California Chaparral Biome

The Chaparral, also know as California woodland and grasslands, is found on the coast of California in western North America.

You could find this biome in a section of the Sierra Nevada. It's latitude range is 53° to 65º North in the coastal range but the mountain range is at 32° to 60º North.

The California Chaparral has peaks that rise up to 5,000 feet above sea level and the mountains are steeply sloped. The valleys and streams are narrow and widely spaced.The chaparral biome climate is usually hot and dry in the summers, and rainy and mild in the winters. The temperature ranges from 53° to 65° F in the coast range and 32° to 60° F in the mountains. Precipitation ranges from 12 to 40 inches per year, and comes down mostly as rain. Most of the rain falls in the fall, winter and spring. It increases with elevation. The snow that comes in winter melts fast. Frost and a little freezing weather occurs in the winter. The Chaparral biome contains all four seasons: winter, fall, spring, and summer.

The plants that live in the Chaparral are oaks, pines and mahoganies, and brush such as narrow leaf golden brush. These different plants are adapted to the Chaparral because of the climate and all the room they have to grow. The plants have adapted by conserving water through small, waxy leaves and being able to live with as little water as possible. The Chaparral contains approximately 2,036 of plants other than trees.

Some of the animals and birds that live in the chaparral are the Sonoma Chipmunk, Suisu Shrew, Scrub Jays, and Acorn Woodpeckers. There's 100 different kinds of birds. The animals and birds have adapted to the Chaparral because the climate and the food(other animals and plants). The animals also have adapted to the fires in the Chaparral. Many of the animals and plants depend on the fires for regeneration. The plants need fire because Lauvel Sumac seed coats need fire to open them so new plants can grow.

Humans have hurt the California chaparral by cutting down the trees which the birds and animals live in. People are cutting down the trees because they need fire wood and pasture. In some ways people have helped the chaparral by repairing ares and water sources which have been destroyed by domestic animals and water diversion.

by Sophia W. 2002


"[Biomes - Living Worlds] :: Chaparral :: Plants" (2/8/02)

"[Biomes - Living Worlds] :: Chaparral :: Animals" (2/8/02)

"WWF Scientific Report -- California interior chaparral and woodlands (NN1202)" (10/29/01)

"Terrestrial Ecoregions -- California interior chaparral and woodlands" (NA1202) (10/29/01)

"California Coastal Range Open Woodland--Shurb--Coniferous Forest--Meadow Province", (10/18/01).

"California Chaparral Field Institute (11/18/06)