Conserving California chapparal and woodlands ecoregion
The California chapparal type is characterized by shrubby species with broad, sclerophyllous leaves. Located in southern California in low mountains, it occurs at elevation from 0 to 1000 meters. The most common species in the chapparal type are chamise [Adenostema fasciculatum], manzanitas [Arctostaphylos] sp., ceanothus [Ceanothus] sp. and liveoaks [Quercus] sp. Shrub cover varies with elevation. Higher elevation are characterized by dense thicket-like growth, but at lower elevation the shrub are in an open stand and evenly distributed. Some fescue, brome, and needlegrass species are found in open areas. Some grazing occurs in the natural chapparal, but conversion of the area to grassland by prescribed burning and seeding is usually necessary. Chapparal species sprout vigorously following fire and perpetuate themselves at the expense of other species. The open southern areas are grazed more than the dense northern areas. Deer occur in high numbers, particularly where openings have been created by fire, chemical, or mechanical means. Removal of the shrubby species without replacement by grasses leads to extensive and destructive erosion. The chapparal is a major watershed for irrigation and domestic water supplies.
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