There is a great variety of vegetation on planet Earth and many types of it, one of these is the bushes also known as shrubs or chaparral . They are places in which the bushes predominate, which are a type of woody plant that is small in size. The bushes are very common to find in those places where there is a type of Mediterranean climate .
What is a scrub?
A scrub is a type of ecosystem present in the soil that consists of a type of vegetation where the predominant shrubs and bushes , where it is also common to find grass and some herbaceous plants .
- Characteristics of a scrub
- Scrub flora
- Importance of scrub
Characteristics of a scrub
Most shrubs thrive under harsh climatic conditions , however some of them may even be man-made . The bushes are characterized by being very diverse in terms of their structure and in terms of the relationship that the plants that compose them have. Among the main characteristics that we can find in a scrub the following are mentioned:
- Its trees are small in size and are never larger than 8 meters.
- It has a large and extensive vegetation cover that is at ground level .
- Its structure can be composed of a layer of low trees and later by a second shrub layer.
- They adapt to the type of climate and the conditions of where they are, and they generally do so by losing their leaves.
- Its soils have low fertility as most of them tend to be sandy .
- They have a variety of small plants but always with a predominance of shrubs.
- It is common to find within them areas dedicated to the conservation of species or protected areas.
- Most of them can be found in regions that have a semi- arid or Mediterranean type of climate , as well as on the western coasts of the continents.
- They are best developed in places having a temperature of approximately 20 ° and 24 ° C .
There are three large groups of bushes in the world, which are explained below.
This type of scrub can be found in places where arid areas predominate , where there is also little rain and where temperatures are quite high . They are a less intense type of desert , where the nights are characterized by being cooler and the days are hotter. The rainfall occur to a lesser extent and in fact, very few can even take a long time to appear, even years.
In them it is common to find a type of vegetation formed by semi-desert and semi-arid plants .
They are also known by the name of shrubs , chaparrals or heaths and it is common to find them in places where there is a type of Mediterranean climate or similar to this one. Their vegetation has learned to adapt in such a way that they have the ability to withstand strong and very hot summers . Plants have found ways to hold water with different strategies. It is common to find several types of aromatic plants in them, such as chamomile.
The páramo or mountain scrub as it is also known can be found located in the tropical regions of America and Africa . They are places where there is very high humidity most of the time and some may also have a rather cold type of climate, mainly due to the height they have. They are also considered a type of mountain ecosystem since they are found at heights ranging from 3000 meters to 5000 meters.
The type of fauna that can be found in the scrub will largely depend on the type of scrub. In the páramo it is common to find an important diversity that includes mammals such as the white-tailed deer and the puma, birds such as the hummingbird and the condor. In the xerophilous scrub there is a great variety of insects and reptiles such as scorpions, iguanas and snakes. In them we find a very recognized bird, the roadrunner and the woodpecker.
In the Mediterranean scrubland the fauna is based on mammals such as foxes and deer, birds such as the imperial eagle and storks, pigeons, herons and wolves, especially the Iberian.
Its vegetation and flora are mainly characterized by being sclerophyllous evergreen (with leaves for most of the year) in the more temperate zones, while in the warmer parts, deciduous vegetation can be found (they lose their leaves in the dry season). The flora in the bushes is very dense and many of them also have thorns . Small shrubs and trees predominate. Its flora is greatly affected by human hand and fires that cause serious damage.
Its type of climate is characterized by having a well-defined dry season and by the little presence of rain. This dry period lasts approximately 4 months or even more and is considered to be the factor that determines life and vegetation. The climate in the bushes can vary a lot, indicating the presence of temperate or cold climates and in some places hot .
The temperature that can be found in the place is characterized by being temperate , cold and in some types of bushes it can also be quite warm . Temperature changes are also very common, especially in the moor . The temperature generally oscillates around 20 ºC. When they have tropical influence , their temperatures oscillate between 18 ° and 21 ° C and if they are in a cold tropical climate, then their temperatures will drop extremely during the nights reaching even 5 – 10 ° C.
Shrubs generally have higher rainfall than deserts and usually receive between 200 and 1000 millimeters of rain throughout the year, which tends to be unpredictable and can vary constantly from month to month.
Scrubland depending on the type to which it belongs it can be found in places like the basin of the Mediterranean Sea , in parts of the United States , South Africa and Australia . They can also be found in places like Spain , Morocco and Venezuela .
Importance of scrub
Probably, its greatest importance is found in the capacity that this type of vegetation possesses to be able to give greater protection to the soil thanks to the great vegetation coverage that it achieves through its plants. In them, it is possible to find a lot of vegetation that can and is used for medicinal purposes , a large amount of wood is obtained from them and many also provide food to humans and the animals that inhabit them.
Some examples of scrubs are mentioned below:
- Maquila in Italy
- Tomillar in Spain
- Batha in Israel
- Páramos of the Central Cordillera of Peru
- Costa Rica, Africa and Asia.