Desert Ecosystem of Pakistan – Climatic Biome

cholistan desert rally thar desert

INTRODUCTION

Desert: It is defined as a barren area that has little to no vegetation and less rainfall. The land surface is continuously exposed to hot dry environmental conditions.

Desert Ecosystem: It is an ecosystem with dry environments. The species of plants and animals are well adapted to the ecosystem. The desert ecosystem includes hot desert, semi-arid desert, arid desert, cold desert, and coastal desert.

Characteristics of Desert Ecosystem: This ecosystem is characterized by scant rainfall. There is little precipitation in the desert areas and rare water resources. Drought conditions are prevalent in the desert ecosystem.

DESERT ECOSYSTEM OF PAKISTAN

The desert ecosystem of Pakistan is extremely varied depending upon the location of the desert. There are different types of deserts present in Pakistan. A cold desert ecosystem also exists in Northern Pakistan.

Location of Desert Ecosystem of Pakistan: It is located in Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit Baltistan, and Balochistan.

  • Cholistan: Punjab – Bhawalpur
  • Thal: Punjab – Bhakkar
  • Thar: Sindh, Punjab – Sindh Sagar doab, Layyah, Khushab
  • Kharan Desert: Baluchistan – Northwest Baluchistan
  • Katpana: Cold desert – Gilgit Baltistan – Sakardu

Climate of Desert Ecosystem of Pakistan: The climate of the desert ecosystem is characterized as arid and semi-arid. The temperature ranges from 4 to 40 °C. Winters are mild and summers are extremely hot. The recorded precipitation – rainfall is 250mm.

BIODIVERSITY OF DESERT ECOSYSTEM OF PAKISTAN

The desert ecosystem of Pakistan has a unique and diverse variety of animals and plants.

FLORA: PLANTS/VEGETATION

Serial No. Plants Common Name Scientific Name
1. Phog Calligonum polygonoides
2. Wild Grain Grass Panicum turgidum
3. Indian bdellium-tree/ Guggul Commiphora wightii
4. Hooked Mimosa Mimosa hamata
5. Reonja Vachellia leucophloea
6. Gum Acacia Senegalia senegal
7. Jhand/ Khejri Prosopis cineraria
8. Mustard Tree Salvadora persica
9. Athel tree Tamarix aphylla
10. Indian Jujube Ziziphus mauritiana

 

FAUNA: ANIMALS

Serial No. Animal Common Name Scientific Name
1. Urial Ovis vignei
2. Leopard Panthera pardus
3. Chinkara Gazella bennettii
4. Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra
5. Caracal/Wild Cat Caracal Caracal
6. Rufous Trident Bat Triaenops persicus
7. Small Mouse-Tailed Bat Rhinopoma muscatellum
8. Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
9. Missone’s gecko Rhinogekko misonnei
10. Striped hyena Hyaena hyaena

 

THREATS TO DESERT ECOSYSTEM OF PAKISTAN

Desert areas already experience scarcity of water and due to climate change this problem is exacerbating. Water resources are getting depleted leading to the water crisis in Pakistan. The reason is inadequate management and inappropriate consumption. Many areas are now turning into barren lands due to the desertification process influenced by frequent droughts and overgrazing. Global warming is playing its role by inducing drought conditions in the desert ecosystem.

The desert ecosystem hosts wildlife that is decreasing in numbers due to killing, poaching, illegal trade, etc. The introduction of invasive species is a serious threat to plant life. Peacocks are commonly found in Thar desert but their numbers are dwindling as every year hundreds die due to some disease or malnutrition.

Coal mining is another threat to the desert ecosystem that negatively affects the people living in those areas. Soil erosion is common there.

IMPORTANCE OF DESERT ECOSYSTEM OF PAKISTAN

The desert ecosystem of Pakistan is very important for wildlife. Unique species of vultures are present in the desert ecosystem of Pakistan. Desert areas are a source of sand. The desert areas are famous for recreational activities. People also inhabit few places in the desert where there is the availability of water reserves in the form of an oasis. The Cholistan Desert Rally is held annually in the South of Punjab. This shows the landscape beauty of Pakistan.

Also, check out Tropical Thorn Forest Ecosystem of Pakistan – Climatic Biome

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