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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 the desert Biomes of the World Animals in the desert include small nocturnal animals, having adapted to survive in the harsh climate. Other adaptations include the ability to burrow, fat storage areas such as the hump on the camel, and many other fascinating qualities. Vegetation is extremely minimal in this hot, dry terrain. The only plants able to survive have adaptations such as being small, thick and often covered with a waxy cuticle or spikes such as the cactus. Small shrubs and grasses are often found in this environment. Desert, also known as arid, covers about one fifth of the land on earth. Deserts receive less than 25 cm of perspiration annually, and average temperatures during the day are about 38 degrees celcius. Luckily, after nightfall, it cools down to around -4 degrees celcius. One of the desert's biggest human impacts is salinization, as the desert is an ideal location for crops- there is a huge amount of flat land without having to clear trees. The only thing missing is the water, so farmers installed irrigation to ensure the crops' survival. The only problem was that when the water evaporated, it left salt in the soil, which will kill off any vegetation, including native wildlife. Another huge effect human activity has had on this biome is livestock grazing in the desert. The animals' hard hooves break through a delicate crust known as the desert pavement (a thin shell of stones that lies on top of the dust). When the desert pavement is disturbed, it opens the surface to additional erosion. irrigation mining grazing Since there is so little rainfall in the desert, there is a huge abundance of minerals. This means there is quite a large mining community in deserts, particularly in places like Australia. off-road vehicle use Hikers, dirt bikes, trucks and many tanks and combat vehicles have all left their mark scarred into the delicate desert terrain. In the Mojave Desert in southern California, at the US Army's National Training Centre, the environment is still affected from nearly 60 years ago. For ten months each year, the earth is pounded by heavy war vehicles during training drills, meaning that the soil is compacted tightly and almost no rainfall is allowed below the surface. This can severely affect the natural vegetation. niamh mcconney
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