The Differences Between Tropical Rainforests & Deserts

Written by rob callahan
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
The Differences Between Tropical Rainforests & Deserts
A desert will typically have little water or vegetation to support animal life. (desert 8 image by Dusan Radivojevic from Fotolia.com)

Deserts and Tropical Rainforests are two very different examples of biomes. While both contain all of the elements needed to support life (water, vegetation and warmth), they do so in different ways and to vastly different extents. Because of these differences, the life that thrives in each environment is quite different and highly specialised for survival in its respective biome.

Other People Are Reading

Presence of Liquid Water

Tropical rainforests are subject to regular precipitation all or nearly all year, and they may have many rivers and streams running through the ground beneath their canopy. In deserts, sources of water are sparse and may be hundreds of miles apart. Tundras, which are technically classed as a type of desert, may contain large amounts of snow, but liquid water is scarce.

Vegetation

Tropical rainforests contain more plant life than science has been able to catalogue, from tall trees whose branches form jungle canopies to fronds and fungi growing in the shadows below. Vegetation in deserts is significantly more rare than in rainforests. Some deserts can be home to several species of plant life that have adapted to the harsh and arid conditions, while others, which are less hospitable to life, can accommodate only a few varieties of plants.

Animal Life

An abundance of animal life thrives in rainforest environments, and animals can be large, small or even microscopic. Animals of the rainforest may be mammals, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians or fish, and they are often brightly-coloured to blend in with their environment. Large mammals are much more rare in deserts, where the limited amounts food and water are more suited to sustaining small rodents, reptiles and insects.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.