Building an Ecosystem: Desert

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Chronos, Sep 4, 2013.

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  1. Monthly Creative Challenge: Building an Ecosystem.
    In any RP there is always some form of ecosystem living next to civilization and it is important to understand how these ecosystems work and how the inhabitants of these are able to survive in some of these harsh environments. One such example is the scorching deserts that make up a third of the Earth’s surface. Each of the plants and animals that live in these areas has gone through generations of evolution to survive. These life forms have changed their entire being in order to survive in their homes. Animals such as the Camel have adapted their bodies to go extended periods of time out food or water, cacti have turned their bodies it to storage spaces to hold large amounts of water to survive. Even turkey vultures have adapted to the point that they can obtain the necessary moisture they need simply from savaging bodies.
    There are four main types of deserts:

    Hot and Dry- These deserts have little to no humidity and very little rain fall due to this lack of moisture these areas are exposed to almost twice the number of UV rays as other humid areas and lose twice as much. Varying from scorching heat during the day to frigid temperatures at night; the plants that grow here are usually low ground hugging shrubs with leaves that have a thick cuticle layer to prevent water loss. Most animal life in these areas are nocturnal, and only venture out at night when it is much cooler.

    Semiarid- These deserts are slightly cooler then the hot and dry deserts, these deserts experience very little rain year round. However during the night temperature reach low enough to where condensation is able to take place resulting in the formation of dew. In some areas the amount of dew can exceed the annual rain fall. Many of the plants in this area have slivery or glossy leaves allowing them to reflect the UV rays from the sun and prevent water loss. A few examples of wild life that live in these areas are the Jack Rabbit, Burrowing Owl, Kangaroo rat and skunks.

    Costal – Costal deserts experience moderately cool to warm temperature ranging anywhere from 13-24 degrees Celsius in the summer to 5 degrees or lower during the winter. Like the previously mention areas Costal deserts have very little rain fall year round. Plants found in these areas typically have long spread out roots used to take advantage of whatever water is available. Stems used to store the water expand and contract depending on how much water is being stored and how much is left over. An example of some of the wildlife found in these areas include, Coyotes, Badgers, Great Horned Owls, Toads, and both Gold and Bald Eagles.

    Cold – Cold deserts are quite different from their counterparts experiencing long cold winters and short warm summers; although these deserts have long winter they still experience low rain fall year around. Plants in these areas have spiny leaves staying low to the ground. Most animals in these areas burrow underground to escape both the heat and frigid temperatures. Some examples of the native wild life are Coyotes, Kangaroo Rats, Kit Foxes, Antelopes, and Ground Squirrels. White tailed Deer will occasionally visit these areas during the winter but migrate back during the summer.

    For this exercise please choose:
    Desert Type:
    Two Animals: (of your design and what animal on Earth inspired you)
    Two Plants (of your design and what plant on earth inspired you)

    Include how these life forms survive in their environment and what techniques they use to conserve water during long dry periods. Be descriptive including how they act and where they take shelter during the day and/or night. For plants describe how they hold water, do they store it in their roots, leaves or some other portion of their bodies.

    Include how these life forms survive in these areas and what tactics they use to stay alive when water is scarce.
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