Introduction to California Chaparral

ISBN-10: 0520245660
ISBN-13: 9780520245662
Edition: 2006
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Description: The characteristic look of California Chaparral--a soft bluish-green blanket of vegetation gently covering the hills--is known to millions who have seen it as the backdrop in movies and television productions. This complex ecological community of  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 9/20/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.462
Language: English

The characteristic look of California Chaparral--a soft bluish-green blanket of vegetation gently covering the hills--is known to millions who have seen it as the backdrop in movies and television productions. This complex ecological community of plants and animals is not just a feature of the hills around Hollywood, but is a quintessential part of the entire California landscape. It is a highly resilient community adapted to life with recurring fires and droughts. Written for a wide audience, this concise, engaging, and beautifully illustrated book describes an ancient and exquisitely balanced environment home to wondrous organisms: Fire Beetles that mate only on burning branches, lizards that shoot blood from their eyes when threatened, Kangaroo Rats that never drink water, and seeds that germinate only after a fire, even if that means waiting in the soil for a 100 years or more. Useful both as a field guide and an introductory overview of the ecology of chaparral, it also provides a better understanding of how we might live in harmony, safety, and appreciation of this unique ecological community. Identifies chaparral's common plants, animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects Features 79 color illustrations, 56 black-and-white photographs, and 3 maps Examines the role of humans and fire in chaparral, covering the placement and design of homes, landscaping, and public policy

Preface
Acknowledgments
The California Chaparral
Fire and Chaparral
Where Is Chaparral Found?
Chaparral Is Found with Other Vegetation Types
Coastal Sage Scrub Is Not Chaparral
How Organisms Are Named
Mediterranean Climate
The Pacific High
Rainfall-Always Unpredictable
Winds That Carry Water or Take It Away
Temperature
Microclimates
Convergence
Rain Beetles Mate Only When There Is Rain
Fire
The Fire Cycle
The Fire Regime
Sources of Ignition
Aboriginal Burning
Nineteenth-Century Fire
Fire Patterns in the Twentieth Century
Modern Fires
Natural Responses of Plants and Animals to Fire
Plants
An Evergreen, Shrubby Vegetation
Common Shrubs and Shrub Families
The Rose Family (Roseaceae)
The Buckthorn Family (Rhamnaceae)
The Heath Family (Ericaceae)
The Oak Family (Fagaceae)
The Sumac Family (Anacardiaceae)
Other Chaparral Shrubs
Conifers: Cypresses, Pines, and Bigcone Douglas Fir
Common Herb and Subshrub Families
The Waterleaf Family (Hydrophyllaceae)
The Poppy Family (Papaveraceae)
The Lily Family (Liliaceae)
The Legume Family (Fabaceae)
The Snapdragon or Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae)
Other Chaparral Herbs and Subshrubs
Introduced Weeds
Animals
Mammals
Rodents (Order Rodentia)
Rabbits and Hares (Order Lagomorpha)
Deer and Bighorn Sheep (Order Artiodactyla)
Carnivorous Mammals (Order Carnivora)
Birds
Perching Birds (Order Passeriformes)
Hawks (Order Falconiformes)
Owls (Order Strigiformes)
Reptiles
Snakes (Order Squamata, Suborder Serpentes)
Lizards (Order Squamata, Suborder Lacertilia)
Amphibians
Insects and Arachnids
Insects (Class Insecta)
Trap Door Spiders, Ticks, and Scorpions (Class Arachnida)
Other Chaparral Insects
Living with the Chaparral
Prescribed Fire
Fuel Reduction and Fuel Breaks
Artificial Seeding of Burns
Fire Creates Its Own Weather
Geographic Risk
Floods
Threats to Chaparral
Options for Wise Growth
The Value of Chaparral
Glossary
Supplemental Readings and References
Art Credits
Index

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