The world's mediterranean-type climate regions (including areas within the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia, California, and Chile) have long been of interest to biologists by virtue of their extraordinary biodiversity and the appearance of evolutionary convergence between these disparate regions. These regions contain many rare and endemic species. Their mild climate makes them appealing places to live and visit and this has resulted in numerous threats to the species and communities that occupy them. Threats include a wide range of factors such as habitat loss due to development and agriculture, disturbance, invasive species, and climate change. As a result, they continue to attract far more attention than their limited geographic area might suggest. The Biology of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems provides a concise but comprehensive introduction to mediterranean-type ecosystems. As with other books in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in this book is on the organisms that dominate these regions although their management, conservation, and restoration are also considered.
The Biology of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems is intended for students, naturalists, practitioners, and professionals without any previous knowledge of mediterranean-type ecosystem ecology. It is an accessible text suitable for graduate students and researchers of mediterranean-type ecosystem ecology and geography, as well as professional ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and conservation biologists requiring a concise, authoritative overview of the topic.
2: Characteristics of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems
3: Painting the Picture: The Living Template
4: Diversity and Community Structure
5: Choreography: Life in Motion
6: Form and Function of Mediterranean Shrublands
7: Ecosystems Processes
8: The Modern Stage: Transformation
9: Planning for the Future
In her research, Professor Karen J. Esler simultaneously navigates disciplinary depths in ecology to work across disciplines, allowing her to contribute to inter-disciplinary and applied spaces. Her goal is to understand how drivers of change influence population and community structure and processes in mediterranean-type ecosystems, arid ecosystems, and riparian vegetation. The applied aspect of this work has been to develop and translate best-practice advice for management, restoration, and conservation. She is head of the Department of Conservation Ecology & Entomology at Stellenbosch University and a core team member of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. Professor Esler is the South African representative on the International Society for Mediterranean Ecology.
Dr. Anna L. Jacobsen's research examines plant structure and function, with a focus on woody plant anatomy and hydraulic transport. She has conducted research in arid and semi-arid shrub communities in both California and South Africa, with much of her research examining mediterranean-type plants and their responses to both drought and fire. As part of her research and as an active attendee of MEDECOS meetings, she has visited all five global MTEs and has participated in several global collaborative research projects. She has published numerous scholarly articles in her areas of expertise.
Dr. Brandon Pratt is a plant ecophysiologist whose work focuses on mediterranean-type ecosystems. He has worked in both California and South Africa studying adaptations of shrub species to drought, fire, and the unique mediterranean-type environment. His work has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation, USA. As a professor, he teaches plant ecophysiology, ecosystems ecology, California natural history, and general botany at California State University, Bakersfield. He has regularly attended the mediterranean-ecosystems (MEDECOS) conferences since 2004.