- Deserts and xeric shrublands
Definition and occurrence
Deserts and xeric shrublands receive an annual average rainfall of ten inches or less, and have an arid or hyperarid climate, characterized by a strong moisture deficit, where annual potential loss of moisture from evapotranspiration well exceeds the moisture received as rainfall. Deserts and xeric shrublands occur in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climate regions. Desert soils tend to be sandy or rocky, and low in organic materials. Saline or alkaline soils are common. Plants and animals in deserts and xeric shrublands are adapted to low moisture conditions. Hyperarid regions are mostly devoid of vegetation and animal life, and include rocky deserts and sand dunes. Vegetation in arid climate regions can include sparse grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands. Plants adapted to arid climates are called xerophytes, and include succulent plants, geophytes, sclerophyll, and annual plants. Animals, including insects, reptiles, arachnids, birds and mammals, are frequently nocturnal to avoid moisture loss.
The conversion of productive drylands to desert conditions is known as desertification, and can occur from a variety of causes. One factor is human intervention in imposing intensive agricultural tillage or overgrazing in areas which cannot support such exploitation. Climatic shifts such as global warming or the Milankovitch cycle (which drives glacials and interglacials) also affect the pattern of deserts on Earth.
Desert and xeric shrublands ecoregionsAfrotropic Deserts and xeric shrublands
Seychelles Arabian Peninsula coastal fog desert Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen East Saharan montane xeric woodlands Chad, Sudan Eritrean coastal desert Djibouti, Eritrea Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan Gulf of Oman desert and semi-desert Oman, United Arab Emirates Hobyo grasslands and shrublands Somalia Ile Europa and Bassas da India xeric scrub Bassas da India, Europa Kalahari xeric savanna Botswana, Namibia, South Africa Kaokoveld desert Angola, Namibia Madagascar spiny thickets Madagascar Madagascar succulent woodlands Madagascar Masai xeric grasslands and shrublands Ethiopia, Kenya Nama Karoo Namibia, South Africa Namib desert Namibia Namibian savanna woodlands Namibia Red Sea coastal desert Egypt, Sudan Socotra Island xeric shrublands Yemen Somali montane xeric woodlands Somalia Southwestern Arabian foothills savanna Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen Southwestern Arabian montane woodlands Saudi Arabia, Yemen Succulent Karoo South AfricaAustralasia Deserts and xeric shrublands Carnarvon xeric shrublands Australia Central Ranges xeric scrub Australia Gibson Desert Australia Great Sandy-Tanami Desert Australia Great Victoria Desert Australia Nullarbor Plain xeric shrublands Australia Pilbara shrublands Australia Simpson Desert Australia Tirari-Sturt's Stony Desert Australia Western Australian mulga shrublands Australia Indus Valley desert India, Pakistan Northwestern thorn scrub forests India, Pakistan Thar desert India, PakistanNearctic Deserts and xeric shrublands Mexico Central Mexican matorral Mexico Chihuahuan desert Mexico, United States Colorado Plateau shrublands United States Great Basin shrub steppe United States Gulf of California xeric scrub Mexico Meseta Central matorral Mexico Mojave desert United States Okanagan (South) shrub steppe Canada Snake-Columbia shrub steppe United States Sonoran desert Mexico, United States Tamaulipan matorral Mexico Tamaulipan mezquital Mexico Wyoming Basin shrub steppe United StatesNeotropic Deserts and xeric shrublands Venezuela Aruba-Curaçao-Bonaire cactus scrub Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao Atacama desert Chile, Peru Caatinga Brazil Cayman Islands xeric scrub Cayman Islands Cuban cactus scrub Cuba Galápagos Islands xeric scrub Ecuador Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub Colombia, Venezuela La Costa xeric shrublands Venezuela Leeward Islands xeric scrub Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, Saba, US Virgin Islands Malpelo Island xeric scrub Colombia Motagua Valley thornscrub Guatemala Paraguana xeric scrub Venezuela San Lucan xeric scrub Mexico Sechura desert Peru Tehuacán Valley matorral Mexico Windward Islands xeric scrub Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Peter and Saint Paul rocks Brazil
- this is because it gets only ten inches of precipitation a year
Biomes and Ecozones Terrestrial
biomesPolar/montaneTemperate(Sub)tropicalDryMediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub · Deserts and xeric shrublandsWet
Other biomes Ecozones
- Deserts and xeric shrublands (World Wildlife Fund)
- Map of the ecozones
- Index to Deserts & Xeric Shrublands at bioimages.vanderbilt.edu
- Xeric World Online Community focused on the study of Xeric Plant Species.
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Look at other dictionaries:
Carnarvon xeric shrublands — The Carnarvon xeric shrublands or Carnarvon bioregion is a deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregion of Western Australia. The ecoregion covers an area of 90,500 square kilometers (34,900 square miles). The ecoregion is bounded by the Indian Ocean… … Wikipedia
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Déserts et broussailles xérophytes — Biome des déserts et broussailles xérophytes Le désert du Thar, Inde Car … Wikipédia en Français
List of North American Deserts — The North American Deserts includes all the deserts located on the continent. It is also the term for a large U.S. Level 1 ecoregion (EPA) of the North American Cordillera, in the Deserts and xeric shrublands biome (WWF). The continent s… … Wikipedia
West Saharan montane xeric woodlands — infobox ecoregion name = West Saharan montane xeric woodlands ecozone = Palearctic biome = Deserts and xeric shrublands climate = extreme in the dry and hot climate conservation = relatively intact countries = Northern Africa: Southeastern… … Wikipedia
North Saharan steppe and woodlands — The North Saharan steppe and woodlands is a desert ecoregion, in the Deserts and xeric shrublands biome, that forms the northern edge of the Sahara, adjacent to the Mediterranean Maghreb and Cyrenaica ecoregions of the Mediterranean forests,… … Wikipedia
Tibesti-Jebel Uweinat montane xeric woodlands — The Tibesti Jebel Uweinat montane xeric woodlands is a deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregion of northern Africa. It occupies two separate highland regions in the eastern Sahara, covering portions of Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan.ettingThe… … Wikipedia
Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests — Trinidad and Tobago dry forest on Chacachacare showing the dry season deciduous nature of the vegetation The tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest biome, also known as tropical dry forest, is located at tropical and subtropical latitudes … Wikipedia
Montane grasslands and shrublands — is a biome defined by the World Wildlife Fund. The biome includes high altitude (montane, subalpine, and alpine) grasslands and shrublands around the world. Montane grasslands and shrublands located above the tree line are commonly known as… … Wikipedia
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub — Euc … Wikipedia