Desert Ecosystem

Deserts are formed in regions with less than 25 cm of annual rainfall, or sometimes in hot regions where there is more rainfall, but unevenly distributed in the annual cycle.
  • The climate of these biomes is modified by altitude and latitude. At high altitudes and at greater distance from the equator the deserts are cold and hot near equator and tropics.
  • The perennial plant like creosote bush, cactus are scattered throughout the desert biomes.
  • In shallow depressed areas with salt deposits geese wood, seep wood and salt grasses are common.UPSC Prelims 2024 dynamic test series
  • Because water is the dominant limiting factor, the productivity of a given desert is almost directly dependent on the rainfall. Where soils are suitable, irrigation can convert deserts into productive agricultural land.

  • They are mostly shrubs
  • Leaves are absent or reduced in size
  • Leaves and stem are succulent and water storing
  • In some plants even the stem contains chlorophyll for photosynthesis
  • Root system is well developed and spread over large area
  • The annuals wherever present germinate, bloom and reproduce only during the short rainy season, and not in summer and winter
  • Various other xerophilous adaptations are resorted to such as reduced leaves, thick hairy growth, succulence, coatings of wax, thick cuticle, protected stomata, etc., all having for their object of reduction of transpiration

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