Abstract for C03


Desert & Semi-Desert
Régions désertiques et semi-désertiques


Succulents, small-leaved shrubs and trees, desert grasses and other xeromorphic growth forms are dominant or characteristic in this type, which can include very open rocky or sandy desert types. Vegetation often has open and irregular horizontal canopy spacing, typically <5 m tall. Mesomorphic trees have less than 10% cover, and xeromorphic growth forms [including succulent trees and shrubs (e.g., cacti, euphorbias)] and small-leaved shrubs and trees, have the majority of cover compared to mesomorphic or cryomorphic growth forms. The herb cover varies from open to absent, with various growth forms, including ephemerals and succulent forbs. Climates include warm (tropical) to cool (temperate) arid to desert, with regular drought periods. Substrates are dry to moist, sometimes strongly haline-alkaline, or rarely, temporarily wet (e.g., desert washes). Vegetation includes cool and warm semi-deserts.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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