group2's Story

We researched the desert biome. Some interesting factors that shape the desert are the heat and moisture. Evapotraspiration is a huge factor when it comes to moisture in the desert. The water lost by evapotrasperation is around nine times more than the water that the desert recieves. That means nine times the amount of rain the desert gets is taken back out each year!

Another huge factor is animals. They borrow into the cati and use it a a home. Then, when they leave, it is recycled into another animal's home. Most desert animals are nocturnal and crepuscular, so the most animal action occurs at dusk and dawn. These animals help shape what we know today as the Sonoran Desert.

Plants also shape the desert. Certain plants have specific adaptations to help them cope with the desert life. The cacti (Cardon, Suguaro, Organ Pipe, and Senitos) have special pleats that contract when no water is around, but expands when gathering water. The cacti, of course, have pokey spines that protect them from predators. Desert plants also have special properties. Limber bush may be used for making cool necklaces by burning and stipping it of its bark. Kremaria is also used often by the Seri Indian tribe for red dye.

Other desert plants are Brittle bush, Ocotillo, Cresote, Elephant tree (appropriately named for its thick branches), Bamboo, and Boojum.

All factors of the desert contribute towards how unique it is.

Besides the unique qualities of the plants and animals it contains, the native people make it what it is. The Sonoran Desert hosts many Indian tribes, including the Seri Indians. This tribe exists about 35 kilometers away from Kino Bay, Sonora, Mexico. This tribe depends on resources found in the desert and ocean in their everyday lives, therefore connecting the two biomes. The Seri's lives are uniquely adapted to the desert just as the plants and animals are as well.

The Sonoran Desert is also one of the most biodiverse biomes in the world. In addition to its plentiful amounts of plants and animals, it hosts "sky islands" and oases. Sky Islands are mountainous peaks that range in diversity with altitude. As you stretch higher and higher, the life gets more and more different. Pine trees and other types of plants and animals that are adapted to cooler climates start appearing. In oases, plants and animals stretch into a jungle of lush greenery. What would normally be dry desert is actually full of water absorbed by the porous rock and held all year, even throughout droughts.

People threaten the Sonoran Desert ecosystem through habitat destruction, population growth, and introducing species to this area.

Desert land is destroyed for industrialization. Beautiful wildlife is constantly lost due to the greedy needs of people. People trash desert land with garbage that should be placed in other proper places. Why can't people stop littering and wasting land if it's a known threat to the Sonoran Desert? People also cause threats to the desert based on something we can't necessarily control as easily, population growth. As the human population rises, so does the demand of natural resources. This overall contributes to the damaging of the desert surroundings.

Introducing new species to the area is just as harmful. These species are bad for the area, because they easily out-compete native species in the area. They also tend to have no natural predators, a high reproductive rate, and are adaptable to new environments. They have aggressive growth, mature easily, and aren't easily killed by natural disaters. By introducing a new species to this area, it could completely wipe out native species of the desert. For instance, the crawfish is a terribly invasive species to Mt. Lemon, in Arizona. It has eliminated species from these mountains. These factors demonstrate how terrible introducing a new species is.

As leaders for a shared planet we need to raise awareness about our environment, about the habitat destruction that is happening all around us. We need to stop damming our rivers, plowing land for shopping malls and gated communities, and ripping up the sea for a few pounds of shrimp. We need to recycle and buy recycled products, reuse anything we can and reduce the amount of stuff we take in. If the opportunity arises, vote to preserve our desert.

You can even make saving the planet fun (if, somehow, you seriously don't think helping the environment is fun at all), you can head to Mt. Lemmon and go crayfish catching. NOTE: you NEED a fishing license to catch them, and it's illegal to transport the crayfish alive in Arizona. It is fun and even if you don't want to eat them, you can put them on ice when they're dead and bring them to an animal rehabilatation center. They will feed the crayfish to animals.
We can hang signs to help remind people that the desert is NOT a dump, and with all of this random trash everywhere, animals are leaving their homes, and plants are dying. Together we can keep the plant clean and together we can help build a better and stronger understanding on what is happening in this earth. and remember we only have one, once this world turns into a huge dump, we can't run away from it. we have to live with it, and so we need to make it last while we have it it.

Hey guys! This is the Green Team! There's Nikki, Hannah, Alex, and Nathaniel! We're so cool, 'cause we're working on researching the desert. We've been traveling all of these 10 days. We've been to the Sonoran Desert to study the plants and animals. One of our leaders, Jesus, taught us how to make rope and necklaces out of plants. We have enjoyed the fun mostly when we went snorkeling to see all the different creatures under the sea and swimming off the boat. We have also enjoyed eating seafood and getting to know different places in Mexico. Something unique about our team is how diverse we all are. Coming from different places across the United States with such extreme differences in interests and personalities, it's amazing that we all are able to work so well together. However, we all did come together at Earth Camp for one similar interest - educating ourselves and saving the planet.