Category: Regions

  • Mediterranean Basin — Animals

    The vertebrate fauna of the Mediterranean Basin has a wide range of biogeographic origins, as does the region’s vascular plants. Sharp climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene led to periodic turnovers of Eurasian and African faunal elements and a resulting isolation of populations. Combined with human hunting pressures, these factors led to a decline in species […]

  • Mediterranean Basin — Human History

    A long history of human impacts on the natural landscape over thousands of years has strongly affected the environments of this region and has accelerated over the past century.  Many Western cooking herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage, and oregano, are native to the Mediterranean Basin.  Most of the modern grape varieties used for […]

  • California — Landscape

    California — Landscape

    The political boundaries of the state of California cover an area of 424,000 square kilometers but the area includes more than the core area of Mediterranean-type climate. These political boundaries include winter rainfall portions of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts, as well as areas of cold desert habitats east of the Sierra Nevada. The California […]

  • California — Plants

    California — Plants

    The political boundaries of California contain 4,839 native vascular plant species. An estimated 3,488 of these occur within the California Floristic Province. The state flora as a whole includes 99 ferns and fern relatives, 60 gymnosperms (53 conifers), 823 monocots, and 3862 dicots. The largest family in this flora is the Asteraceae with 627 native […]

  • California — Animals

    California — Animals

    The terrestrial mammal fauna of California includes about 160 species, with rodents making up more than half of this total. Roughly 30 mammal species are restricted to the desert regions of the state and thus are not considered part of the Mediterranean-climate region fauna. That leaves a total of about 130 terrestrial mammals native to […]

  • California — Human History

    California — Human History

    Native Americans entered California 13-15,000 years ago. Although population densities were never high, these peoples nevertheless had significant impacts on their environment. Most notably, they used fire to maintain meadows, clear underbrush, encourage the growth of certain plants, and ensure easy access to a major food source, the acorns of oak trees.  Rapid population growth […]