Desert

By: Justin, Ali & Braeton

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Desert terrain

The desert is traditionally seen as dunes of sand stretching for miles, but that might not be the case. In a hot and dry desert the ground is usually coarse textured and shallow gravely soil. The plants there are usually short and have water conserving traits. In a semiarid desert the ground is fragmented rock of either sand or gravel. Plants here are usually spiny. Coastal deserts have fine textured soil and have plants that can soak up loads of water.
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Plant Species and adaptations

Animal Species and Adaptions

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Food Web

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Interactions Between Organisms

Predation- Hawks in the desert eat a variety of food. When the hawk swoops down and claims its prize of a wood rat it is oncsidered predation. The predator (hawk) is feeding on the prey (rat).

Mutualism- When an animal such as a desert pocket mouse eats the fruit of a prickly pear cactus it will eventually poop it out. When it is out of the body the seeds inside the feces go elsewhere and germinate. The mouse gets a tasty treat and the cactus gets its seeds spread.

Commensalism- In the desert the cactus wren often times makes its nest in a cholla cactus. As the bird gets its young in the nest, the cactus is neither harmed or hurt from the interaction.

Parasitsim- Fleas suck the blood of other animals for survival. When the fleas suck the blood of a kangaroo in the australian desert the flea gets its share of blood and the kangaroo is not helped. The flea takes advantage of the kangaroo at its expense.

Competition- The coyote in the desert and the sidewinder rattlesnake both fight over wood rats. Both feed on the rat and there is only a limited amount of rats so they compete against each other for that resource

Stages of Sucession

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Stage 1- In stage one there is very little plants and animals as the land is barren and not yet developed. The animals do not have any plants to feed on so they aren't found in this stage.

Stage 2- In this stage shallow root plants grow as well as many shrubs and bushes. Small trees are starting to grow but there isn't that much vegetation. Few insects are there but all in all animals really have not start coming.

Stage 3- This stage of succession shows that there are small cacti and bigger bushes. There is allot more growth than in stage one. Some primary and secondary consumers have started to come such as mice or lizards.

Stage 4- In this stage of succession the community is almost back to its original state. There are large cacti and trees in the area. The shrubs and bushes in the area have also grown. The ground is crawling with animals with the addition of tertiary and quaternary predators such as snakes and birds of prey. The area is flourishing and looks great.

Human Impacts

Interesting Facts

1.There are parts of the Atacama Desert where no rain has ever been recorded. Scientists believe portions of the region have been in an extreme desert state for 40 million years.

2. It snowed in the Sahara desert in 1979.

3. There was once camels roaming in the deserts of Arizona.

4. Only 15% of the Sahara dessert is covered in sand.