Desert ecosystem

Lesson 13: Types of ecosystems

Desert ecosystem

It occupies 17% of the land, occurring in the regions with an annual rainfall of less than 25 cms. The deserts and semi-arid areas are mainly located in Western India and the Deccan Plateau. Eg: Thar desert in Rajasthan. The climate in these tracts is extremely dry. Thar has sand dunes; and covered with sparse grasses and a few shrubs, which grow if it rains. In most areas of the Thar, the rainfall is scanty and sporadic. In the adjoining semi-arid tract, the vegetation consists of a few shrubs and thorny trees such as Kher and Babul.

The Great and Little Rann of Kutch are extraordinarily specialized arid ecosystems. In the summers, they are similar to a desert landscape. As these are low-lying areas near the sea, they get converted to salt marshes during the monsoons. During this period, they attract an enormous number of aquatic birds such as ducks, geese, cranes etc. The Great Rann is famous for Flamingos and Little Rann is famous for Wild Ass in India.


Biotic components are

  • Producers: These are shrubs, especially bushes, some grasses and a few trees. Sometimes a few succulents like cacti and xerophytic mosses are also present.
  • Consumers: The ship of desert, camels are herbivores feed on tender shoots of the plants. Reptiles, wolf, desert cat, desert fox and insects are secondary consumers. Vultures are the tertiary consumers.
  • Decomposers: These are (fungi and bacteria) very few, due to poor vegetation and the amount of dead organic matter are less.

    Use of Desert ecosystem

Last modified: Monday, 2 January 2012, 8:08 AM