Eastern Mediterranean conifer–sclerophyllous–broadleaf forests
The ecoregion covers an area of 143,800 square kilometers (55,500 sq mi). In southern Turkey, it occupies the coastal lowlands
between the mountains and the Mediterranean
, extending from Antalya
and including the Çukurova
plain in between. It then extends eastwards through southern Turkey to where the borders of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey meet, and southwards along the eastern Mediterranean through the Levant
– western Syria, Lebanon, West Bank
, northern Israel, and the Jordanian Highlands
. The Druze Mountains
in central Syria are an outlier. Isolated mountaintop pockets (Jabal al-Lawz
, etc.) are found in the Midian Mountains
and Hijaz Mountains
of northwestern Saudi Arabia
Several large cities are in the ecoregion, including Adana
, and Mersin
in Turkey; Aleppo
, and Latakia
in Syria; Beirut
in Lebanon; Tel Aviv
, and Haifa
in Israel; Gaza
in Palestine; and Amman
The ecoregion has a Mediterranean climate
, with a mild, rainy winter and hot dry summer. Rainfall varies across the ecoregion. It is generally higher on coastal-facing slopes, ranging from 1,000-1,250 mm annually near Antalya to 650-850 mm in Mersin, Adana, Iskendurun, and coastal Syria and Lebanon. Rainfall is lowest in the eastern and southernmost parts of the ecoregion, with less than 450 mm annually in eastern Anatolia, the interior of Syria, southern Israel and Palestine, and the Jordanian Highlands.
Turkish pine is more common in the Turkish coastal region, and Aleppo pine in the Levant. Neither pine is found naturally in the eastern Mesopotamian part of the ecoregion.
Maquis is found on coastal slopes in southern Anatolia and along the Levantine coast. Maquis is an open-canopied evergreen woodland, with an understory of shrubs, herbs, grasses, and geophytes
. The predominant trees are olive
), Palestine oak
, sometimes classified as Q. coccifera
, sometimes classified as P. palaestina
), and Arbutus andrachne
. Much of the maquis has been degraded by frequent fires and over-grazing.
The eastern and southernmost portions of the ecoregion are mostly low shrubland and grassland with a semi-desert character.
The golden jackal
) has become the top predator in most of the ecoregion. The Caracal
) can be found in the shrublands and mountains, and wild boar
) in woodlands and forests. The eastern portion of the ecoregion has scattered populations of spotted hyaena
) and Persian gazelle
The large predators lion
), Syrian brown bear
(Ursus arctos syriacus
), and cheetah
) have been mostly or completely extirpated from over-hunting and habitat loss.
A 2017 assessment found that 1,147 km², or less than 1%, of the ecoregion is in protected areas. Another 1% of the ecoregion had relatively intact habitat but is outside protected areas.
Some protected areas include:
- ^ a b c Eric Dinerstein, David Olson, et al. (2017). An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm, BioScience, Volume 67, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 534–545; Supplemental material 2 table S1b. 
- ^ "Eastern Mediterranean conifer-broadleaf forests". Ecoregions 2017. Accessed 25 April 2020. 
- ^ a b c d "Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- ^ Horowitz, Aharon (2014). The Quaternary of Israel. Academic Press, May 10, 2014.
Last edited on 15 February 2021, at 16:12
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