Plant Adaptation Makes For A Very Diverse Sonoran Desert   6 comments

Being able to adapt is fundamental to all organisms to survive in their ecological niche or habitat. This ability is often more evident in harsh environments such as the desert. Plants need water and sunlight, some more or less than others.

Here in the Sonoran desert, plants that can adopt to a lot of sun and little water adopt well to the hot, dry conditions. While plants needing more water have adapted to conditions near water, i.e., riparian areas where annual foliage plants color the desert at this winter solstice time of year.

Sabino Canyon Colors Dec 2013-9177 blogPlant Adaptation In The Desert — Image by kenne

Another example of plant adaptation can be found on rocky canyon wall facing the north in Sabino Canyon, just a few hundred feet from where the above photo was taken — there is no direct sunlight this time of year. Even in dry conditions, the wall can provide a perfect hitch for fern, moss and “resurrection” plants.

However, what really caught my attention was a small saguaro cactus that was growing out of the north canyon wall, which had fallen over and has continued to grow. Given the size of the plant and the fact that saguaros are very slow-growing plants, taking 6-7 years to grow an inch in the beginning of what can be a 200 year life, this still small cactus is probably about 20 years old — talk about plant adaption.

This guy is a real survivor!

kenne

P.S. Today we are getting much-needed rain in the desert with snow above 4,000 feet. The ferns, moss and resurrection plants will really green-up over the next days.

Sabino Canyon Colors Dec 2013-9198 blogSaguaro Cactus — Image by kenne

6 responses to “Plant Adaptation Makes For A Very Diverse Sonoran Desert

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  1. You’re reminding me why I love Arizona ~ again…

    Like

  2. What a sturdy little saguaro hanging on to life in the desert. Beautiful pictures and interesting information.

    Like

  3. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and
    I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier!

    I bookmarked it.

    Like

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