All About the Chaparral

Description

Location

Most continents have a bit of the chaparral biome. The west coast of the US has some chaparral, as well as, Cape Town in South Africa and the southern tip of Australia. To be more specific, chaparrals can be found from 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Characteristics

The chaparral biome covers a very small portion of the earth–only 2%. However, it holds nearly 20% of the entire world’s plant diversity. It is generally hot and dry in the summer with mild summers

Soil Conditions

The soil in the chaparral biome is very nutrient-poor, and is vey vulnerable to erosion. Underneath the very thin layer of soil is usually bare rock or extremely thin clay. Because of the composition, it takes a very long time for the chaparral to produce fertile soil.

Climate Conditions

The majority of the time, the chaparral biome is very arid. During the day, the temperature can rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but can be as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit at night. During the summer, the chaparral receives very little rain. Most of the precipitation that occurs in the chaparral biome is during winter, where there can be up to 25 centimeters of precipitation. Rain totals to be, at most, 17 inches, and narrowly beats the desert biome for the least amount of rain yearly.

Below is a precipitation graph of the chaparral biome. (The blue bars represent the average temperature for each month.)

chaparral biome prec.png

 Below is a temperature graph for the chaparral biome.

chap temp.png

Plants and Animals

1) Coyote Brush

coyote brush

 

The coyote brush is a very common chaparral biome plant. The coyote bush is a wiry evergreen that looks like a bush, but it can shape itself to take on a different shape depending on its location. It has small greyish leaves with jagged edges. They have a waxy coating and are fire-retardant. On hot summer days, the coyote brush oozes oils that are unappetizing and help it from being eaten. The coyote brush is a common home for small insects, and is considered a chaparral pioneer species.

2) Fairy Duster

fairyucter

 

The fairy duster is a plant with a large pink puff ball as its flower. Surprisingly, the flower has the ability to bloom all year, but, understandably, it usually blooms from May to June. The fairy duster is a shrub that never grows beyond 3 feet tall, and its leaves are very small. Many chaparral animals use the fairy duster as food.

3) Puma

puma

 

The carnivorous puma is usually a solid color, although that color may very from a tawny red to a dark amber. Although it looks similar to a lion, it can not roar. Instead, it makes a screeching noise. The puma can adapt to the ever-changing chaparral quite easily. Although the puma prefers deer, it also consumes insects, birds, and mice. Currently, pumas are a regulated species.

Their Adaptations

The chaparral is a very water-lacking environment, and a main component of life is water. To keep water within themselves, many plants have a waxy outer texture on their leaves. The wax prevents dehydration. However, it also has another use; the wax repels many animals from consuming it, allowing the plant to live longer. Another adaptation is that chaparral plants often lose their leaves before winter. This helps reduce the amount of energy they need to obtain and helps to retain water.

 

 

 

 

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