Q. The words “macchia, maquis and chaparral” are related to which of the following?

[A] Shrub vegetation

[B] Tropical vegetation

[C] Tundra vegetation

[D] Alpine vegetation

Answer: A

Chaparral is sclerophyllous vegetation that is tolerant of seasonal drought.  

  • It consists of small trees, woody grasses and oleose, xerophytic shrubs that form a nearly continuous cover of intertwined branches.  
  • Usually less than 10 per cent of the ground is bare, though the proportion may be higher at inhospitable sites.  
  • Where annual precipitation is in the range 250–500 mm, plants may be only 1–2 m high, while crowns may reach 3.5–4 m where precipitation is 500–750 mm.  
  • In California chaparral is common at elevations of 300–1500 m. It occupies 3.4 million ha (8.5 per cent) of the state, particularly in its southern part and at moderate elevations. 
  • The European synonym for chaparral, maquis (in Italian, macchia, plural macchie), is derived from the Corsican word for a species of sun rose (Cistus), which is often a striking component of the maquis community. 

Source: G C Leong