deserts Name

March 2010

                                         All About The DEsert
                                    Abiotic Factors
The Abiotic features of the desert are the temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity, and density of light, because these all effect the way life is. Animals and plants have already adapted to the factors and if one of them changed the animals and plants would probably die.

Why is the desert  
       important?
The desert is globally important because
 it effects everything else. Most duct 
particles in the global atmosphere 
originate from deserts. Nutrients carried
 by desert dust enhance growth in 
oceanic phytoplankton by increasing the 
productivity of some marine ecosystems 
and also of nutrient-poor tropical soils.

 Activities
camping
hiking
biking
fishing
Points of Interest
Pyramids
National Parks
Museums
Other Biomes Nearby
Savannas
Grasslands

             

                 Weather


      The average precipitation in deserts is usually under 10 inches a year. The average temperature can often reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit  or higher in the day and drop to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at night. Many deserts have mild winters, while others have freezing temperatures and snow. It all depends on where you are.

   

     



What should you bring?

     To make the trip as enjoyable as you can; wear light colored clothing. Before going on the trip, keep up on your water and vitamin C so you will be hydrated and ready to go. Wear light clothing and bring a jacket or you’ll be freezing at night. Bring a good pair of sneakers if you plan on walking a lot.



  Endangered                 
       Animals 












                                         LAPPET-FACED VULTURE









KANGAROO RAT









DESERT TORTOISE

   Like many places on Earth, deserts are in danger of global warming. With the already hot temperatures, try too imagine it being even hotter! Animals, plants, and people may not be able to survive. Offroading is one of the human activities that hurt the desert. Their vehicle tracks kill the scarce vegetation. The plants take many years to grow and have to spread out. If the plants are harmed, so are the animals. Grazing animals can destroy many desert plants. Higher temperatures may also cause an increase in the amount of wildfires that could eliminate slow-growing plants and replace them with fast-growing grasses.

In the Mojave desert Mountain lions, Townsend’s big-eared bat, the desert tortoise and many other animals are endangered. The Lappet-faced Vulture is categorized as vulnerable. There are many more animals but the Sonoran desert toad, the cactus Wren, the Great Roadrunner, the Kangaroo Rat, the sidewinder rattlesnake, and the Fennec fox are some of those.



       Warning!
Adaptations of Native Plants and Animals

PLANTS

Cacti soak up water with a sponge like inside layer and its growth is very slow. The Acacia and the Ocotillo shrubs shed there leaves during drought which slows the loss of moisture from evaporating, but also slows the growth of the plant. Slowing growth helps plants use less water, food, and energy during hot seasons. Other plants have knife-like leaves that prevent water loss by giving the sun a smaller area to evaporate water. Another type of plant exposes only a few of its leaves to the sun. The rest of the plant remains underground, safe from the sun and heat. Other plants remain hydrated with their deep roots. The Mesquite tree has roots that extend 100 feet into the ground, tapping water from underground aquifers. The Creosote bush has chemicals on the roots to keep other plants out of their way. The Joshua tree has needle-like leaves with a waxy resin that prevents much water from evaporating.



ANIMALS

                         Cooperation and Competition


Examples of cooperation and competition between and among species is several populations sharing a small habitat. Like different types of birds living in one cacti or fish in a small amount of water. Different species of plants also compete for water and space. They don’t grow very close together because they need to absorb as much water as they can get. Like the Creosote bush that uses its chemical roots to keep other plants away.

Most desert animals are small to medium in size. However, some large animals live on the edges. Elephants are known to live in Southern Africa. They maintain their body heat through their ears. Quite a few of the animals that live in the desert get water through their food. Roadrunners get their water from lizards, insects, small snakes, and other animals. Tortoises get their water from cacti and other plants. Lizards get their water from plants and insects. Probably the best adapted animal in the desert is the Addax, which

is a type of antelope, doesn’t need to drink because it receives enough water from the plants it eats. Some animals store fat instead of water to survive. Most animals are light in color which absorbs less heat from the sun. Amazingly, fish also live in the desert.

Pictures without a link are from a copyright free website  Wikimedia Commons