Two main types of vegetation are widespread in the Park. Of
these the maquisis undoubtedly a type of sclerophyllous
(evergreen, leathery and spiny leaves) vegetation. It is dominated by shrubs
and, although these vary very much in height and species from place to place,
they are predominantly of the same life-form: although some are near-leafless,
spiny plants, the great majority are evergreens with leathery, drought-resistant
foliage. Species like the wild olive (Olea europaea), the carob (Ceratonia
siliqua), the lentisk (Pistacia lenti.scus), the Kermes oak (Quercus
coccfera), the cistus (Cistus spp.) and the arbutus (Arbutus unedo)
are typically sclerophyllous, but they are often mixed with heathers (Erica
spp.), gorse (Ulex spp.) and broom (Genista spp.) which are of
different life-forms. Many types of maquis have been recognised, often within
the same general area, each being named after its dominant species .
Garrigue also covers large areas in the Park,
particularly on more pervious outcrops such as limestone. Although some species
of typical maquis reappear in garrigue along with a number of really
low-growing, prickly shrubs, typical garrigue communities are characterised by
aromatic, herbaceous plants and should not therefore be classed as true
sclerophyllous vegetation. Species of the deadnettle family (Labiatae) and
thyme (Thymus spp.) are characteristic in many places.
Though there is no doubt that much of this present-day maquis
and garrigue occupies the territory of former forests, it is also certain that,
over limited areas, these scrub communities are true climatic climax. This is
probably true of areas where very pervious rocks and wind exposure give
exceptionally dry habitats.
1. Which species respond most successfully to fire damage and
2. How does fire affect the relavative abundance of species?
3. Does competition from neighbours affect resprouting?
4. Does slope angle affect the degree of resprouting or
5. Does aspect affect the degree of resprouting or reseeding?
6. Does fire intensity affect the degree of resprouting or
7. How does fire affect soil nutrient content and structure?
8. Does fire damage favour certain species, and can these
species encourage further fires?
9. Does fire disturbance result in higher species diversity?