Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Diversity of California : Biomes & Ecoregions

California's unique climate and soils, coupled with complex topography, lays the foundation for a state high in species richness, diversity and endemism. 

Within the boundaries of the state of California, one can explore 4 of the world's 14 major biomes :

o   Temperate conifer forests

o   Temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands

o   Mediterranean forests, woodlands and scrub

o   Desert shrublands

California can be further divided into ten ecoregions
Source: Jepson Manual
Northwest (NW)                                                            Sierra Nevada (SN)
Cascade Range (CaR)                                                    East of Sierra Nevada (SNE)
Modoc Plateau (MP)                                                     Southwest (SW)
Central West (CW)                                                        Mojave Desert (DMoj)
Great Valley (GV)                                                           Sonoran Desert (DSon)

With perhaps 1,000 distinct plant communities within these ecoregions, California supports highly varied habitats rich in biodiversity.  In fact, California is considered one of only a handful of "biodiversity hotspots" worldwide. 

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