Scrubland is a plant community characterized by scrub vegetation. Scrubland consists of shrubs, mixed with grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Scrublands may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity. They may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance, such as fire. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as fire or browsing. Scrubland may be unsuitable for human habitation because of the danger of fire.

Desert scrublands

Xeric scrublands or desert scrublands, occur in the world's Deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregions, or in areas of fast-draining sandy soils in more humid regions. These scrublands are characterized by plants with adaptations to the dry climate, which include small leaves to limit water loss, thorns to protect them from grazing animals, succulent leaves or stems, storage organs to store water, and long taproots to reach groundwater.

Mediterranean scrublands

Mediterranean scrublands occur naturally in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub biomes, located in the five Mediterranean climate regions of the world. Scrublands are most common near the seacoast, and have often adapted to the wind and salt air of the ocean. Low, soft-leaved scrublands around the Mediterranean Basin are known as garrigue in France, phrygana in Greece, tomillares in Spain, and batha in Israel. Northern coastal scrub and coastal sage scrub occur along the California coast, strandveld in the Western Cape of South Africa, coastal matorral in the central Chile, and sand-heath and kwongan in Southwest Australia.

Interior scrublands

Interior scrublands occur naturally in semi-arid areas where soils are nutrient-poor, such as on the matos of Portugal which are underlain by Cambrian and Silurian schists. Florida scrub is another example of interior scrublands.

Dwarf shrubs

Some vegetation types are formed of low-growing or creeping shrubs. These include the maquis of Mediterranean climates, and the acid-loving dwarf shrubs of heathland and moorland.

Other scrub

Scrub vegetation also occurs as part of other habitats, such as grasslands, heathlands and dune vegetation.


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