ISBN : 9780198739142
The world's mediterranean-type climate regions (including areas within the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia, California, and Chile) have long been of interest to biologists by virtue of their extraordinary biodiversity and the appearance of evolutionary convergence between these disparate regions. These regions contain many rare and endemic species. Their mild climate makes them appealing places to live and visit and this has resulted in numerous threats to the species and communities that occupy them. Threats include a wide range of factors such as habitat loss due to development and agriculture, disturbance, invasive species, and climate change. As a result, they continue to attract far more attention than their limited geographic area might suggest. This book provides a concise but comprehensive introduction to mediterranean-type ecosystems. As with other books in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in this book is on the organisms that dominate these regions although their management, conservation, and restoration are also considered.
The book is intended for students, naturalists, practitioners, and professionals without any previous knowledge of mediterranean-type ecosystem ecology. It is an accessible text suitable for graduate students and researchers of mediterranean-type ecosystem ecology and geography, as well as professional ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and conservation biologists requiring a concise, authoritative overview of the topic.
1 Introduction; 2 Characteristics of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems; 3 Painting the Picture: The Living Template; 4 Diversity and Community Structure; 5 Choreography: Life in Motion; 6 Form and Function of Mediterranean Shrublands; 7 Ecosystems Processes; 8 The Modern Stage: Transformation; 9 Planning for the Future