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Conservation issues: California chaparral

February 6, 2016

California chaparral, a sclerophyllous shrub-dominated plant community shaped by a Mediterranean-type climate and infrequent, high-intensity fire, is one of the most biodiverse and threatened habitats on Earth. Distinct forms of chaparral, distinguished by differing species composition, geography, and edaphic characteristics, can cover thousands of hectares with dense vegetation or be restricted to smaller communities identified by the presence of endemic species. To maintain the biodiversity of chaparral, protective land management actions will be required to mitigate the loss due to the impacts of human population growth, development, climate change, and increased fire frequencies.