The Mediterranean shrubland biome is found in those regions located towards the pole-ward margins of sub-tropical high pressure cells. Here Koppen’s mesothermal hot and dry summer type (Csa) distinctive climate exists.
Because of the climatic conditions the plants are drought-resisting during their period of highest activity. The vegetation varies between woody shrubs and grassy woodlands.
The climatic requirements result in distinctive vegetation type with their hard-surfaced leaves and roots that probe deeply for water. The leaves must be capable of photosynthesis with minimum transpiration.
Because of extreme summer drought the natural vegetation in this biome is sclerophyllus (hard-leafed) and drought resistant. Where precipitation amount is large enough dense woodland are found. They consist of pine, oak, cedar, madrone, walnut and chestnut trees.
Deciduous oak is also found in areas where drought is less severe. Cork oak found in these woodlands is considered to be a valuable asset to the wine industry of the region. Eucalyptus trees are found in Western Australia.
Low scrubby bushes are the most characteristic natural vegetation of the Mediterranean biome. Chaparral, maquis, mattoral and mallee are the local names given to these bushes in California, France, Chile and Australia respectively.
In areas of low rainfall and poor soil, a few taller trees here and there in the midst of low growing evergreens like rosemary, myrtle, laurel and arbutus are found. However, grass is uncommon in this biome. That is why there is shortage of cattle and abundance of goats in the Mediterranean biome.
Long summer drought encourages fruit growing. Olive, figs and vine are the native fruits here. So the Mediterranean climates are well-known for commercial agriculture for subtropical fruits, vegetables and nuts. This biome is famous for the production of olives and almonds.