Daniel Sánchez Mata
Senior Botany Professor
Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
Topic: Plant Life In Extreme Habitats : A Geobotanical Overview On California Ultramafic (Serpentine) Flora And Vegetation
Ultramafic rocks are found worldwide, from Arctic to equatorial areas and extending into the southern hemisphere. Ultramafic areas are very well represented throughout the Pacific Northwest territories of North America. There is a great diversity of habitats found in ultramafic areas, and their soils support a highly valuable biodiversity.
Within this broad area, California is a privileged territory. Its varied climate together with the proliferation of a massive local occurrence of ultramafics have created a hotspot of ‘serpentine’ biodiversity including flora and plant communities.
A complete geobotanical overview is briefly presented for a reasonable understanding of the specialized (xero-edaphic) vegetation developed on these peculiar sites.