Biology

Desert and Swamp Forest with their characteristics

Olawunmi Omosanya - Wed, 29th May, 2019 @ 16:45: PM



Deserts and Swamp Forest:

Alongside the tropical rainforest and savanna, the desert and swamp forest are also considered as major biomes of the world. Read on the characteristics of tropical rainforest and savanna here

Recall that a biome, also called a biotic community is the largest natural community of different organisms interacting and living in the same environment.

Now let’s take a look at the desert and swamp forest.

 

a. Desert

Deserts are often considered to be dry land or arid land or a land with very little water. The desert environment is usually very hot; with very little or no rainfall.

An environment may be defined as all external factors, internal factors, living factors and non-living factors that affect an organism.

The heat, air, water, food, objects around us, animals around us, people around us, plants and so on; all constitutes or make up our environment.

The living factors in an environment are sometimes referred to as the biotic factors or component while the non living factors are referred to as the abiotic factors or component.

Deserts can be classified into 2 types. They are:

  • Hot Deserts
  • Cold Deserts

 

Hot Deserts

The hot deserts are located on the western coasts of continents within latitudes 15o North and 30o South of the equator.

Characteristics of Hot Deserts
  1. They have a very low annual rainfall of about 250mm.
  2. The vegetation found in the hot desert is very sparse and scanty.
  3. The land is a dry or arid.
  4. Cold currents are very common here.
  5. The little vegetation that may be present will include grasses, herbs and shrubs.
  6. The relative humidity is very low.
  7. The plants found here are generally referred to as xerophytes. Xerophytes are considered to be drought resistant plants or plants that can survive in an arid land (land with very little or no water) through various adaptive features found on such plants. Examples of xerophytes include cactus, wiring grasses, thorn bushes and acacia.
  8. The different types of hot deserts includes the followings:
  • Sahara Desert (North Africa)
  • Kalahari Desert (South Africa)
  • Iranian Desert (Iran)
  • Great Australia Desert (Australia)
  • Arabian Desert (Saudi Arabia)
  • Namib Desert (South Africa)
  • Atacama Desert (South America)

 

Cold Desert

Cold deserts are found in the interior of continents around 45o North and 60o south of the equator.

Characteristics of cold deserts
  1. They have very hot summers of over 35oC and cold winters with a temperature below 8oC.
  2. The annual rainfall is very little.
  3. The grasses found in cold deserts are short and scanty.
  4. Xerophytes are present in cold deserts. They have a characteristics needle like leaves; so as to reduce the rate of transpiration. (Transpiration in plants is defined as a process through which water is lost from the aerial parts of a plant; especially throught the stomata present in the plant's leaf. Water may also be lost from the plant's stem and flowers during transpiration)
  5. The regions where cold deserts are found include the Patagonia in South America, interiors of Eurasia and in North America.

 

b. Swamp Forest

Swamp forests are found in the tropics, along the coastal regions all around the world. In Africa, they are present in the river mouths in South, West and East Africa respectively.

A swamp can simply be regarded as a wetland dominated by woody trees and a variety of animals.

Characteristics of swamp

  1. They generally have a high temperature of over 2500mm.
  2. They have a high level of relative humidity.
  3. They generally have a wet and muddy surface.
  4. The trees present in swamp have stilt roots.
  5. The major plants found here include the white mangroves, red mangroves and raffia palm.
  6. Animals found in the swamp forest include crabs, snakes and mud skippers.

Topics in Biology

Introduction to Biology Types of Arterial Disorders Homeostasis and Negative Feedback Mechanism Characteristics of Reptiles Characteristics of Protists Amazing facts in Biology Autotrophic mode of Nutrition Desert and Swamp Forest with their characteristics Tropical Rainforest and Savanna with their characteristics Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin




Topics in Biology

Introduction to Biology Types of Arterial Disorders Homeostasis and Negative Feedback Mechanism Characteristics of Reptiles Characteristics of Protists Amazing facts in Biology Autotrophic mode of Nutrition Desert and Swamp Forest with their characteristics Tropical Rainforest and Savanna with their characteristics Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin



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