Legumes in the Fire-Prone Mediterranean Regions: an Example From Greece
International Journal of Wildland Fire
6(2) 77 - 82
AbstractMediterranean climate ecosystems of the Mediterranean rim are rich in legumes, both as woody shrubs of the late successional stages and as short-lived, pioneer herbaceous plants. In a survey of the floras of numerous geographic regions of Greece, legumes in Mediterranean parts are found to contribute considerably more (11-16% of the total number of species) than in non-Mediterranean regions (6-8%). Legume presence is also notable in other Mediterranean-type ecosystems of the world; nevertheless most leguminous taxa of the Mediterranean basin are herbs in contrast to a significant contribution of shrubs in California and Chile. Due to their long-lived soil banks of hard coated seeds herbaceous legumes are usually among the early post-fire colonizers in the Mediterranean and may play a significant role in the succession of fire-prone communities.
Keywords: Mediterranean ecosystems; Greece; Legurninosae; Ecological success
© IAWF 1996