ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Types Of Desert And Their Ecosystem

Updated on October 22, 2011

Deserts are one of the major ecosystems in the world and constitute one fifth of the earth’s land. There are four major types of deserts:

  • Hot and dry deserts
  • Semiarid deserts
  • Coastal deserts
  • Cold deserts

Hot And Dry Desert

The hot and dry deserts are present around the equator and have a warm and hot temperature throughout the year. The examples of these types of deserts are: Sahara desert, Sandy Desert of Australia and Sonoran Desert.

The Temperature

The temperature of these deserts remains hot through out the year. The temperature may get a little less hot or in some cases exceptionally cold at times, but the summers are extremely hot.

There is almost no or very little rainfall in these deserts because of which there is no humidity in the air which could block the sunrays, hence the sun in these deserts is scorching hot.

A Dry Desert
A Dry Desert

The nights in these deserts are cooler than the day. During the day, the temperature may reach around 48-49o C.

The Soil

Due to no sub surface water the soil of these deserts is shallow, coarse, rocky and gravely. The soil here is coarse because there is almost no chemical weathering of rocks and the fine dust particles get carried away by the wind.

Life

The plants found in these deserts are highly specialized plants which have reduced leaves and thick cuticles to prevent water loss. Common plant species of these deserts are: cacti, turpentine bush, brittle bush, prickly pears, yuccas and ocotillo.

The animals found here are mostly nocturnal and get out at night when the desert is cooler.

There is a majority of reptiles, arachnids and insects while animals such as kangaroo rats are also found in majority. These animals tend to remain buried under the ground during the hot days.

The Thar Desert a type of Semiarid Desert.
The Thar Desert a type of Semiarid Desert.
The Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert

Semiarid Desert

The semiarid deserts can be called the moderate versions of hot and dry deserts.

Common semiarid deserts of the world are: Sagebrush desert and some deserts of North America, Greenland, Russia, Europe and Northern Asia.

Temperature

The summers of these deserts are pretty much like the hot and dry deserts and are long and dry, but the only difference is that the temperature does not exceed beyond 38o C.

It also gets much cooler at night as compared to the hot and dry deserts.

The winters here are better as low concentrations of rainfall are observed. Although rain is of low concentration, it’s enough to give slight moisture in the air.

The Soil

The soil in these deserts varies from sandy, to coarse, to shallow and gravely. Around the mountain slopes the soil is shallow and rocky; around lower slopes it is coarse while around the bottom land it’s fine and sandy. The soil has a very low salt concentration.

Life

Like the hot and dry deserts, the plants here are highly specialized in conserving water. They have reduced leaved known as spines and thick cuticles.

Common plants found here are: white thorn, cat claw, brittle bushes, mesquite and jujube.

Animals include both nocturnal and day time animals. Non mammals are reptiles and insects while mammals include: kangaroo rats, rabbits and skunks. Some birds such as borrowing owls are also found here.

The Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert

Coastal Desert

Coastal deserts are moderate deserts where the temperature is normal throughout the year. The Atacama Desert of Chile is the most famous coastal desert.

Temperature

The winter in these deserts is cool while summers are warm. The average temperature during summers is 13-24o C and is around 5o C during the winters. The rainfall is not very abundant, but on an average 8-13 cm rain falls every year.

The Soil

The soil in these deserts is fine textured, porous and has a moderate salt content. 

Coastal Desert of Sonoran
Coastal Desert of Sonoran
The Gobi Desert is also considered a Cold Desert.
The Gobi Desert is also considered a Cold Desert.
The Antarctic Desert
The Antarctic Desert

Life

The plants here apart from having thick leaves and stems, have an extensive root system which draws maximum water when ever there is a rainfall.

The stems of these plants can store a large amount of water for later use. Examples are: salt bush, buck wheat bush, rice grass, and black sage and little leaf horse bush.

Animals in this desert are highly specialized in storing waters and are well adapted to the conditions of the desert.

A part from reptiles such as lizards and snakes, amphibians like toads and mammals like coyote and badger are also found here. Insects and birds like golden eagle are also present.

Cold Deserts

Cold deserts are exceptional deserts where the temperature is extremely cold. The deserts of Antarctic and Green land are included in this category.

Temperature

The winters in these deserts are extremely cold and are very long. The summers are relatively warmer and moist with abundant rainfall. The temperature may reach up to 26o C during the summers.

The Soil

The soil of these deserts is silty, having a high salt content and is heavy. The soil is also porous at places.

Life

There is a large population of plants found here. Most plants are deciduous, tall and have spikes instead of leaves.

Animals include: kangaroo rats, pocket mice, jack rabbits, kit fox, deer and coyote. Because of extreme cold there are very few reptiles and amphibians.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      khim27 

      9 months ago

      Thank you for this, such a great help for my written report.

    • profile image

      rochelle 

      6 years ago

      i love this info. really good 2 have a place where you can get really accurate info.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 

      6 years ago from USA

      I like how your photos show how really different deserts can look.

    • profile image

      rose 

      6 years ago

      interesting page,we can get some ideas from this page.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      7 years ago from United States

      Interesting overview. This does give some good basic information.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)