Desert biomes cover about one fifth of the Earth's surface and are defined to occur where rainfall is less than 50 centimeters per year. Although most deserts, such as the Sahara of North Africa and the deserts of the southwestern USA, Mexico, and Australia, occur at low latitudes, another kind of desert, cold deserts, occur in the basin and range area of Utah and Nevada and in parts of western Asia. Most deserts have a considerable amount of specialized vegetation, as well as specialized vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Soils often have abundant nutrients because they need only water to become very productive and have little or no organic matter. Disturbances are common in the form of occasional fires or cold weather, and sudden, infrequent, but intense rains that cause flooding.
The Mojave Desert is the smallest of the four American deserts. While the Mojave lies between the Great Basin Shrub Steppe and the Sonoran desert, its fauna is more...
Kaokoveld desertLast Updated on 2013-03-21 at 01:45
The Kaokoveld Desert represents the northern area of the vast Namib Desert. It is a harsh, arid landscape of rugged mountains, gravel plains and shifting sand dunes. Surface... More »
Succulent KarooLast Updated on 2013-02-15 at 18:36
The Succulent Karoo exhibits a botanical diversity is unparalleled by any other arid region on Earth. This Southern Africa ecoregion is home to greater than 5000 higher plant... More »
Namib DesertLast Updated on 2012-12-23 at 20:50
The Namib Desert is an extremely arid ecoregion comprising shifting sand dunes, gravel plains and rugged mountains. The world's oldest desert, the Namib Desert has existed... More »
Baja California desertLast Updated on 2012-12-23 at 13:07
The Baja California desert ecoregion, located on most of the western side of the Baja Peninsula, contains varied habitats such as mountains, plains and More »
Gibson DesertLast Updated on 2012-12-22 at 19:21
The Gibson Desert is an ecoregion in Western Australia, which is in the Deserts and Xeric Shrublands biome classification. The land area covered by this ecoregion amounts... More »
Atacama DesertLast Updated on 2012-12-21 at 13:35
The Atacama Desert is an elongated strip of desert along the northwest coast of Chile, essentially bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west. It extends nearly 1600... More »