The Mediterranean environment is basically found around the Mediterranean Sea, but also in some places of the Earth with a temperate but not very humid climate, as Caifornia in the U.S.A. or the eastern coast of Australia. Its location is between 35º and 45º North/South of latitude, mainly in western coasts.
in the Mediterranean climate, summers are hot, winters are mild, with average temperatures usually between 5 and 10ºC, and precipitation is moderate (400-800 mm/year). Drought in summer is probably the main feature of this climate. According to that, plants should be able to grow despite the heat and drought during the summer. Trunks, roots and leaves are adapted to store water during the summer. Roots dig usually very deep in the underground, trunks often have a thick bark (corteza) in order to store moisture, and leaves are waxy (resinosas) to prevent moisture loss.
Trees are widely spaced. Mediterranean environment does not conform often a thick forest, but a sparse woodland. Olm oaks, cork oaks and pines are the main kinds of trees in the Mediterranean woodland. Bushes and shrubs are also very common, as thyme, rosemary, rockrose, lavender,…
When woodland disappear, natural environments transforms into garriga or maquis, a shrubland without trees. Along the rivers is often found the bosque-galería (riverside forest), with decidious trees such as Poplar, quejigo or elm. The Dehesa is a special landscape, because it’s a environment converted by men. In the Dehesa you can find grasses where cattle graze (pigs, sheeps,…) and very spaced trees (cork oak and olm oak), with economical uses.
Fire and desertification are the principal threats or dangers of this environment. Besides, some non-endemic species as Eucalyptus are spreading against the original trees of this environment. Eucalyptus are originary from Australia and it has been planted by man, due to its quick growth and because it’s very productive for paper industry.