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The Biology of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems$
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Karen J. Esler, Anna L. Jacobsen, and R. Brandon Pratt

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198739135.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 Introduction
The Biology of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems

Karen J. Esler

Anna L. Jacobsen

R. Brandon Pratt

Oxford University Press

Mediterranean-type climate (MTC) regions have long been of interest to scientists and they formed the basis for many early ecological studies. This has included comparisons of the vegetation within these regions (mediterranean-type vegetation) as well as other functional, climatic, and historical studies and comparisons. Comparing MTC regions and the species that occur within them has been used to test the evolutionary convergence hypothesis. Continuing scientific interest in MTC regions is linked to their unusually high levels of species richness and biodiversity. These regions have the highest species richness outside of the tropics, particularly in vascular plant diversity, as well as high levels of endemism. International research activities and meetings have provided the opportunity for scholars to collaborate across MTC regions and have fostered an active comparative research environment from the 1960s to the present.

Keywords:   Biodiversity hotspots, biomes, convergent evolution, mediterranean-type climate (MTC), mediterranean-type vegetation (MTV), shrublands

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