'' * '' Artemisia'' species – sagebrush: ** ''
Artemisia californica ''Artemisia californica'', also known as California sagebrush, is a species of western North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be descr ...
– California sagebrush, coastal sage brush'' * ''
Arctostaphylos ''Arctostaphylos'' (; from "bear" and "bunch of grapes") is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie ...
'' species – manzanitas: ** ''
Arctostaphylos glauca
Arctostaphylos glauca
'' – bigberry manzanita ** ''
Arctostaphylos manzanita One of many species of manzanita Manzanita is a common name for many species of the genus ''Arctostaphylos ''Arctostaphylos'' (; from "bear" and "bunch of grapes") is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (gene ...

Arctostaphylos manzanita
'' – common manzanita * ''
Ceanothus ''Ceanothus'' is a genus of about 50–60 species of Actinorhizal plant, nitrogen-fixing shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). Common names for members of this genus are buckbrush, California lilac, soap bush, or just ceanot ...

Ceanothus
'' species – California lilacs: ** ''
Ceanothus cuneatus
Ceanothus cuneatus
'' – buckbrush ** '' Ceanothus megacarpus'' – bigpod ceanothus * ''
Rhus Sumac ( or ), also spelled sumach, is any of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus ''Rhus'' and related genera in the cashew family (Anacardiaceae). Sumacs grow in Subtropics, subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, in ...
'' species – sumacs: ** ''
Rhus integrifolia Single fruit on a Lemonadeberry plant. ''Rhus integrifolia'', also known as lemonade sumac, lemonade berry, or lemonadeberry, is a shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody ...
'' – lemonade berry ** ''
Rhus ovata
Rhus ovata
'' – sugar bush * ''
Eriogonum ''Eriogonum'' is the scientific name for a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. Th ...
'' species – buckwheats: ** ''
Eriogonum fasciculatum ''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' is a species of wild buckwheat known by the common names California buckwheat and eastern Mojave buckwheat. Distribution This common shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial ...

Eriogonum fasciculatum
'' – California buckwheat * ''
Salvia ''Salvia'' is the largest genus of plants in the sage family Lamiaceae, with nearly 1000 species of shrubs, herbaceous plant, herbaceous perennial plant, perennials, and annual plant, annuals. Within the Lamiaceae, ''Salvia'' is part of the tri ...

Salvia
'' species – sages: ** ''
Salvia mellifera ''Salvia mellifera'' (black sage, also known as seel by the Mahuna) is a small, highly aromatic, evergreen shrub of the genus ''Salvia'' (the sages) native to California, and Baja California, Mexico. It is common in the coastal sage scrub of South ...

Salvia mellifera
'' – black sage Chaparral soils and nutrient composition Chaparral characteristically is found in areas with steep topography and shallow stony soils, while adjacent areas with clay soils, even where steep, tend to be colonized by annual plants and grasses. Some chaparral species are adapted to nutrient-poor soils developed over serpentine and other ultramafic rock, with a high ratio of magnesium and iron to calcium and potassium, that are also generally low in essential nutrients such as nitrogen.


California cismontane and transmontane chaparral subdivisions

Another
phytogeography Phytogeography (from Greek φυτόν, ''phytón'' = "plant" and γεωγραφία, ''geographía'' = "geography" meaning also distribution) or botanical geography is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution ...
system uses two California chaparral and woodlands subdivisions: the cismontane chaparral and the transmontane (desert) chaparral.


California cismontane chaparral

''Cismontane chaparral'' ("this side of the mountain") refers to the chaparral ecosystem in the
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in l ...
biome A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological community (ecology ...
in California, growing on the western (and coastal) sides of large mountain range systems, such as the western slopes of the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
in the
San Joaquin Valley , photo = California's Central Valley.JPG , photo_caption = San Joaquin Valley , map_image = California San Joaquin counties.svg , map_caption = A map of the counties encompassing the San Joaquin Valley ecoregion ...
foothills, western slopes of the
Peninsular Ranges The Peninsular Ranges (also called the Lower California province) are a group of mountain ranges that stretch from Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region th ...
and
California Coast Ranges The Coast Ranges of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by popula ...

California Coast Ranges
, and south-southwest slopes of the
Transverse Ranges The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. stat ...
in the Central Coast and Southern California regions.


=Cismontane chaparral plant species

= In Central and
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western Unite ...

Southern California
chaparral forms a dominant habitat. Members of the chaparral biota native to California, all of which tend to regrow quickly after fires, include: * ''
Adenostoma fasciculatum ''Adenostoma fasciculatum'', the chamise (also known as greasewood or huutah), is a flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most diverse group of Embryophyte, land plants, with 64 Order( ...

Adenostoma fasciculatum
'', chamise * ''
Adenostoma sparsifolium
Adenostoma sparsifolium
'', redshanks * ''
Arctostaphylos ''Arctostaphylos'' (; from "bear" and "bunch of grapes") is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie ...
'' spp., manzanita * ''
Ceanothus ''Ceanothus'' is a genus of about 50–60 species of Actinorhizal plant, nitrogen-fixing shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). Common names for members of this genus are buckbrush, California lilac, soap bush, or just ceanot ...

Ceanothus
'' spp., ceanothus * ''
Cercocarpus ''Cercocarpus'', commonly known as mountain mahogany, is a small genus of at least nine species of Frankia, nitrogen-fixing flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. They are native to the western United States and northern Mexico, where the ...
'' spp., mountain mahogany * '' Cneoridium dumosum'', bush rue * ''
Eriogonum fasciculatum ''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' is a species of wild buckwheat known by the common names California buckwheat and eastern Mojave buckwheat. Distribution This common shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial ...

Eriogonum fasciculatum
'', California buckwheat * ''
Garrya ''Garrya'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification, viruses. In ...
'' spp., silk-tassel bush * ''
Hesperoyucca whipplei ''Hesperoyucca whipplei'' ( syn. ''Yucca whipplei'' ), the chaparral yucca, our Lord's candle, Spanish bayonet, Quixote yucca or foothill yucca, is a species of flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnol ...
'', yucca * '' Heteromeles arbutifolia'', toyon * ''
Acmispon glaber
Acmispon glaber
'', deerweed * ''
Malosma laurina on the right side of the flower cluster (and near its middle) sets the scale of the photograph. ''Malosma'' is a plant genus which contains only a single species, Malosma laurina', with the common names laurel sumac and lentisco (Spanish).Integra ...
'', laurel sumac * '' Marah macrocarpus'', wild cucumber * ''
Mimulus aurantiacus
Mimulus aurantiacus
'', bush monkeyflower * ''
Pickeringia montana
Pickeringia montana
'', chaparral pea * '' Prunus ilicifolia'', islay or hollyleaf cherry * ''
Quercus berberidifolia ''Quercus berberidifolia'', the California scrub oak, is a small evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs ...
'', scrub oak * ''
Q. dumosa
Q. dumosa
'', scrub oak * '' Q. wislizenii'' var. ''frutescens'' * '' Rhamnus californica'', California coffeeberry * ''
Rhus integrifolia Single fruit on a Lemonadeberry plant. ''Rhus integrifolia'', also known as lemonade sumac, lemonade berry, or lemonadeberry, is a shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody ...
'', lemonade berry * ''
Rhus ovata
Rhus ovata
'', sugar bush * ''
Salvia apiana ''Salvia apiana'', the white sage, bee sage, or sacred sage is an evergreen perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term ('' per-'' + '' -ennial'', "through the years") is often used to ...

Salvia apiana
'', white sage * ''
Salvia mellifera ''Salvia mellifera'' (black sage, also known as seel by the Mahuna) is a small, highly aromatic, evergreen shrub of the genus ''Salvia'' (the sages) native to California, and Baja California, Mexico. It is common in the coastal sage scrub of South ...

Salvia mellifera
'', black sage * '' Xylococcus bicolor'', mission manzanita


=Cismontane chaparral bird species

= The complex ecology of chaparral habitats supports a very large number of animal species. The following is a short list of birds which are an integral part of the cismontane chaparral ecosystems. :Characteristic chaparral bird species include: * Wrentit ('' Chamaea fasciata'') * California thrasher (''
Toxostoma redivivum
Toxostoma redivivum
'') * California towhee ('' Melozone crissalis'') * Spotted towhee (''
Pipilo maculatus
Pipilo maculatus
'') * California scrub jay (''
Aphelocoma californica The California scrub jay (''Aphelocoma californica'') is a species of scrub jay The passerine birds of the genus ''Aphelocoma'' include the scrub jays and their relatives. They are New World jays found in Mexico, western Central America and th ...

Aphelocoma californica
'') :Other common chaparral bird species include: * Anna's hummingbird (''
Calypte anna Anna's hummingbird (''Calypte anna'') is a medium-sized bird species of the family Trochilidae. It was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli. It is native to western coastal regions of North America. In the early 20th century, Anna's hummi ...

Calypte anna
'') * Bewick's wren (''
Thryomanes bewickii
Thryomanes bewickii
'') * Bushtit ('' Psaltriparus minimus'') * Costa's hummingbird (''
Calypte costae
Calypte costae
'') * Greater roadrunner (''
Geococcyx californianus
Geococcyx californianus
'')


California transmontane (desert) chaparral

Transmontane chaparral or desert chaparral —''transmontane'' ("the other side of the mountain") ''chaparral''—refers to the
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
shrubland
habitat Ibex in an alpine habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. ...

habitat
and chaparral
plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relatively uniform patch, distinguishable from neighboring patches of different vegetation types. The compo ...
growing in the
rainshadow A rain shadow is a dry area on the leeward side of a mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a "shadow" of dryness behind them. Wind and moist air are drawn by the prevaili ...
of these ranges. Transmontane chaparral features xeric
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
climate, not
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and ...
habitats, and is also referred to as
desert chaparral Image:Chaparral1.jpg, 280px, Chaparral, Santa Ynez Mountains, near Santa Barbara, California Chaparral is a shrubland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of California, in southern Oregon, and in the northern portion of the Baja Cali ...
.A Natural History of California, Allan A. Schoenerr, Figure 8.9 – 8.10, Table 8.2County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use Multiple Species Conservation Program, Desert chaparral is a regional
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...

ecosystem
subset of the deserts and xeric shrublands
biome A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological community (ecology ...
, with some plant species from the
California chaparral and woodlands The California chaparral and woodlands is a terrestrial ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion A bioregion is an ecology, ...
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including hu ...
. Unlike cismontane chaparral, which forms dense, impenetrable stands of plants, desert chaparral is often open, with only about 50 percent of the ground covered. Individual shrubs can reach up to in height. Transmontane chaparral or desert chaparral is found on the eastern slopes of major mountain range systems on the western sides of the deserts of California. The mountain systems include the southeastern
Transverse Ranges The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. stat ...
(the San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains) in the Mojave Desert north and northeast of the Los Angeles basin and Inland Empire; and the northern
Peninsular Ranges The Peninsular Ranges (also called the Lower California province) are a group of mountain ranges that stretch from Southern California Southern California (popularly known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region th ...
(San Jacinto, Santa Rosa Mountains (California), Santa Rosa, and Laguna Mountains), which separate the Colorado Desert (western Sonoran Desert) from lower coastal
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western Unite ...

Southern California
.''A Natural History of California'', Allan A. Schoenherr, pp.8–9, 357, 327, It is distinguished from the cismontane chaparral found on the coastal side of the mountains, which experiences higher winter rainfall. Naturally, desert chaparral experiences less winter rainfall than cismontane chaparral. Plants in this community are characterized by small, hard (sclerophyllic) evergreen (non-deciduous) leaves. Desert chaparral grows above California's desert cactus scrub plant community and below the pinyon-juniper woodland. It is further distinguished from the deciduous sub-alpine scrub above the pinyon-juniper woodlands on the same side of the Peninsular ranges. Due to the lower annual rainfall (resulting in slower plant growth rates) when compared to cismontane chaparral, desert chaparral is more vulnerable to biodiversity loss and the invasion of non-native weeds and grasses if disturbed by human activity and frequent fire.


=Transmontane chaparral distribution

= Transmontane (desert) chaparral typically grows on the lower ( elevation) northern slopes of the southern Transverse Ranges (running east to west in San Bernardino County, San Bernardino and Los Angeles County, Los Angeles counties) and on the lower () eastern slopes of the Peninsular Ranges (running south to north from lower
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern h ...
to Riverside and Orange County, California, Orange counties and the Transverse Ranges). It can also be found in higher-elevation sky islands in the interior of the deserts, such as in the upper New York Mountains within the Mojave National Preserve in the Mojave Desert. The California transmontane (desert) chaparral is found in the rain shadow deserts of the following: *
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
creating the Great Basin Desert and northern Mojave Desert * Transverse ranges creating the western through eastern Mojave Desert * Peninsular ranges creating the Colorado Desert and Yuha Desert.


=Transmontane chaparral plants

= * ''
Adenostoma fasciculatum ''Adenostoma fasciculatum'', the chamise (also known as greasewood or huutah), is a flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most diverse group of Embryophyte, land plants, with 64 Order( ...

Adenostoma fasciculatum
'', chamise (a low shrub common to most chaparral with clusters of tiny needle like leaves or ''fascicles''; similar in appearance to coastal ''
Eriogonum fasciculatum ''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' is a species of wild buckwheat known by the common names California buckwheat and eastern Mojave buckwheat. Distribution This common shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial ...

Eriogonum fasciculatum
'') * ''Agave deserti'', desert agave * '''', bigberry manzanita (smooth red bark with large edible berries; glauca means blue-green, the color of its leaves) * ''Ceanothus greggii'', desert ceanothus, California lilac (a Nitrogen fixation#Root nodule symbioses, nitrogen fixer, has hair on both sides of leaves for heat dissipation) * ''Cercocarpus ledifolius'', curl leaf mountain mahogany, a Nitrogen fixation#Root nodule symbioses, nitrogen fixer important food source for desert bighorn sheep * ''Dendromecon rigida'', bush poppy (a fire follower with four petaled yellow flowers) * ''Ephedra (plant), Ephedra'' spp., Mormon teas * ''Fremontodendron californicum'', California flannel bush (lobed leaves with fine coating of hair, covered with yellow blossoms in spring) * ''Opuntia acanthocarpa'', buckhorn cholla (branches resemble antlers of a deer) * ''Opuntia echinocarpa'', silver or golden cholla (depending on color of the spines) * ''Opuntia phaeacantha'', desert prickly pear (fruit is important food source for animals) * ''Purshia tridentata'', buckbrush, antelope bitterbrush (Rosaceae family) * ''Prunus fremontii'', desert apricot * ''Prunus fasciculata'', desert almond (commonly infested with tent caterpillars of ''Malacosoma'' spp.) * '' Prunus ilicifolia'', holly leaved cherry * ''Quercus cornelius-mulleri'', desert scrub oak or Muller's oak * '''', sugar bush * ''Simmondsia chinensis'', jojoba * ''Yucca schidigera'', Mojave yucca * ''
Hesperoyucca whipplei ''Hesperoyucca whipplei'' ( syn. ''Yucca whipplei'' ), the chaparral yucca, our Lord's candle, Spanish bayonet, Quixote yucca or foothill yucca, is a species of flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnol ...
'' (syn. ''Yucca whipplei''), foothill yucca – our lord's candle.


=Transmontane chaparral animals

= There is overlap of animals with those of the adjacent desert and pinyon-juniper communities. * ''Canis latrans, coyote'' * ''Lynx rufus, bobcat'' * ''Neotoma'' sp., desert pack rat * ''Odocoileus hemionus, mule deer * ''Peromyscus truei'', pinyon mouse * ''Puma concolor'', mountain lion * ''Stagmomantis californica'', California mantis


Fire

Chaparral is a coastal biome with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The chaparral area receives about of precipitation a year. This makes the chaparral most vulnerable to fire in the late summer and fall. The chaparral ecosystem as a whole is adapted to be able to recover from naturally infrequent fire (fires occurring a minimum of 30 years apart); indeed, chaparral regions are known culturally and historically for their impressive fires. (This does create a conflict with human development adjacent to and expanding into chaparral systems.) Additionally, Native Americans burned chaparral near villages on the coastal plain to promote grasslands for textiles and food. Before a major fire, typical chaparral plant communities are dominated by manzanita, chamise ''
Adenostoma fasciculatum ''Adenostoma fasciculatum'', the chamise (also known as greasewood or huutah), is a flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most diverse group of Embryophyte, land plants, with 64 Order( ...

Adenostoma fasciculatum
'' and ''
Ceanothus ''Ceanothus'' is a genus of about 50–60 species of Actinorhizal plant, nitrogen-fixing shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). Common names for members of this genus are buckbrush, California lilac, soap bush, or just ceanot ...

Ceanothus
'' species, toyon (which can sometimes be interspersed with California scrub oak, scrub oaks), and other drought-resistant shrubs with hard (
sclerophyllous Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaf, leaves, short Internode (botany), internodes (the distance between leaves along the stem) and leaf orientation parallel or oblique to direct sunlight that are adapted to long periods of dryn ...
) leaves; these plants resprout (see resprouter) from underground burls after a fire. Plants that are long-lived in the seed bank or serotinous with induced germination after fire include chamise'', Ceanothus,'' and fiddleneck''.'' Some chaparral plant communities may grow so dense and tall that it becomes difficult for large animals and humans to penetrate, but may be teeming with smaller fauna in the understory. The seeds of many chaparral plant species are stimulated to germinate by some fire cue (heat or the chemicals from smoke or charred wood). During the time shortly after a fire, chaparral communities may contain soft-leaved herbaceous, fire following annual wildflowers and short-lived perennials that dominate the community for the first few years – until the burl resprouts and seedlings of chaparral shrub species create a mature, dense overstory. Seeds of annuals and shrubs lie dormant until the next fire creates the conditions needed for germination. Several shrub species such as ''Ceanothus'' fix nitrogen, increasing the availability nitrogen compounds in the soil. Because of the hot, dry conditions that exist in the California summer and fall, chaparral is one of the most fire-prone plant communities in North America. Some fires are caused by lightning, but these are usually during periods of high humidity and low winds and are easily controlled. Nearly all of the very large wildfires are caused by human activity during periods of hot, dry easterly Santa Ana winds. These man-made fires are commonly caused by power line failures, vehicle fires and collisions, sparks from machinery, arson, or campfires.


Threatened by high fire frequency

Though adapted to infrequent fires, chaparral plant communities can be eliminated by frequent fires. A high frequency of fire (less than ten years) will result in the loss of obligate seeding shrub species such as ''Manzanita'' spp. This high frequency disallows seeder plants to reach their reproductive size before the next fire and the community shifts to a sprouter-dominance. If high frequency fires continue over time, obligate resprouting shrub species can also be eliminated by exhausting their energy reserves below-ground. Today, frequent accidental ignitions can convert chaparral from a native shrubland to non-native annual grassland and drastically reduce species diversity, especially under drought brought about by climate change.


Wildfire debate

There are two older hypotheses relating to California chaparral fire regimes that caused considerable debate within the fields of wildfire ecology and land management. Research over the past two decades have rejected the hypotheses. # That older stands of chaparral become "senescent" or "decadent", thus implying that fire is necessary for the plants to remain healthy, # That wildfire suppression policies have allowed dead chaparral to accumulate unnaturally, creating ample fuel for large fires. The perspective that older chaparral is unhealthy or unproductive may have originated during the 1940s when studies were conducted measuring the amount of forage available to deer populations in chaparral stands. However, according to recent studies, California chaparral is extraordinarily resilient to very long periods without fire and continues to maintain productive growth throughout pre-fire conditions. Seeds of many chaparral plants actually require 30 years or more worth of accumulated leaf litter before they will successfully germinate (e.g., scrub oak, ''
Quercus berberidifolia ''Quercus berberidifolia'', the California scrub oak, is a small evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs ...
''; toyon, '' Heteromeles arbutifolia''; and holly-leafed cherry, '' Prunus ilicifolia''). When intervals between fires drop below 10 to 15 years, many chaparral species are eliminated and the system is typically replaced by non-native, invasive, weedy grassland. The idea that older chaparral is responsible for causing large fires was originally proposed in the 1980s by comparing wildfires in
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula, of which it forms the northern half, and Baja California Sur, the adjacent state that covers the southern h ...
and southern California. It was suggested that fire suppression activities in southern California allowed more fuel to accumulate, which in turn led to larger fires. This is similar to the observation that fire suppression and other human-caused disturbances in dry, ponderosa pine forests in the Southwest of the United States has unnaturally increased forest density. Historically, mixed-severity fires likely burned through these forests every decade or so, burning understory plants, small trees, and downed logs at low-severity, and patches of trees at high-severity. However, chaparral has a crown-fire regime, meaning that fires consume nearly all the above ground growth whenever they burn, with a historical frequency of 30 to 150 years or more. A detailed analysis of historical fire data concluded that fire suppression activities have been ineffective at excluding fire from southern California chaparral, unlike in ponderosa pine forests. In addition, the number of fires is increasing in step with population growth and exacerbated by human-caused climate change. Chaparral stand age does not have a significant correlation to its tendency to burn. Large, high-intensity wildfires are part of the natural fire regime for California chaparral. Extreme weather conditions (low humidity, high temperature, high winds), drought, and low fuel moisture are the primary factors in determining how large a chaparral fire becomes.


See also

* California Chaparral Institute *
California chaparral and woodlands The California chaparral and woodlands is a terrestrial ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion A bioregion is an ecology, ...
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including hu ...
**
California coastal sage and chaparral The California coastal sage and chaparral ( es, Salvia y chaparral costero de California) is a Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome ...
**
California montane chaparral and woodlands The California montane chaparral and woodlands is an ecoregion defined by the World Wildlife Fund The world is the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Ear ...
**
California interior chaparral and woodlands The California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than ...
* Heath (habitat) * Fire ecology * Rewilding (conservation biology), Keystone species reintroduction: (sufficient) native keystone species, keystone grazing species in grasslands will promote tree growth, reducing wildfire likelihoodThe Serengeti Rules documentary: example Serengeti/gnu * Garrigue * International Association of Wildland Fire


References


Bibliography

* Haidinger, T.L., and J.E. Keeley. 1993. Role of high fire frequency in destruction of mixed chaparral. Madrono 40: 141–147. * Halsey, R.W. 2008. Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California. Second Edition. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. 232 p. * Hanes, T. L. 1971. Succession after fire in the chaparral of southern California. Ecol. Monographs 41: 27–52. * Hubbard, R.F. 1986. Stand age and growth dynamics in chamise chaparral. Master's thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, California. * Keeley, J. E., C. J. Fotheringham, and M. Morais. 1999. Reexamining fire suppression impacts on brushland fire regimes. Science 284:1829–1832. * Keeley, J.E. 1995. Future of California floristics and systematics: wildfire threats to the California flora. Madrono 42: 175–179. * Keeley, J.E., A.H. Pfaff, and H.D. Stafford. 2005. Fire suppression impacts on postfire recovery of Sierra Nevada chaparral shrublands. International Journal of Wildland Fire 14: 255–265. * Larigauderie, A., T.W. Hubbard, and J. Kummerow. 1990. Growth dynamics of two chaparral shrub species with time after fire. Madrono 37: 225–236. * Minnich, R. A. 1983. Fire mosaics in southern California and northern Baja California. Science 219:1287–1294. * Moritz, M.A., J.E. Keeley, E.A. Johnson, and A.A. Schaffner. 2004. Testing a basic assumption of shrubland fire management: How important is fuel age? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2:67–72. * Pratt, R. B., A. L. Jacobsen, A. R. Ramirez, A. M. Helms, C. A. Traugh, M. F. Tobin, M. S. Heffner, and S. D. Davis. 2013. Mortality of resprouting chaparral shrubs after a fire and during a record drought: physiological mechanisms and demographic consequences. Global Change Biology 20:893–907. * Syphard, A. D., V. C. Radeloff, J. E. Keeley, T. J. Hawbaker, M. K. Clayton, S. I. Stewart, and R. B. Hammer. 2007. Human influence on California fire regimes. Ecological Applications 17:1388–1402. * Vale, T. R. 2002. Fire, Native Peoples, and the Natural Landscape. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA. * Venturas, M. D., E. D. MacKinnon, H. L. Dario, A. L. Jacobsen, R. B. Pratt, and S. D. Davis. 2016. Chaparral shrub hydraulic traits, size, and life history types relate to species mortality during California's historic drought of 2014. PLoS ONE 11(7): p.e0159145. * Zedler, P.H. 1995. Fire frequency in southern California shrublands: biological effects and management options, pp. 101–112 in J.E. Keeley and T. Scott (eds.), Brushfires in California wildlands: ecology and resource management. International Association of Wildland Fire, Fairfield, Wash. *


External links


The California Chaparral Institute website
{{Biomes California chaparral and woodlands, Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub in the United States Plant communities of California Plants by habitat Natural history of the California chaparral and woodlands, Natural history of the California Coast Ranges, . Natural history of the Peninsular Ranges, . Natural history of the Transverse Ranges, . San Bernardino Mountains San Gabriel Mountains Santa Susana Mountains Santa Ana Mountains Ecology of the Sierra Nevada (United States) Wildfire ecology Nearctic ecoregions