subtropical evergreen forests composed primarily of xerophilic sclerophyll varieties. The crown cover is single-layered with a thick undergrowth of evergreen shrubs. The tree trunks are covered with strong bark or cork; the crowns are wide. The leaves are of the sclerophyll type, often turning into needlelike leaves. Sclerophyll forests are common in the subtropical zones of all continents, constituting about 3 percent of the earth’s forested area. They are most typical of the Mediterranean area, where they are represented by forests of evergreen oaks and other sclerophyll varieties (myrtle, rubber trees, wild olive). As the result of lumbering, fires, and the expansion of grazing land, hardleaf forests are giving way to sclerophyll shrubs (maquis and garigue in the Mediterranean, chaparral in California, and the scrub in Australia).
REFERENCESIl’inskii, A. P. Rastitel’ nost’ zemnogo shara. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.
Schmitheusen, I. Obshchaia geografiia rastitel’ nosti. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from German.)
Walter, H. Die Vegetation der Erde in ökophysiologischer Betrachtung, vol. 2. Stuttgart, 1968.