Glossary

Definitions of key terms and words used used by the CASCADE project and in this website.


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macchia mediterranea

bushy vegetation made up of shrubs and low trees (Italian). See also matorral, maquis, Mediterranean scrubland.

maquis

A vegetation type of the Mediterranean area, mainly composed of evergreen broadleaved shrubs, less than about 5m high (French).


matorral

Type of shrubby vegetation cover as found in Spain, comparable to the French maquis and garrigue and macchia mediterranea.

Mediterranean scrubland

Mediterranean scrublands have resulted from the interaction between natural factors and very ancient human disturbance. The main control on the ecosystem is the annual summer drought. This intense hydric stress imposes a set of adaptations (such as sclerophyllous leaves) and characteristic structures of the plants.


mesocosm

An experimental tool that brings a part of the natural environment under controlled conditions. In this way mesocosms provide a link between observational field studies that take place in natural environments, but without replication, and controlled laboratory experiments that may take place under somewhat unnatural conditions.

montado

Oak savanna in Portugal, with cork oaks (Quercus suber) or holm oaks (Quercus rotundifolia) and cultivated fields, or, most typically, grasslands.


multiple stable states

Several stable states coexisting under a given range of conditions. Whether a system ends up in one or another depends on the history of the system (the initial conditions). (from Kéfi 2008, Ph.D. Thesis, p.14).


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