What are some problems in the Sonoran Desert?
Global warming is increasing the incidence of drought, which dries up water holes. Higher temperatures may produce an increasing number of wildfires that alter desert landscapes by eliminating slow-growing trees and shrubs and replacing them with fast-growing grasses.
What is unusual about the Sonoran Desert?
2. The Sonoran Desert is the only place in the world where saguaro cacti grow. Common animals of the Sonoran Desert include: Banded Gila Monster, Bobcat, Cactus Wren, Coyote, Desert Bighorn, Javelina, Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope and Sonoran Toad.
How does climate change affect the Sonoran Desert?
Under the effects of climate change, the Sonoran Desert is expected to become hotter and drier. Higher temperatures may also increase the distribution and productivity of many cold-intolerant desert plants, including succulents.
Why is the Sonoran Desert unique?
In a word, saguaro, as in cacti. The Sonoran desert is the only natural habitat for this majestic plant. This giant cactus that can grow to 70 feet and live to be 150 years old. They bloom in the moonlight, when the gorgeous white flowers, actually the State flower of Arizona, are pollinated by bats.
Why is the Sonoran Desert important?
The Sonoran Desert provides important habitat for desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, gray foxes and coyotes. Many species like the bighorn require large spaces to roam so they can find water and food. It’s important for their survival that these desert lands are not cut up by roads and other development.
What is the most biodiverse desert on earth?
With nearly 3500 species of plants, 500 species of birds, and 1,000 species of bees, the Sonoran is the most biodiverse desert on earth. Elevation and rainfall patterns are the keys to this incredible biodiversity. Much of the Sonoran Desert lies at fairly low elevation, but the region is punctuated by mountain ranges.
What is the top predator in the Sonoran Desert?
They are carnivores eating such foods as insects, lizards, frogs, and rodents. Predators include owls, coyotes, ringtail, bobcats and badgers.
What challenges do desert plants face?
Southwestern desert basin plants are the producers in the desert food chain. They live in one of the most difficult environments in the United States. They face scorching hot air and ground temperatures during the summer season, and unpredictable and limited water even during the rainier seasons.
How is the Sonoran Desert different from other deserts?
The Sonoran Desert is stunningly beautiful and is home to a great diversity of flora and fauna including the saguaro cactus. The USA is able to respond differently to the challenges and opportunities of a desert environment compared with poorer countries such as India (Thar Desert) or the African desert bordering the Sahara Desert.
Why did the Sonoran Desert become extirpated?
Many factors have likely contributed to this apparent extirpation, including the presence of aggressive non-native species, drought, and chytrid fungus; however, all of these stressors are relatively minor in this area relative to similar areas elsewhere in the American Southwest.
How is the Sonoran Desert a biodiversity hotspot?
Water and water-dependent ecosystems are scarce resources in the arid and semi-arid southwest, and are generally regarded as biodiversity hotspots. Seeps, springs, and tinajas are critical surface water sources in the arid and semi-arid Sonoran Desert and Apache Highlands ecoregions.
How does buffelgrass affect the Sonoran Desert?
It creates a heavy, continuous layer of fuel that can result in fast-moving, damaging wildfires. These fires kill native plants, whereas buffelgrass thrives on fire. Thus a buffelgrass fire transforms our biologically rich desert into depauperate grassland literally overnight.