We found out that there are hot and cold deserts throughout the world. Even in the hot deserts the nights can be very cold. The rainfall for the whole year may only be 11 inches so plants need to make the most of trapping and storing any water they can find. Here are some key ways we found that they do that.
- Some plants, including cacti, have lots of roots spread very widely near the surface of the sand to absorb water when it rains.
- Others have a very long tap root (7 -10 metres long) that reaches a long way down under the ground to access water supplies.
- One of our class already knew that plants lose water when it evaporates from it, the small leaves on some plants reduces this.
- Some plants such as cactuses have spines instead of leaves which help them lose less water but also prevents them from being eaten or damaged by animals.
- Succulent plants store water in their stems, leaves or roots.
- A desert bloom is where some seeds wait until rain arrives and they have a very fast life cycle where the flowers bloom after the rain and then the seeds lie dormant for weeks or months until the next rain.