Earth is the only planet in the Solar System that has the ideal conditions to host life. This is due to several factors such as, for example, constant temperature, the presence of water in liquid, solid and gaseous states, the ozone layer or the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere. Thus, due to a long process of physical, chemical and biological changes, our planet is capable of supporting a large number of environments and climates, which allow it to host a great biodiversity of animal and plant species.
In this Green Ecologist article we will explain one of these climates, specifically the temperate Mediterranean climate. So, if you want to find out more about what is the temperate mediterranean climate, of its characteristics and the fauna and flora that inhabit it, keep reading!
On our planet there are mainly three types of climates: hot, temperate and cold. Each one is segregated into more categories, depending on the rainfall and temperature regime of each region.
This article will deal with a very particular climate, classified within temperate environments and made up of 4 seasons clearly defined. Its about temperate mediterranean climate, typical of areas between 30º and 45º latitude, such as Mediterranean Sea, California and some areas of South Africa and Australia.
This type of environment is mainly characterized by having dry summers, rainy springs and autumns and mild winters. It turns out to be one of the most arid climates, since of the twelve months that the year has, the presence of water in the soil is nil for three to five months, coinciding with the summer season. On the contrary, in spring and autumn, these areas come into contact with westerly winds and thunderstorms and heavy rains can be caused. Thus, this type of climate presents, on the one hand, frequent rainy seasons and, on the other, periods in which there is no significant rainfall for several months. Even so, it must be taken into account that the frequency of rainy seasons will be less at lower latitudes.
Regarding Mediterranean temperate climate temperaturesAs mentioned previously, they are relatively mild in winter and warm in summer, although not excessively. The difference in temperatures between the seasons can vary greatly depending on the geographical region in which they are located, such as between California and the Pyrenees, where the former has mild winters with hardly any snow, and the latter has frosts. Considerable considering the characteristics of the climate in which they are found.
It should be mentioned that, depending on the continental extension of the climate in question, certain subtypes may appear that adapt to each specific region and mark gradual differences in terms of parameters such as humidity, temperature or the availability of sunlight, among others. . This is, for example, what happens in the Iberian Peninsula, since having a fairly large geographical area and being exposed to two Seas and one Ocean, each region will be influenced by many parameters.
The biological landscape or most common biome of the temperate Mediterranean climate is what we know as Durisilva, although it is commonly known as Mediterranean forest and scrub. It is a biotic area very rich in fauna and flora, limited by extreme summer drought and with a great variety of landforms and types of soil.
This type of landscape can be seen represented in the form of a low-rise forest, also called primary forest, in which there are predominant species such as holm oaks, pines or cork oaks. In this type of forest, even so, this type of climate can also be seen represented by sclerophyllous thickets, also called maquis or chaparral, which are dense shrub formations (and sometimes even impenetrable) about two or three meters high. This type of scrub can both be formed naturally or favored by some ancient human intervention.
Thus, there is a small variability between the formations of this type of biome depending on the region and the conditions in which it is established, in addition to the fact that the companion species will also somewhat predetermine its evolution.
The temperate Mediterranean climate offers an abundant diversity of both animals and plants., which is surprisingly adapted to the typical alterations of this type of environment, such as forest fires in the middle of the summer or strong spring and autumn storms.
In addition, we can say that the fauna and flora of this type of climate have an important role in many ecological functions. This means that many of the plants, mammals, insects, fish, amphibians and birds that inhabit this type of environment perform functions that make the gears of the ecosystem work and that the trophic relationships between the organisms of these communities are enlarged (they can serve as a food source, seed dispersers, primary producers, water purifiers, crop pollinators, etc.).
Regarding the flora of the temperate Mediterranean climate, we can say that it is mostly xerophilous, which means that it is adapted to living in dry environments, presenting modifications such as longer roots or smaller leaves. The understory of this type of climate is usually woody, sometimes with thorns, and with many aromatic species. Some examples of the typical vegetation of the Mediterranean climate are the pines (especially P. halepensis Y P. pinea) Holm oaks, heather, cork oak, blackthorn, mastic, aladierno, strawberry tree, sarsaparilla, rosemary, thyme, among many others.
As for the fauna of the temperate Mediterranean climate, it is very rich and varied, and includes all kinds of animals, from mountain goats, wild boars, foxes, wolves or lynxes, to squirrels, rabbits, raptors and reptiles and amphibians. Thus, having a wide range of animals, fish, insects, birds and microorganisms, really very biodiverse ecosystems are created, a fact that makes them more complex and with a greater balance in the face of adversity. Even so, it should be mentioned that the biodiversity of the fauna, both in this type of climate and in all of the world, is drastically decreasing due to the fact that the presence of man is increasingly invasive and goes further into the natural habitats in the these species reside.
In this other link you can find out more about what animals live in the temperate forest, a very biodiverse area of the planet with this type of climate.
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