(of a plant or animal) adapted to a very dry climate or habitat, or to conditions where moisture is scarce.
from Greek, xēros, meaning 'dry', and philos, meaning 'loving'
xerophile | ˈzɪərə(ʊ)fʌɪl | noun
The wooded area of Australia contains a large number of xerophilous trees and woody shrubs which thrive in regions receiving less than 25 cm of rain per annum. Country devoid of tree growth is rare, the conditions being due to lack of suitable soil rather than lack of rainfall. Sand dunes, rock exposures, and clay pans are the most common treeless areas.
The Darebin Parklands are in a typical dry sclerophyll (Greek: 'tough' + 'leaf') habitat. Dry Sclerophyll Forest (DrySF) is found on a range of clay-loam, sandy-loam and shallow rocky soils of exposed hillsides, mostly between 200 and 1000 m above sea level, with rainfall between 550 and 1000 mm a year. About half of the area once supporting DrySF in Victoria falls on public land while a little over one fifth is represented in conservation parks and reserves. About 45% of all DrySF has been permanently cleared for agriculture or urban development. In a dry sclerophyll forest, xerophilous species abound. Such habitats can withstand long periods of drought successfully, with regeneration when rain falls.
DrySF is an ecosystem with relatively small and often crooked, spreading trees, usually less than 25 m tall, over a normally sparse understory of wattles and small-leafed shrubs, and a dense and species-rich ground cover of grasses and small herbs. The tree canopy is usually a mixture of stringybarks (commonly Eucalyptus macrorhyncha - Red Stringybark, Eucalyptus obliqua - Messmate, Eucalyptus globoidea - White Stringybark), boxes (commonly Eucalyptus polyanthemos - Red Box, Eucalyptus goniocalyx - Long-leaf Box), peppermints (commonly Eucalyptus radiata - Narrow-leaf Peppermint, Eucalyptus dives - Broad-leaf Peppermint) and gum-barked species (commonly Eucalyptus viminalis - Mannah Gum, Eucalyptus cypellocarpa - Mountain Grey-gum, Eucalyptus melliodora - Yellow Box). The composition of the canopy varies from place to place and sometimes according to the history of forest use but in any area of forest there is seldom fewer than five eucalypt species.
This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
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