Life in Desert


Desert ecosystem

  • Desert ecosystem is the sum of the interactions between both biotic and abiotic processes in arid regions, and it includes the interactions of plant, animal and bacterial populations in a desert habitat, ecosystem and community.


Adaptations in desert ecosystem

  • Organisms create adaptable situations around them on the basis of their needs, called as adaptation.
  • Plants living in desert reduces leaves to spines, to stop transpirational loss of water (e.g., kalabanda), store water in the stem, called as succulent stems.
  • Desert plants are called as xerophytes.
  • Some desert plants show stone like swollen leaves to reduce water loss. E.g., pebble plants.
  • Desert adaptations of animals- 
Hump - stores fat for later use
Long eye lash - protects from sand
Voluntarily closing nostrils -  protects from sand
Long legs - keeps body away from hot ground
  • The side-winder adder snake crawl sideways to keep body cool.
  • Animals swim through the sand to escape the heat. E.g., golden mole rat.
  • Some animals show physiological changes to adapt with desert environment. E.g., kangaroo rat (synthesises water through digestion)