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DESERT
ECOSYSTEM
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ECOLOGY
DONE BY,
SAYEEDA SUMAYYA SULTANA
1
CONTENT
 Introduction
 Formation of a desert
 Characteristics
 Biotic components
 Life in a desert
 Ecotone
 Types of desert
 Bibliography
2
INTRODUCTION
 An ecosystem is a geographic area
where plants, animals, and
other organisms, as well
as weather and landscape, work together
to form a bubble of life.
 Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts,
as well as abiotic factors, or nonliving
parts. Biotic
factors include plants, animals, and
other organisms. Abiotic
factors include rocks, temperature,
and humidity.
 There are different types of ecosystems
based on different climates, habitats, and
life forms. This means that ecosystems
can typically be divided into hundreds and
thousands of smaller systems.
 However, all such types generally fall into
one of the following two categories:
• Aquatic Ecosystem
• Terrestrial Ecosystem
3
 One such types of ecosystem is the Desert ecosystem.
4
DESERT ECOSYSTEM
Deserts are barren areas of land characterised by extremely high or low
temperatures, with low rainfall and scarce or no vegetation.
Deserts are examples of terrestrial ecosystems, which are found throughout
the world.
Neither all deserts are flat, nor do all deserts have cacti or oases.
These are regions with a short rainy season. It is scorching in the daytime, and
very cold at night in the desert.
Desert ecosystems exist worldwide and cover about 17 percent of desert areas.
Formation of a Desert
FORMATION Of DESERT IS EFFECT OF WIND
ON
MOUNTAINS.
 FIRSTLY, THE MOUNTAINS WILL ACT AS A
BARRIER, PREVENTING THE WIND FROM
CARRYING RAIN OVER THE DESERT.
THIS MAKES DESERTS VERY DRY.
 SECONDLY, AS THE WIND HITS THE
ROCKS OF MOUNTAINS, THEY WILL
CRUMBLE AND BECOME SAND. THIS
MAKES DESERTS SANDY.
 USUALLY, DESERTS ARE SITUATED FAR
FROM WATER. DESERTS CAN FORM
AROUND WATER, HOWEVER WHEN
THIS HAPPENS IT IS BECAUSE THE WIND
BLOWS HOT AND DRY SAND FROM ONE
LOCATION TO ANOTHER, TURNING THE
SECOND LOCATION INTO A DESERT.
 ALTITUDE IS ALSO AN IMPORTANT
FACTORS
5
DESERT
ECOSYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS
6
Aridity
It is the common characteristic of all the deserts on the earth. Aridity simply implies the deficiency of moisture’s or
dryness. Desert experience very less rainfall and thus result in aridity.
Extreme temperature
Desert ecosystems experience extreme temperatures during day and night. The days are very hot and the nights can be
extremely cold. It is the sole characteristic of all the desert ecosystems either hot or cold all lacks moisture.
Scarcity of water
Due to less rainfall, there is a shortage of water in a desert ecosystem. Due to the scarcity of water deserts have to face
the situation of drought half of the year.
The quality of the soil
In deserts is very low to grow vegetation. It is dry, rocky, thin, sandy, mainly grey in colour and has no organic contents
like nitrogen, phosphorus etc which are essential for the growth of plants.
The population density
Density Is very low in deserts and nearby areas as there is there a scarcity of water, food and climatic conditioner are
too harsh.
7
Less rainfall/ precipitation
Less precipitation is one of the major features of deserts and also the reason behind the dryness. The rainfall
in deserts is seasonal and occurs only for a limited duration. The annual rainfall that a desert receives every
year is just 25-30 centimeters.
Velocity of wind
It tends to be very high in a desert ecosystem. This is the reason deserts experience sandstorms/ dust storms
of high intensity resulting in the formation of huge sand dunes.
Humidity-
The humidity level in a desert ecosystem is very low in the daytime and relatively high at night.
Biodiversity in a desert ecosystem –
However, the survival in a desert ecosystem is very hard but despite the fact, deserts are home to various
plants and animals. The plants and animals have adapted to survive in the harsh and extreme conditions of
the desert.
Plants grow very slowly
In this ecosystem that includes basically vegetation’s with spines like cacti that can easily survive in such
conditions.
Biotic Components
Procedures
Examples :Shrubs, bushes, some grasses and few trees .In deserts
mostly Succulent (e.g., cacti) plants are found available. They have
water
inside them to stay alive. They have. r on the outside to protect them
from the sun.
Consumers
Examples :Squirrels, nice foxes, rabbits, deer and reptiles.
These animals dig holes in the ground to live in. They come out at night
to find food. Most of the animals can extract water from the seeds they
eat.
Decomposers
Examples: Fungi and bacteria
Desert has poor vegetation with a very low amount of dead
organic mater. They are decomposed by few fungi and bacteria.
8
9
Food web
10
Food web
Life in the Desert
 Desert plants grow far apart, allowing them to obtain as much water around
them as possible. This spacing gives some desert regions
a desolate appearance.
 In some deserts, plants have unique leaves to capture sunlight
for photosynthesis, the process plants use to make food. plants typically
have tiny, waxy leaves. Cactuses have no leaves at all.
 Some desert plants, such as cactuses, have shallow, wide-spreading root
systems.
 Other desert plants have very deep roots. The roots of a mesquite tree, for
example, can reach water more than 30 meters (100 feet) underground.
 Animals that have adapted to a desert environment are
called xerocoles. Xerocoles include species of insects, reptiles, birds, and
mammals. Some xerocoles avoid the sun by resting in scarce shade.
 Most xerocoles are nocturnal. They sleep through the hot days and do their
hunting and foraging at night.
 Some xerocoles have bodies that help them handle the heat.
11
Ecotone
 A transition zone where one plant community changes into another plant
community, usually caused by changes in the environment such as
changes in elevation or soil characteristics.
12
Example of ecotone between oasis and desert
environments. Desert vegetation on left, oasis on right.
TYPES OF DESERT
ECOSYSTEM
 Hot and dry
 semi-arid
 coastal
 cold desert
13
14
1. Hot and Dry Desert Ecosystem-
 These kinds of the desert
ecosystem have hot and
dry climatic conditions through the
air and have very low annual
rainfall.
 The hot desert ecosystem is
basically found in Central
America, South Asia, North
America, Africa, Australia etc.
 There are extreme variations in
temperature and soil is rough and
harsh.
 Many mean annual temperatures range
from 20-25° C. The extreme maximum
ranges from 43.5-49° C. Minimum
temperatures sometimes drop to -18° C.
• Flora: Vegetation in the Sahara
desert includes cactus, date
palms and acacia. We can find an
oasis in some places.
• Fauna: The animal species found
here are camels, hyenas, jackals,
foxes, scorpions and many
varieties of snakes and lizards.
15
Sahara desert
2.Semi-arid desert ecosystem-
 This ecosystem has stable ground,
hard rocks, and lesser sand dunes.
 Temperature isn’t extreme.
 The best example of this kind of desert
ecosystem is the Great Basin, which
gets a good amount of rainfall.
 summer temperatures usually average
between 21-27° C. It normally does not
go above 38° C and evening
temperatures are cool, at around 10° C.
 Creosote bush, bur sage,
white thorn, cat claw,
mesquite, brittle bush, and
jujube are the names of some
of the plants found in the
semiarid desert. Mammals such
as rabbits, kangaroo rats, and
skunks, along with
grasshoppers, ants, snakes, and
lizards, inhabit this desert.
16
Sagebrush of Utah,western U.S
3. Coastal desert ecosystem-
 The Atacama Desert in Chile
and Namib in Africa are a good
example of Coastal desert ecosystem.
 Such desert ecosystems are found
near the coastal lines of big water
bodies like oceans and seas and are
generally affected by the ocean
currents.
 The cool winters of coastal deserts are followed
by moderately long, warm summers. The
average summer temperature ranges from 13-
24° C; winter temperatures are 5° C or below.
The maximum annual temperature is about 35°
C and the minimum is about -4° C.
 Winter fogs are common here. They
are more hospitable than other desert
ecosystem and therefore they have a
more flora and fauna than others.
 Flora:The salt bush, buckwheat bush,
black bush, rice grass, little leaf
horse brush, and black sage
 Fauna: coyotes, badgers, toads,
insects, lizards, snakes, and birds
such as great horned owls, golden
eagles and bald eagles.
17
4. Cold desert ecosystem-
 This desert ecosystem comprises of
abundant rainfall throughout the
winters and less in summers and
generally has chilling winters with
snowfall.
 The summers are short, moderately
hot and moist here.
 The mean winter temperature is between -2
to 4° C and the mean summer temperature
is between 21-26° C.
 These are usually covered with snow
dunes. Such desert ecosystem can
be found in Greenland, Antarctica,
and Nearctic realm.
 flora: Plants in cold deserts
include algae, grasses, and plants
with spiny thin leaves.
 Fauna: Woolly Hare, Tibetan Gazzle,
Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black
Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Snow
Leopard, Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf
18
Greenland
Bibliography
 https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/des
ert
 https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-semi-
arid-desert-biome.html
 https://blog.desertmuseum.org/2022/01/04/weaving-
the-web-of-life/
 https://www.vedantu.com/geography/desert-
ecosystem
 https://www.slideshare.net/saravanamani1/ecosystem-
50288615?qid=3e9ebfa4-2699-47e2-a53a-
d63e15ced733&v=&b=&from_search=25
 https://www.earthreminder.com/desert-ecosystem-
types-characteristics/
 https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/deserts.ph
p
19
THANKYOU

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DESERT ECOSYSTEM AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS AND TYPES

  • 1. DESERT ECOSYSTEM RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ECOLOGY DONE BY, SAYEEDA SUMAYYA SULTANA 1
  • 2. CONTENT  Introduction  Formation of a desert  Characteristics  Biotic components  Life in a desert  Ecotone  Types of desert  Bibliography 2
  • 3. INTRODUCTION  An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life.  Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts, as well as abiotic factors, or nonliving parts. Biotic factors include plants, animals, and other organisms. Abiotic factors include rocks, temperature, and humidity.  There are different types of ecosystems based on different climates, habitats, and life forms. This means that ecosystems can typically be divided into hundreds and thousands of smaller systems.  However, all such types generally fall into one of the following two categories: • Aquatic Ecosystem • Terrestrial Ecosystem 3
  • 4.  One such types of ecosystem is the Desert ecosystem. 4 DESERT ECOSYSTEM Deserts are barren areas of land characterised by extremely high or low temperatures, with low rainfall and scarce or no vegetation. Deserts are examples of terrestrial ecosystems, which are found throughout the world. Neither all deserts are flat, nor do all deserts have cacti or oases. These are regions with a short rainy season. It is scorching in the daytime, and very cold at night in the desert. Desert ecosystems exist worldwide and cover about 17 percent of desert areas.
  • 5. Formation of a Desert FORMATION Of DESERT IS EFFECT OF WIND ON MOUNTAINS.  FIRSTLY, THE MOUNTAINS WILL ACT AS A BARRIER, PREVENTING THE WIND FROM CARRYING RAIN OVER THE DESERT. THIS MAKES DESERTS VERY DRY.  SECONDLY, AS THE WIND HITS THE ROCKS OF MOUNTAINS, THEY WILL CRUMBLE AND BECOME SAND. THIS MAKES DESERTS SANDY.  USUALLY, DESERTS ARE SITUATED FAR FROM WATER. DESERTS CAN FORM AROUND WATER, HOWEVER WHEN THIS HAPPENS IT IS BECAUSE THE WIND BLOWS HOT AND DRY SAND FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER, TURNING THE SECOND LOCATION INTO A DESERT.  ALTITUDE IS ALSO AN IMPORTANT FACTORS 5
  • 6. DESERT ECOSYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS 6 Aridity It is the common characteristic of all the deserts on the earth. Aridity simply implies the deficiency of moisture’s or dryness. Desert experience very less rainfall and thus result in aridity. Extreme temperature Desert ecosystems experience extreme temperatures during day and night. The days are very hot and the nights can be extremely cold. It is the sole characteristic of all the desert ecosystems either hot or cold all lacks moisture. Scarcity of water Due to less rainfall, there is a shortage of water in a desert ecosystem. Due to the scarcity of water deserts have to face the situation of drought half of the year. The quality of the soil In deserts is very low to grow vegetation. It is dry, rocky, thin, sandy, mainly grey in colour and has no organic contents like nitrogen, phosphorus etc which are essential for the growth of plants. The population density Density Is very low in deserts and nearby areas as there is there a scarcity of water, food and climatic conditioner are too harsh.
  • 7. 7 Less rainfall/ precipitation Less precipitation is one of the major features of deserts and also the reason behind the dryness. The rainfall in deserts is seasonal and occurs only for a limited duration. The annual rainfall that a desert receives every year is just 25-30 centimeters. Velocity of wind It tends to be very high in a desert ecosystem. This is the reason deserts experience sandstorms/ dust storms of high intensity resulting in the formation of huge sand dunes. Humidity- The humidity level in a desert ecosystem is very low in the daytime and relatively high at night. Biodiversity in a desert ecosystem – However, the survival in a desert ecosystem is very hard but despite the fact, deserts are home to various plants and animals. The plants and animals have adapted to survive in the harsh and extreme conditions of the desert. Plants grow very slowly In this ecosystem that includes basically vegetation’s with spines like cacti that can easily survive in such conditions.
  • 8. Biotic Components Procedures Examples :Shrubs, bushes, some grasses and few trees .In deserts mostly Succulent (e.g., cacti) plants are found available. They have water inside them to stay alive. They have. r on the outside to protect them from the sun. Consumers Examples :Squirrels, nice foxes, rabbits, deer and reptiles. These animals dig holes in the ground to live in. They come out at night to find food. Most of the animals can extract water from the seeds they eat. Decomposers Examples: Fungi and bacteria Desert has poor vegetation with a very low amount of dead organic mater. They are decomposed by few fungi and bacteria. 8
  • 11. Life in the Desert  Desert plants grow far apart, allowing them to obtain as much water around them as possible. This spacing gives some desert regions a desolate appearance.  In some deserts, plants have unique leaves to capture sunlight for photosynthesis, the process plants use to make food. plants typically have tiny, waxy leaves. Cactuses have no leaves at all.  Some desert plants, such as cactuses, have shallow, wide-spreading root systems.  Other desert plants have very deep roots. The roots of a mesquite tree, for example, can reach water more than 30 meters (100 feet) underground.  Animals that have adapted to a desert environment are called xerocoles. Xerocoles include species of insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Some xerocoles avoid the sun by resting in scarce shade.  Most xerocoles are nocturnal. They sleep through the hot days and do their hunting and foraging at night.  Some xerocoles have bodies that help them handle the heat. 11
  • 12. Ecotone  A transition zone where one plant community changes into another plant community, usually caused by changes in the environment such as changes in elevation or soil characteristics. 12 Example of ecotone between oasis and desert environments. Desert vegetation on left, oasis on right.
  • 13. TYPES OF DESERT ECOSYSTEM  Hot and dry  semi-arid  coastal  cold desert 13
  • 14. 14
  • 15. 1. Hot and Dry Desert Ecosystem-  These kinds of the desert ecosystem have hot and dry climatic conditions through the air and have very low annual rainfall.  The hot desert ecosystem is basically found in Central America, South Asia, North America, Africa, Australia etc.  There are extreme variations in temperature and soil is rough and harsh.  Many mean annual temperatures range from 20-25° C. The extreme maximum ranges from 43.5-49° C. Minimum temperatures sometimes drop to -18° C. • Flora: Vegetation in the Sahara desert includes cactus, date palms and acacia. We can find an oasis in some places. • Fauna: The animal species found here are camels, hyenas, jackals, foxes, scorpions and many varieties of snakes and lizards. 15 Sahara desert
  • 16. 2.Semi-arid desert ecosystem-  This ecosystem has stable ground, hard rocks, and lesser sand dunes.  Temperature isn’t extreme.  The best example of this kind of desert ecosystem is the Great Basin, which gets a good amount of rainfall.  summer temperatures usually average between 21-27° C. It normally does not go above 38° C and evening temperatures are cool, at around 10° C.  Creosote bush, bur sage, white thorn, cat claw, mesquite, brittle bush, and jujube are the names of some of the plants found in the semiarid desert. Mammals such as rabbits, kangaroo rats, and skunks, along with grasshoppers, ants, snakes, and lizards, inhabit this desert. 16 Sagebrush of Utah,western U.S
  • 17. 3. Coastal desert ecosystem-  The Atacama Desert in Chile and Namib in Africa are a good example of Coastal desert ecosystem.  Such desert ecosystems are found near the coastal lines of big water bodies like oceans and seas and are generally affected by the ocean currents.  The cool winters of coastal deserts are followed by moderately long, warm summers. The average summer temperature ranges from 13- 24° C; winter temperatures are 5° C or below. The maximum annual temperature is about 35° C and the minimum is about -4° C.  Winter fogs are common here. They are more hospitable than other desert ecosystem and therefore they have a more flora and fauna than others.  Flora:The salt bush, buckwheat bush, black bush, rice grass, little leaf horse brush, and black sage  Fauna: coyotes, badgers, toads, insects, lizards, snakes, and birds such as great horned owls, golden eagles and bald eagles. 17
  • 18. 4. Cold desert ecosystem-  This desert ecosystem comprises of abundant rainfall throughout the winters and less in summers and generally has chilling winters with snowfall.  The summers are short, moderately hot and moist here.  The mean winter temperature is between -2 to 4° C and the mean summer temperature is between 21-26° C.  These are usually covered with snow dunes. Such desert ecosystem can be found in Greenland, Antarctica, and Nearctic realm.  flora: Plants in cold deserts include algae, grasses, and plants with spiny thin leaves.  Fauna: Woolly Hare, Tibetan Gazzle, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf 18 Greenland
  • 19. Bibliography  https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/des ert  https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-semi- arid-desert-biome.html  https://blog.desertmuseum.org/2022/01/04/weaving- the-web-of-life/  https://www.vedantu.com/geography/desert- ecosystem  https://www.slideshare.net/saravanamani1/ecosystem- 50288615?qid=3e9ebfa4-2699-47e2-a53a- d63e15ced733&v=&b=&from_search=25  https://www.earthreminder.com/desert-ecosystem- types-characteristics/  https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/deserts.ph p 19 THANKYOU