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Encyclopedia > Sahara Desert (ecoregion)
Sahara Desert
Ecozone: Palearctic
Biome: Deserts and xeric shrublands
Climate type: extreme in the dry and hot climate
Soil types:
Surface:
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Global 200:
Oceans or seas (borders): from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea
Rivers:
Borders:
Countries:

Several ecoregions cover the Sahara. Ecozones are global divisions which have their own characteristic interplay of climatic factors, morphodynamics, soil-forming processes, living conditions for plants and animals, and production potentials for agriculture and forestry. ... The Palearctic or Palaearctic is one of the eight ecozones dividing the Earth surface (see map). ... In ecology, a biome is a major regional group of distinctive plant and animal communities best adapted to the regions physical natural environment, latitude, altitude, and terrain. ... In isolation, Hawaiis Silverswords have adapted to xeric microclimates within volcanic craters, trapping and channeling dew and protecting leaves with reflective hairs. ... Loess field in Germany Soil horizons are formed by combined biological, chemical and physical alterations. ... Conservation status of the Global 200 ecoregions is used to classify ecoregions into one of three broad categories: critical/endangered, vulnerable, or relatively stable/relatively intact. The conservation status of terrestrial ecoregions is noted : CE for critical or endangered, V for vulnerable, and RS for relatively stable or intact. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ...


The Sahara is the world's second largest desert (Antarctica is the largest) and is located in northern Africa. It stretches from the Red Sea to the highlands of Ethiopia. However, the Sahara encompasses regions significantly different from an ecological perspective. The surface of the desert ranges from large areas of sand dunes (which are called erg), to stone plateaus (hamadas), gravel plains (reg), dry valleys (wadis), and salt flats. The northern and southern margins also receive more rainfall and have greater vegetation than central Sahara. The very scarce rain (less than 25 mm and even less than 5 mm per annum in the east) can fall in any season and in a very irregular way : some areas may receive no rain for years then suffer intense storms. Some areas encompass vast underground aquifers resulting in oases, while other regions severely lack water reserves. Some mountains (Ahaggar, Tassili N’Ajier, Tibesti, Aïr) also rise up in the desert and receive more rainfall and mostly present slightly cooler summer temperatures. Erg Chebbi, Morocco In geography, a desert is a landscape form or region that receives very little precipitation. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa. ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ...


For such reasons, the great Sahara may be divided in several ecoregions and each of them be separately described. Other ecoregions are An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ...

Contents

The West Saharan montane xeric woodlands is an ecoregion covering part of the Sahara. ...

Overview

This ecoregion covers the central Sahara, between 18º and 30º N, and has an area of 4,619,260 km² (1,791,500 square miles)


Settings

The Sahara is one of the hottest regions of the world, with a mean temperature over 30°C. Variations may also be huge, from over 50°C during the day, to freezing temperatures at night in winter. Daily variations are also very important. The Sahara also receives very little rain (the Intercontinental Convergence Zone moves up from the south, but stops before the center of the Sahara while the winter rainfall of North Africa does not reach far south enough to regularly bring rain to the central Sahara). Not only scarce, the rain is also extremely irregular. Each rainfall is followed by a major vegetation growth and blooming. Another pecularity of the desert is the presence of wind. Small and hot dust-filled winds creating dust devils are observed and full-blown wind and sand storm occur as soon as early spring. Local inhabitants protect themselves from heat, cold and mostly wind and sand by covering their heads (see the cheche wore by Tuareg). This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... For other uses, see Tuareg (disambiguation). ...


The Sahara was one of the first regions of Africa to be farmed. Some 5000 years ago, the area was not so arid and the vegetation might have been closer to a savanna. Previous fauna may be recognised in stone carvings. However, desertification set in around 3000 BC, and the area became much like it is today. Savanna at Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. ... Ship stranded by the retreat of the Aral Sea Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic variations, but primarily human activities. ... (31st century BC - 30th century BC - 29th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2925 - 2776 BC - First Dynasty wars in Egypt 2900 BC - Beginning of the Early Dynastic Period I in Mesopotamia. ...


The Sahara is largely undisturbed. The most degradation is found in areas where there is water, such as aquifer oases or along the desert margins where some rain usually falls most years. In these areas, animals such as addaxes, scimitar-horned oryxes, and bustards are over-hunted for their meat. Only one area of conservation is recorded in the Sahara: Zellaf Nature Reserve in Libya (1000 km²) (WCMC 2000). For other uses, see Oasis (disambiguation). ... Genera See text. ... The conservation ethic is an ethic of resource use, allocation, exploitation, and protection. ...


The southern border of the Sahara is marked by the Sahel. See also Sahel, Tunisia, a region of eastern Tunisia. ...


Appearance

A relatively convenient way to approach the scenery of the heart of the Sahara is through Morocco. From Marrakesh or Fez one climbs up over the High Atlas Mountains and thereupon enters the desert. Heading into the desert one notices the size of the boulders becomes progressively smaller; to begin with they are huge. As the miles go by the boulders become smaller and smaller until about fifty miles in they become sand. The towns such as Ouarzazat, and villages become progressively smaller until finally one reaches the sand dunes. The roads become progressively narrower until they are just paths between the pebbles. Past traffic tends to wear the paths into a regular series of ruts, akin to a washboard, so travel is bumpy. This washboard effect coupled with the sand places considerable strain on vehicles. Taking considerable supplies of water is strictly necessary, along with shade, a local guide and a second vehicle for safety. One can also travel with a guide and dromedaries that are called camels in the Sahara. Scorpions traverse the sands at night so one should prevent them from entering open bags, shoes and the sleeping bag. There can also be snakes and jackals. It is not recommended to sleep close to small plants, that might harbor snakes and insects. It is a great experience to sleep outside and to look at the sky and (falling) stars at night. Climbing the sand dunes to view the dawn is a breathtaking and memorable experience. Marrakech (مراكش marrākish), known as the Pearl of the South, is a city in southwestern Morocco in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. ... This article is about the city Fez in Morocco. ... Village in the high atlas Grand Atlas, usually called the High Atlas Mountains (or Haut Atlas), is a mountain range in central Morocco. ... This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers, and should be edited to rectify this. ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ... Superfamilies Pseudochactoidea Buthoidea Chaeriloidea Chactoidea Iuroidea Scorpionoidea See classification for families. ... Families Acrochordidae Aniliidae Anomalepididae Anomochilidae Atractaspididae Boidae Bolyeriidae Colubridae Cylindrophiidae Elapidae Hydrophiidae Leptotyphlopidae Loxocemidae Pythonidae Tropidophiidae Typhlopidae Uropeltidae Viperidae Xenopeltidae Snakes are cold blooded legless reptiles closely related to lizards, which share the order Squamata. ... This article is about the animal. ... A burst of meteors A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that enters the Earths (or another bodys) atmosphere, commonly called a shooting star or falling star. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Terrestrial Ecoregions -- Sahara desert (PA1327) (1623 words)
The Sahara is the largest desert in the world and occupies approximately 10 percent of the African Continent.
The surface of the desert ranges from large areas of sand dunes (erg Chech, Raoui), to stone plateaus (hamadas), gravel plains (reg), dry valleys (wadis), and salt flats (Cloudsey-Thompson 1984, Williams and Faure 1980).
Mammals in the Palaearctic Desert: status and trends in the Sahara-Gobian region.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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