The Mediterranean scrub, although commonly considered useless, is an ecosystem with ecological, social and cultural value. Generally speaking, the Mediterranean scrub consists of a degraded form of a former Mediterranean forest, but surprisingly, it is very rich in biodiversity, hosting a large number of floristic and faunal species.

 

FLORA

Some of the Park scrub plants are evergreen shrubs such as the kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), rock roses e.g. sun rose (Cistus albidus) and montpelier cistus (Cistus monspeliensis), Palestine buckthorn (Rhamnus lyciodes), flax-leaved daphne (Daphne gnidium) and the olea oleaster (Olea europaea subsp. europaea var. sylvestris). Herbs such as the white thyme (Thymus mastichina) and French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) also mark their presence in the scrub.

The beauty of the many flowers stands out in the scrub. These include the Peruvian lily (Scilla peruviana) the medicinal plants European centaury (Centaurium erythraea), earth smoke (Fumaria officinalis) and pipe vine (Aristolochia baetica), the wild orchids yellow bee orchid (Ophrys lutea), small-flowered tongue orchid (Serapias parviflora) and mirror bee-orchid (Ophrys speculum spp. Speculum) as well as the endemic Iberian carnation (Dianthus broteri).

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FAUNA

The Mediterranean scrub is home to numerous animal species, such as the large psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the common blackbird (Turdus merula), the great tit (Parus major), the small copper (Lycaena phlaeas), the blue-winged grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens) and numerous bees and ants. In addition to plants and animals, the scrub is also home to several species of fungi and lichens, which are equally important in the dynamics of this ecosystem.

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The scientific review of this text has had the collaboration of Arocha Portugal association.

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