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The Mediterranean biome is comprised of semi-arid ecosystems (forest, grasslands, and shrub/chaparral) found in North America, Chile, Australia, South Africa and throughout the Mediterranean basin. These habitats of hardy and drought-resistant vegetation (conifer and deciduous shrubs) are generally found on the west coast of landmasses in latitudes (30°- 40°) characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

Endemic mixed vegetation often dominates on shallow, poor soils where fire has been a necessary condition for regeneration and nutrient cycling. Disturbed fire regimes and invasive species are some of the primary causes of environmental degradation and habitat loss. Human activities such as tourism, logging, agriculture and livestock grazing have also contributed significantly to the loss of biodiversity in these regions. Drought, soil salinization and desertification are now becoming serious problems in many Mediterranean ecosystems.


Restoration Actions to Combat Desertification in the Northern Mediterranean (ReAction)
ReAction aims at establishing a database on land restoration to fight desertification by inventorying well-documented restoration projects in the northern Mediterranean, exploiting the research results produced in projects on restoration, specially those of the EC programmes, for selecting the most appropriate methodology to evaluate the results of restoration projects, providing restoration guidelines in the light of a critical analysis of old and innovative techniques, and facilitating access to high quality information to forest managers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders for the promotion of sustainable mitigation actions.

Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo (CEAM)
CEAM was created as a response to the need for potentiating research and development in environmental technology in the Mediterranean countries, where applied engineering within very rigid (mono-) discipline structures has traditionally predominated. In addition, available evidence indicates that a significant part of the environmental procedures and technologies developed in North America and in the Central and Northern European countries are not directly applicable to the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean Basin, and their indiscriminate use there can create more problems than it solves.

FAO State of the World’s Forests 2003
Vegetation in countries within the Mediterranean basin is fragmented into a mosaic of different types as a result of variations in climate, topography and soils, as well as a long history of human activity. Landscapes range from unexploited natural ecosystems to those shaped by centuries of human habitation.

Mediterranean Biome
This biome actually goes by several names.  It is found surrounding  large parts of the Mediterranean Sea and is thus sometimes called the Mediterranean Biome, others call it a Woodland Biome, while others call it a Shrub or Chaparral Biome.

Mediterranean Shrublands
Regions of Mediterranean-type climate occur roughly between 30° and 40° latitude on the west coasts of continents, where offshore there are cold ocean currents. Each region in which the Mediterranean shrublands and woodlands occur is island-like in character and thus there is frequently a high degree of endemism.

Banksia-dominated Woodlands near Perth, Western Australia

kings-park-beforegrn.jpg   kings-park-aftergrn.jpg
(Photos Courtesy of Kings Park and Botanic Garden)

Kings Park and Botanic Garden operates a restoration science group involved in restoration of post-mined biodiverse ecosystems – here we see Banksia dominated woodlands near Perth Western Australia prior and four years after with up to 70% of pre-mined diversity reinstated.

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