What is a Chaparral Biome?
There are a few locations around the world that experience what’s called a Mediterranean Climate (because the Mediterranean region is one of them). This is characterized by the kind of precipitation pattern we experience here – namely: winter wet and summer dry (very dry). The result is that during the season when one might expect plant growth to be at its optimum (i.e. summer – fall) lack of water presents a problem. Such climates are (reasonably) prone to fire, and support species that are fire-adapted. Locally, the typical chaparral species are and open canopy with vegetation and grass patches, the shrubs are manzanita, buckbrush, and short – sometimes shrub-sized oaks). Vegetation around the Buddhist Temple in the Colestin Valley is an excellent example.
Generally, vegetation is largely heathland / shrubland – woodland comprising many species that are evergreen and exhibit tough, thickened (jargon alert – sclerophyllous) leaves that are structurally able to resist water shortage because their rigidity prevents wilting damage (think of a manzanita, madrone, or oak leaf compared to a maple). Vegetation is often not dense, though it maybe dense in some places and in patches.
Location where Chaparral occurs are the western U.S. (where we are), CA, Cape Town in South Africa, South-eastern Australia, and (da – daaa) the Mediterranean.