The Chaparral Biome?
The Chaparral Biome Correctly Defined
To use the term biome properly and include all five geographical regions with sclerophyllous plant communities in the category, the biome's name needs to reflect what is actually being identified rather than using a term that applies to only one locale. The correct all-inclusive category would be the Mediterranean Shrubland Biome.
Incorrectly labeled as Chaparral
For example, a biome website that labels non-native grassland as chaparral also mistakenly suggests that chaparral plants have "heavy bark." Where the heavy bark idea came from is unclear (chaparral shrubs have notoriously thin to non-existent bark), but it may be referring to the conifers shown in the forest photo on the same site, which is also mistakenly labeled as chaparral. Our review of photos identified as chaparral on the web has shown that most are not chaparral at all. This includes photos from professional photo sites like Shutterstock.
Chaparral Ecosystem. All inclusive.If one wants to include all the living (biotic) and non-living components (soil, water, sunlight, etc.) that interact in the chaparral, it is reasonable to identify the subject of study as the chaparral ecosystem.
Chaparral Habitat. Species specific.Habitat specifically refers to an area that has the resources needed to support a particular species. So, chaparral can be a specific habitat type that supports a specific animal, such as the Scrub Jay. Chaparral Plant Community. All about the plants. This category can be very specific because it relates to an association or grouping of various plant species within a geographic area that is generally contiguous and uniform. When the uniform patch changes, it becomes another plant community. This category can also be used to distinguish between two different chaparral types that are right next to each other, such as a red shanks stand adjacent to a chamise stand.