Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Desert Ecosystem Landscape

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_494

This is a type of ecological landscape located in the extremely dry subtropical desert areas with little rainfall. Deserts have extreme continental climates with annual rainfalls of less than 250 mm. The precipitation variation is tremendous, and the evaporation exceeds the precipitation. The temperature changes are dramatic, and the daytime temperature range is large. Sand and dust storms are frequent. The soil is deficient of nutrients, and so few plants survive; whereas a few drought-tolerant small trees, subshrubs, small subshrubs and succulent cactus can survive. The plant community includes few species and has a simple community structure and low coverage. Some sites are completely exposed. Because the food resources are monotonous and deficient, few animal species live in these areas. They include insects, lizards, rodents and some birds. Many animals have adapted to the arid environment, through practising summer dormancy, adopting nocturnal activities, withstanding prolonged...

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