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Earth's Deserts - Research Paper Example

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The writer of the essay "Ecology Research paper about the deserts" suggests that though the desert ecosystem gives us an impression that it may remain unharmed by human activities because of its desolation, desert continues to be a threat today. It is our job to conserve its wildlife and vegetation…
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Earths Deserts
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Download file to see previous pages The most important abiotic factor which influences the desert ecosystem is rainfall. Most deserts are characterized by the fact that it experiences little or no rainfall. The deserts receive a total of less than 300 mm of rainfall per year, where a rainforest receives about 2000 mm. The lack of rain, and ultimately water in a desert makes the vegetation scarce and influences the adaptation of the plants and organisms. Plants such as cacti which are very common in a desert ecosystem have adapted to the scarcity of water by storing water in their stems. The saguaro cacti do not have very deep roots, allowing it to soak up rain and dew before it evaporates. It's spongy surface inside expands to hold more water (Cunningham n.d.). Bushes develop small and few leave, but long roots to adapt to the harsh conditions by conserving water. Some plants are short lived and grow only during when rain is available.
Temperature is another important factor which has a great impact on the ecosystem which ultimately is affected by another abiotic factor, sunlight. The temperature in the deserts reaches its extremes on a daily basis because there is no humidity in the desert air to block the Sun rays. Mean annual temperature in North American deserts like Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mojave, for example, is 20-25° whereas it can reach up to 49°. Minimum temperature here can drop to -18° as well. But temperatures can be so high that rain starts falling and gets evaporated whilst it reaches the ground (The desert biome. (n.d.).
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