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Transcript of The Earth
Sources and citation
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and its deserts
by Gabriel Marte
What is it?
A desert is a place that receives 10in/25cm of precipitation or less a year. An estimate of one seventh of the Earth's surface is covered by a desert.
Types of Deserts
There are numerous types of deserts currently known but the main four are...
Where do they form?
The red areas on the map indicate deserts.
Hot and Dry
Great Basin desert
Antarctica(yes, Antarctica is a desert)
Climate and Temperature
The temperature of a desert fluctuates violently over the course of 24 hours. Temperatures can range from 20-25° C during the day to -18° C at night. This sudden drop in temperature is caused by the lack of moisture in the air.
The sudden increase in humidity, temperature, wind speeds, and precipitation is due to the coming of the summer monsoons- a season which occurs between June and August
Wind patterns and Soil Composition
The soil of a desert is the result of constant erosion and abrasion due to wind. Wind is also a the reason why we see massive dunes like these...
Deserts usually have large sand dunes made out of very fine sand. some deserts can also be made out of a combination of rocks, shrubbery, and occasionally oasis.
There are many limiting factors withing a desert. Some examples are...
Deserts often lack the necessary conditions for life to exist. Because of this every organism, big and small, can have a huge significance in the ecosystem.
Annual plant that prefers sandy soil and can thrive in unfavorable conditions for life. this plant grows very rapidly and out-competes other native species for resources. this plant now occupies 75% of wildflower fields across California and Arizona.
Argentine Cactus Moth
Small (22-35mm) grayish-brown moth that feeds on prickly pears(an Opuntia species). Their larvae are capable of destroying a majority of the populations of these plants. The invasion of these species could lead to the destruction of Opuntia species that serve as food for wildlife such as deer, javelina, rodents,
Populus fremontii S. Wats.
Significance in the environment...
The Cottonwood is a large desert tree growing from 12m-35m. It serves as food,habitat and shade for organisms in the desert. They help stabilize sediment, preventing erosion and support a diverse array of animal species.
Significance in the community(Biotic Effects)...
Roadrunners are the
of lizards, grasshoppers, mice, sometimes birds, and other large invertebrates. Without them, the population of these organisms will boom(especially the insects) and may have harmful effects on the ecosystem. They serve as
for snakes and some mammals. These mammals include skunks, coyotes, house cats and raccoons.
California Fan Palm Oases
Scavengers and Decomposers
Common Raven Corvus corax
There are 3 basic principles that plants and animals that live in the desert follow...
"When the going gets tough, die...
but leave behind tough seeds/eggs. This is what annual wildflowers do"
Even though this "Bahia" has a very short life, it makes sure to leave seeds to repopulate
"When the going gets tough, leave...
go north or south, go up or down a mt., change activity from day to night or from above ground to below."
To avoid the heat, this "Kangaroo Rat" burrows underground during a hot day.
*note* all images in this section come from this link..
"When the going gets tough, take it...
but you better have good desert adaptations like these plants."
This tree survives by enduring. It has very long roots capable of sucking up any source of water it finds, be it underground or rain.
A keystone species is a species in which other organisms greatly depend on- so much that it's removal would greatly affect the status of the ecosystem
A community is a group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat.
Abiotic Factors are non-living factors within an environment (soil, pH, water, Temp.)
An ecosystem is a system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) interacting together.
Significance in community(Abiotic effects)...
Roadrunners use their environment as a defense mechanism instead of altering it. For example, the typical nesting places of roadrunners are cacti, thorn bushes and small trees. Their nests are lined with leaves, grass, feathers, snakeskin, and other materials.
According to the IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list , although the population range has expanded, there seems to be no sign of threats or long term effects.
*status via IUCN*
Biotic factors pertain to anything living, and their products(waste) within an environment.
There is a group called the "Mojave Desert Land Trust" whose mission is to protect the Mojave desert ecosystem and its scenic and cultural resource values. you can read more about their goals in this link...