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What lives on scrubland?

Mediterranean scrublandMediterranean scrublandIn lands where the climate is too hot and dry for larger plants and trees to grow, shrubs (woody plants that are shorter than most trees) and bushes are found instead. This is called scrub. Many scrubland plants are covered in thorns to stop animals eating them. Scrubland is found in semi-deserts. These are very dry lands, but have just enough rain to allow plants to grow. Scrubland is also found in regions that have Mediterranean climates: long, dry summers and short, wet winters.


Mediterranean scrubland

Bontebok in scrubland, South AfricaBontebok in scrubland, South Africa

Large areas of scrubland are found in places with a Mediterranean climate, such as Southern Europe, North Africa, California, South Africa, Chile and parts of Western Australia. Hot, dry summers make it difficult for trees to grow tall there. Instead the land is covered by small evergreen shrubs such as strawberry trees, juniper, blackthorn, myrtle and sage. Many scrublands burst into flower at the beginning of spring, after the wet winter season. 

Low, soft-leaved scrublands around the Mediterranean coast are known as garrigue. The plants grow well in the windy, salty conditions. Lavender, sage, rosemary and wild thyme are all common garrigue plants.

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