Included here is the Island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Eastern Madagascan Ericoid Thicket

At high altitude above about 1800 m the montane sclerophyllous forest gives way to a thickets dominated by ericaceous species, which has only recently been explored biologically. They have a single, often impenetrable, stratum of woody plants growing to no more than about 6 m tall, and virtually all of the species are evergreen, ericoid types. In fact, the genus Erica (heather) has undergone massive speciation here. The chief components include mainly endemic species of Ericaceae (principally Philippa and Vaccinium), Asteraceae (principally Helichrysum, Psiadia, Senecio, Stenocline, Stoebe, Vernonia) and Rubiaceae. Somewhat less common are various endemic species of the Gentianaceae, Lamiaceae and Melastomataceae, but all have the ericoid habit. Scattered throughout the thicket are a few bushy trees emerging slightly above the general canopy including endemic trees such as Dodonaea madagascariensis (Sapindaceae) and Tambourissa gracilis (Monimiaceae), while on the massif of Manongariva the endemic palm Chrysalidocarpus acuminum (Arecaceae) occurs.  Lianas and vascular epiphytes are absent except for a few small orchids, but epiphytic bryophytes and lichens are plentiful. The ground layer is also poorly developed, but includes a few endemic species of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae), and of the families Cyperaceae and Poaceae. Other endemic species occur in damp, peat filled depressions, while on the dryer outcrops draught tolerant endemics of Aloe, Kalanchoe and Helichrysum occur. One endemic species of particular interest is Sedum madagascariense (Crassulaceae) since this is the only Malagasy representative of this largely northern latitude genus. 

Eastern Madagascan Rupicolous Shrublands

These areas are analogous to the bushlands of rock outcrops in Africa, but because of their lower stature, usually less than 2 m; the Malagasy versions are more accurately described as shrublands. The plants are usually rooted in crevices between rocks or on mats of thin soil, but because the soils tend to dry out rapidly between rain most of the species are draught resistant. The most frequent shrubs include several endemic members of the succulent genus Aloe including A. helenae and A. suzannae (Asphodelaceae). Other shrubs likely to be encountered are Cyanotis nodiflora, three species of Xerophyta of which X. dasylirioides is the most widespread, and the endemic Myrothamnus moschatus (Myrothamnaceae). The associated grasses include several endemic species mainly of the genera Aristida, Heterpogon, Hyparrhenia and Loudetia, while four grasses, Redfieldia hitchcockii and three species of Isalus are confined to inselbergs. Other herbaceous species in the ground layer include orchids of the genera Anagraecum and Cynorkis, many endemic species of Kalanchoe, and the endemic legume Mundulea phylloxylon (Fabaceae).


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