Parallel regions

Lee Poulsen
Mon, 23 Nov 2009 11:50:53 PST
I was going to mention to Tom, that one of the examples that is already 
written about are the parallel mediterranean climates around the world, 
such as is described in the book Bracey mentions, but Bracey beat me to 
it. And if you travel to any of the 5 locations, you will find much 
borrowing of the flora from the other 4 regions.

However, the intriguing thing about Tom's computer-based concept is that 
you might be able to discover a number of what we might call parallel 
mediterranean micro-zones, in unconventional locations around the world. 
And this isn't just pie in the sky thinking. It just so happens that at 
least one such micro-zone is known to exist at approx. 3000 ft. a.s.l. 
on the western slopes of Haleakala on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

If you look at the annual rainfall and temperature patterns at the 
weather stations located in this region, you'll find that they 
surprisingly mirror those found in Calif., Chile, Western Cape of South 
Africa, Mediterranean countries, and Perth and Adelaide in Australia. 
And if you go there you will find vinifera grape orchards and Protea 
farms for the florist trade.

It would be interesting to see, once Tom gets his model all programmed 
and running  ;-)  if there are any other little "islands" of 
mediterranean climate elsewhere in the world.
I would be curious to see how similar the maritime climates of 
Washington state (incl N. Oregon and S. British Columbia), southern 
Chile, western South Island in New Zealand, Ireland & Great Britain are 
to each other and to other possible parallel locations or "island" 
micro-zones. I'm sure there are many other possibilities.

So, Tom, when will you have this wonderful project up and running?
;-) :-)

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a

Bracey Tiede wrote:
> What an intriguing idea!  I have a book that does something very much like
> this for mediterranean climates around the world.  
> It's called Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates by Peter R.
> Dallman with Preface by Robert Ornduff from the California Native Plant
> Society and University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-20809-0, published in
> 1998.
> The book contains many references to altitude, weather, soil conditions,
> ocean influence, and plant characteristics that make up these climates.
> Data was pulled to create maps and charts to show similarities between the
> plants in far apart places.  Both men were Professor Emeritus with U.C., one
> in pediatrics and one in integrative biology.  
> More info at 
> Cheers,
> Bracey
> San Jose CA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Tom Mitchell
> One of the odd things about gardening in Britain, which is like  
> nowhere else on earth in the unremitting dreariness of its climate,  
> is that we can successfully grow a very wide range of plants  
> outdoors, including many from regions with unrecognisably different  
> climates. Perhaps this has more to do with the mulish refusal to  
> accept defeat of some British gardeners than the natural propensity  
> of, say, Juno irises to grow in the soggy conditions that we can  
> offer them. Given our relatively impoverished native flora (those  
> pesky ice ages) it is ironic that such diversity of plants will  
> thrive, or at least survive, with some help. Some of the greatest  
> challenges to extending the range of plants that can be grown well  
> are low summer temperatures; the frequent absence of long periods of  
> cold; stop-start springs and, at least in my case, wet soil in  
> winter, but not hardiness.
> A project that I have been pondering for some time might be relevant  
> to this discussion. It concerns the potential for using geographic  
> information systems like Google Earth to visualise 'parallel  
> regions'. Because GIS systems superimpose layers of different  
> information, it should be possible (easy even) to redraw the map of  
> the world based on whatever criteria you like. For example, if the  
> data existed, one could ask the system to display all regions of the  
> world lying between 500m and 1,000m asl, with a winter minimum  
> temperature higher than -10 degrees Centigrade, with a certain  
> minimum number of degree days in summer, overlying calcareous rocks...

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