South American Chilean Matorral

The Chilean matorral of south western South America is the only area on the continent where Mediterranean shrubland exists. The region has dramatic topography with the Andes Mountains (Cordillera de los Andes) rising to 2200 m (7218 ft) on Chile's eastern border, the Central Valley paralleling with the Coast Range (Cordillera de la Costa ) flanking to the west, and then dropping to sea level within less than 200 kilometers (124 miles). Matorral vegetation occurs on the slopes and foothills of the Coast Range and Andean Mountains with soils that are poorly developed, shallow and coarse in texture.