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Desert


The deserts have a very varied location and are characterized by very sparse vegetation.

The soil is very arid and the rainfall is low and irregular, below 250 mm of annual water. During the day the temperature is high, but at night there is rapid heat loss that radiates into the atmosphere and the temperature becomes excessively low. Plants that adapt to the desert usually have a short life cycle. During the rainy season the seeds germinate, grow, flower, fruit, disperse the seeds and die.

Evergreen plants such as cacti have shallow root systems that cover large areas. These roots are adapted to absorb the passing rainwater.

Water storage is very large (aquifer parenchyma). The leaves are transformed into thorns and the stem starts to photosynthesize.

Consumers are predominantly rodents, getting water from their own food or from dew. In the northern hemisphere it is very common to find evenly distributed shrubs in the deserts as if they had been planted in regular spaces. This is explained as a case of amensalism, that is, vegetables produce substances that eliminate other individuals growing around them.