The chaparral is also called scrub forest and is found in California, along the Mediterranean Sea, and along the southern coast of Australia (Figure 20.18). The annual rainfall in this biome ranges from 65 cm to 75 cm (25.6–29.5 in) and the majority of the rain falls in the winter. Summers are very dry and many chaparral plants are dormant during the summertime. The chaparral vegetation is dominated by shrubs and is adapted to periodic fires, with some plants producing seeds that germinate only after a hot fire. The ashes left behind after a fire are rich in nutrients like nitrogen that fertilize the soil and promote plant regrowth. Fire is a natural part of the maintenance of this biome and frequently threatens human habitation in this biome in the U.S. (Figure 20.22).
Figure 20.22 The chaparral is dominated by shrubs. (credit: Miguel Vieira)