mojave desert biome APBIO - Chang 1 Jennie Chang Mrs....

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Chang 1 Jennie Chang Mrs. Burrows AP Biology 29 August 2011 Mojave Desert The Mojave Desert occupies a quarter of southeastern California. It is defined by the mountain ranges that create its xeric conditions along with the presence of Joshua trees—an indicator species for this desert. The mountain boundaries are distinctly outlined by the two largest faults in California: the SanAndreas and the Garlock. While most of the Mojave Desert is sparsely populated, there are several large cities there including Lancaster and Victorville. Now, due to human impact, the environment of the Mojave has changed greatly. There is nitrogen cycling in the Mojave Desert, and the types of plants and animals that live there are typically endemic species due to the desert environment, which also affects the carrying capacity as well as the limiting factors of this region. The Mojave Desert is a fragile ecosystem that has been turned into a recreational playground due to human doings. It encompasses a quarter of California and now contains four national parks, with millions of people around the edges. This wasn’t always the case. The Mojave Desert was once a place one could go to get away from civilization. One wouldn’t have to worry about disturbing anyone or causing any harm. It was the last piece of open space in the continental United States where the military could conduct training and not disturb anyone. Unfortunately, the Mojave’s growing plains made it an ideal case study for researching long-term effects of disturbances to desert ecosystems. Land managers are now faced with daunting tasks of dealing with competing demands on the land, including impacts from all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, military activities,
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Chang 2 and grazing livestock. While the Mojave Desert itself is sparsely populated, it has increasingly become urbanized in recent years. Sadly, the Mojave tends to not be a place that comes to mind when people think of protecting the environment however these values seem to be changing and
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2012 for the course BIO 87 taught by Professor Bio during the Spring '10 term at Aachen University of Applied Sciences.

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mojave desert biome APBIO - Chang 1 Jennie Chang Mrs....

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