The world's mediterranean-type climate regions (including areas within the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia, California, and Chile) have long been of interest to biologists by virtue of their extraordinary biodiversity and the appearance of evolutionary convergence between these disparate regions. These regions contain many rare and endemic species. Their mild climate makes them appealing places to live and visit and this has resulted in numerous threats to the
species and communities that occupy them. Threats include a wide range of factors such as habitat loss due to development and agriculture, disturbance, invasive species, and climate change. As a result, they continue to attract far more attention than their limited geographic area might suggest.
This book provides a concise but comprehensive introduction to mediterranean-type ecosystems. It is an accessible text which provides an authoritative overview of the topic. As with other books in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in this book is on the organisms that dominate these regions although their management, conservation, and restoration are also considered.
In her research, Professor Karen J. Esler simultaneously navigates disciplinary depths in ecology to work across disciplines, allowing her to contribute to inter-disciplinary and applied spaces. Her goal is to understand how drivers of change influence population and community structure and processes in mediterranean-type ecosystems, arid ecosystems, and riparian vegetation. The applied aspect of this work has been to develop and translate best-practice advice for management, restoration, and conservation. She is head of the Department of Conservation Ecology & Entomology at Stellenbosch University and a core team member of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. Professor Esler is the South African representative on the International Society for Mediterranean Ecology, and a member of the International Cooperative for the Management of Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems (INCOMME) Dr. Anna L. Jacobsen's research examines plant structure and function, with a focus on woody plant anatomy and hydraulic transport. She has conducted research in arid and semi-arid shrub communities in both California and South Africa, with much of her research examining mediterranean-type plants and their responses to both drought and fire. As part of her research and as an active attendee of MEDECOS meetings, she has visited all five global MTEs and has participated in several global collaborative research projects. She has published numerous scholarly articles in her areas of expertise. Dr. Brandon Pratt is a plant ecophysiologist whose work focuses on mediterranean-type ecosystems. He has worked in both California and South Africa studying adaptations of shrub species to drought, fire, and the unique mediterranean-type environment. His work has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation, USA. As a professor, he teaches plant ecophysiology, ecosystems ecology, California natural history, and general botany at California State University, Bakersfield. He has regularly attended the mediterranean-ecosystems (MEDECOS) conferences since 2004.