Mediterranean Acacia-Argania dry woodlands

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Mediterranean Acacia-Argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets
Arganier.JPG
Argan tree, which is dominant in these woodlands
Ecology
Biome Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
Borders Mediterranean woodlands and forests, North Saharan steppe and woodlands and Atlantic coastal desert
Geography
Area 1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi)
Countries Morocco, Western Sahara and Canary Islands
Conservation
Conservation status Critical/endangered[1]

The Mediterranean Acacia-Argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets is a Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregion in North Africa centered mainly on Morocco but also including northwestern Western Sahara and the eastern Canary Islands.

Geography[edit]

This ecoregion occupies 1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi) in Morocco, northwestern Western Sahara, and the eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and associated islets). On the African mainland, it encompasses the Atlantic coastal plain, the lowlands of Al Haouz Province, the valleys of the Sous River and Draa River, and the westernmost part of the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains.[1]

It has either a Mediterranean climate or a semi-arid climate or even an arid climate given that mean annual rainfall is below 500 millimetres (20 in) and falls as low as 50 millimetres (2.0 in) in the driest areas of the ecoregion. The winters are mild and frost-free and the summers relatively cool because of the moderating influence of the ocean. Temperatures average 18 to 20 °C (64 to 68 °F).[1]

The Mediterranean Acacia-Argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets ecoregion is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean woodlands and forests, on the east by the North Saharan steppe and woodlands, on the south by the Atlantic coastal desert, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.[1]

Ecology[edit]

The chief plant communities in the ecoregion are dominated by Argania spinosa accompanied by Acacias, and the predominant lower vegetation is succulent shrubland dominated by Euphorbias. Some of the associated plant species are Periploca laevigata, Senecio anthephorbium, Launaea arborescens, Warionia saharae, Acacia gummifera, Rhus trpartitum, Withania frutescens, Euphorbia officinarum, Cytisus albidus, Ephedra altissima and Tetraclinis articulata.[1]

There are a number of plants endemic to the Canary Islands part of the ecoregion, and the white-toothed shrew is the only mammal endemic there. On the mainland, a number of mammals are found in this ecoregion. These include the honey badger, European wildcat, Egyptian mongoose, Barbary ground squirrel, North African elephant shrew, Hoogstraal's gerbil, Barbary striped grass mouse and wild boar. Other, rarer mammals include caracal, African wildcat, dorcas gazelle, Cuvier's gazelle and Barbary sheep.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Mediterranean Acacia-Argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets, in Northern Africa". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 25 November 2016.