Desert Africa

Climate of the Desert in Africa

Average Rainfall is 6 inches, Max 10 inches, and Min 3 inches.

Average Temperature is approximately 86 degrees, Max 136 degrees, and Min of 55 degrees.

Temperatures tend to be hot for most of the year, getting as high as the 100's sometimes.

Net Primary Productivity

Deserts are characterized by extremely hot and dry conditions; deserts are found mostly near the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (latitude 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south). Deserts are the driest biome with so little rainfall that the diversity of life tends to be low. Deserts also have the lowest NPP with approximately 1 kilocalorie per square meter per day, ranking last among all other biomes.

Soil Quality

Soils tend to be sandy and fast draining, with no leaf litter or topsoil. Aridisols are very fertile, however, often don't have the rainfall to sustain life. Deserts have fertile soil; if provided with water, they can grow a lot of food.

Invasive and Endangered

​In the last couple of decades the Sahara mustard has been rapidly growing across the desert landscape. The Sahara mustard was first collected for herbarium specimen in 1927 by Andrew sanders, but he later found out that he had collected the wrong plant, making it an accidentally introduced invasive

While hunting and removal of live addaxes is illegal in Niger, the animals have suffered "massive disturbance" from oil installations operated by the China National Petroleum Corporation, the report said. Also, soldiers assigned to protect the oil wells have been hunting and poaching addaxes. It is endangered because of poaching (overharvesting in HIPPCO).

Animals in the Desert Biome

Snakes have also evolved to need little water. They hunt desert animals, and get necessary hydration primarily from their prey. They also do not need to eat daily.

Some desert lizards have toes encompassed with spiny scales to help them run across the sand without sinking. Others burrow into the sand to escape the desert's heat, to hide from predators, or to search for small animals that they can eat.

Desert tortoises possess carapaces that are dome-like in form. The outline of their shells not only offers their lungs ample room, it also helps desert tortoises maintain their body temperatures. Mature desert tortoises have the ability to manage for a minimum of a year without taking in any water. This is because of their water-stashing abilities.

Plants in the Desert Biome

Cacti have spines instead of leaves. These decrease the surface area and reduce water loss by transpiration. The spines also protect the cacti from animals that might eat them.

Yucca have thick, waxy skins to prevent loss of water through evaporation. They often times store water in their thick roots.

Agave is one of many succulent plants; Succulent plants store water in fleshy leaves, stems or roots. Water is further conserved by reduced surface areas; most succulents have few leaves (agave)


Created with images by fabiowanderley - "zagora desert morocco" • Just chaos - "Addax"

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