The Mediterranean

Earth’s major ecosystems: the Mediterranean

During summer, the whole Mediterranean region is dominated by subtropical anticyclones that bring North African heat and aridity. During winter, the European climate prevails when westerlies bring cyclones with rain and cold air. Areas dominated by this Mediterranean climate occupy only a small part of the Earth’s surface.

  • The Mediterranean flora is well-adapted to hot summers and resistant to desiccation, using various water conservation strategies.
  • Much of what we consider “Mediterranean” looked much different in the past. The depletion of forests started in Greco-Roman times and resulted in extensive karst formation. Today, overgrazing impedes forest regeneration in many places.
  • Among vultures: the natural disposal of carcasses.
  • Wander through Mediterranean landscapes and environments: evergreen cork oak forests, almost impenetrable maquis shrublands, sparsely vegetated Garrigue scrublands, and barren semi-desert.

Among vultures

Camargue