Phrygana (Greek Φρύγανα ) is the name for the tree- low, up to one meter high, evergreen shrub, plant plant formation which large parts of the landscapes of the northeastern Mediterranean covers (Greece, Crete, Turkey and Cyprus). The already by Theophrastus ( 371-287 BC) related term was introduced in 1877 by Theodor von Heldreich in the Vegetation Science.
In the western Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy and Maghreb ) has, however, prevailed for the present vegetation communities in the same ecological role of the term garrigue. Other regional names are " Tomillares " (Spain ), " Trachiotis " (Cyprus) and " Batha " (Israel). In contrast to the maquis, whose representatives are formed from reduced to shrub tree species - which can be understood to refer to reduced forest - are the typical representatives of the Phrygana likewise woody plants, but those that would also trained never like a tree without growth retardation. As mediterranean area-wide umbrella term " garrigue " is used.
However, other authors also differentiate for the Eastern Mediterranean between garrigue and Phrygana; usually a typical plant height is indicated by a meter, whereas areas with looser, only up to half a meter high vegetation are called Phrygana for the garrigue. These dominate the spine reinforced ball bush plants which are resistant to grazing by goats or sheep are well adapted to wind and drought and immune. Further reduction of Phrygana ultimately leads to the growth form of rock drift, also called " steppe " in the English-speaking area.
Macchia, Phrygana or rock drift occur mostly not isolated as the predominant growth form, but change like a mosaic from or merge into each other, due to soil formation and composition. However, there are landscapes whose vegetation consists only of representatives of the Phrygana.
Phrygana or garrigue develops in the combination of grazing and fire clearance from the maquis on increasingly degraded soil. Phrygana recovers quickly after fires in the original condition, the frequent, often intentionally set fire exert a high selection pressure on the plant and animal community from. In the spring a number of geophytes and a variety of therophytes that the main contributors to the often high alpha diversity have (up more than 100 plant species in 100 sqm) of this vegetation type appear.
The companies of the Phrygana be placed in the class Cisto - Micromerietea julianae Oberdorfer in the phytosociological system. Typical shrubs of Phrygana are capitate thyme ( Thymbra capitata ), prickly burnet ( Sarcopoterium spinosum ), Thymbra mountain mint ( Satureja thymbra ), Greek sage (Salvia fruticosa ), Mediterranean Helichrysum ( Helichrysum stoechas ), Greek Steinimmortelle ( Phagnalon rupestre subsp. Graecum ), Thorny broom ( Genista acanthoclada ) Hairy gorse ( Calicotome villosa ), Quirlblättrige heath (Erica manipuliflora ), Dornbusch spurge (Euphorbia acanthothamnos ) Krähenbeerenblättriges St. John's wort (Hypericum empetrifolium ) and various members of the genera Cistus (Cistus ), needle florets ( Fumana ), fire herbs ( Phlomis ) and germander ( Teucrium ).