The desert is a harsh environment. Biology in a desert ecosystem adapt to make it through the intense heat and restricted water. Each has actually a unique system for survival, however some the the means desert tree adapt are similar.

You are watching: Why are small leaves an adaptation in a desert environment?

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn"t Read)

Desert plants" adaptations room centered roughly getting sufficient water. Plants it is adapted to have the ability to find and also store water, and also prevent water loss via evaporation.


A necessity for any kind of organism that is to survive in the harsh desert climate is water. Without water, the functions that assistance life in an biology will begin to fail and the organism’s life will certainly be threatened. Plants have adjusted in a number of ways that help them accumulate water.

Plants in desert ecosystems are most prolific near riverbeds. Whether dried or wet, these locations often save on computer water underground and also plants are an ext likely to endure if their roots have the right to reach a dependable water supply. This are additionally the most most likely places because that water come accumulate in the situation of rain. As soon as the water comes, the plants will be there to obtain it.

Fog is additionally a dependable water resource in deserts where the problems are ideal for it. Waiting condenses to form dew in the cool mornings. The dew is caught on the plant’s leaves and also hairs.

Many desert tree have large root systems, qualified of reaching deep, otherwise unusable water offers under the dried soil.


Once plants have accumulated water into their bodies through various means, lock must host on come it, in spite of the intense warmth of the desert ecosystem. Numerous adaptations have advanced in desert plants to satisfy this need.

Most desert plants are inactive for lot of the year. During dry durations they carry out not perform numerous water-draining attributes such together photosynthesis. These durations of dormancy allow the plant to survive, though not flourish or reproduce, throughout the most difficult months of the year. When plants do create seeds, the brand-new seeds stay in your protective coat much much longer than in more temperate climates. During rainy periods, water dissolves the particle casing and the seed grows rapidly.

Structural adaptations are likewise important to plant’s survival in the desert. Wax coatings ~ above leaves stop water loss v evaporation, i m sorry in the warm desert can reason loss that water indigenous both the surface and the within of leaves. Leaves are likewise smaller ~ above desert plants, further reducing the opportunity for water loss.

Deciduous tree in desert ecosystems have adapted through the task of their leaves. Pipeline on these plants are typically smaller and also coated v wax to prevent evaporation.

In contrast to the annual loss of pipeline in pleasant deciduous plants, desert deciduous plants will lose their leaves as countless as five times transparent the year, shedding them during droughts and growing new leaves as soon as it rains. The plant remains dormant during leaf loss.


Plants such as aloes space equipped with fleshy pipeline that contain much of your water supply. Due to the fact that of your moist inner bodies, these plants are referred to as succulents. They commonly feel spongy and also when cut open are filled v a pulpy flesh, protected by a waxy external layer.


Many plants in the desert maintain water by no having any kind of leaves at all. Cacti room the most prolific the this tree type. Numerous cacti have spines in location of leaves, which command photosynthesis and also catch dew as soon as the climate is right. These tiny structures also reflect light, further reducing water loss. Throughout heavy rains, cacti will grow temporary source systems and absorb water. They will then shed the roots when the ground has actually dried.

See more: It'S Six Or One Half Dozen Of The Other Idiom Definition

Jim Jansen has been writing write-ups since 2005 and also has to be featured in publication such as "The river Watch," and additionally contributes come and also LIVESTRONG.COM. He has actually a Bachelor of art in professional writing indigenous Michigan State University. Jansen specializes in outdoor recreation and also environmental topics.

Our goal is to make science relevant and fun because that everyone. Whether you need assist solving quadratic equations, incentive for the upcoming science fair or the latest upgrade on a significant storm, is below to help.