Ecosystem - Abiotic Factors

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Ecosystem - Abiotic Factors

Ecosystem Abiotic FactorsDeath Valley

Geography and ElevationThe vast majority of the geographic features in the desert include only sand or rocks and gravel. Vegetation, although diverse, is scare. Though there are sand dunes that appear as hills, the lie of the land is flat.Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. It is the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America. Death Valley's Badwater Basin is the point of the lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level.

Death valley has salt flats that few animals and plants can survive on. The arid climate of this desert leaves behind salt because the evaporation is greater than the precipitation. These salt flats are also the result of a drainage system greater than 9000 miles. Lichens and mosses require very few nutrients and do not need soil to survive. Instead, they can grow directly on solid rock surfaces where they begin the process of soil formation. After soil iss created by the mosses and lichens, grasses and small plants begin to colonize and dominate the habitat. These small plants then begin to be replaced by shrubs and small trees, which in turn give way to more and more animals came and started to live in Death Valley.

Death Valley experiences extreme heat, with its highest summer temperatures being about 134 °F. This temperature stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth. This limits the plant life and animal life that can survive in this environment. The temperatures are so high due to the shape of Death Valley. Heat is trapped in between the high walls of the mountains. Because there are very few plants in this ecosystem, sunlight is allowed to cover the desert surface. December is the coldest month, with an average high of 65 °F and an average low of 39 °F. The record low is 15 °F.

Temperature Ranges

The animals and plants that live in Death Valley do not require lots of water. There are of course flash floods that come far and few between but, when they do come people there do everything they can to preserve it. You can also find some oasis there from underwater strreams where you can use a water table to tap it in.

Water Resources

Rainfall Death Valley receives less than 2 inches of rainfall every year. This has caused the animals and plants that live in this desert to evolve in order for them to survive with a small amount of water. For example, cacti have spikes in order to reduce water loss.



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