It is usually found in China between 1,000 and 12,000 feet in altitude in areas that are dry and sandy. Ephedra przewalskii is a shrub that can go dormant during dry periods of the year. This is especially true of the Taklamakan Desert, the largest desert in China and one of the largest ergs on earth, covering over 337000 km2 (Zhou1993). Tensions between Han (Chinese) authorities and the dozen or so Hui (Muslim) minority peoples native to the Takla Makan have existed for centuries. The Desert plants are of great importance to the animals of the desert. The Taklamakan Desert, also known as Taklimakan and Teklimakan, is a desert in in the southwest portion of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. Animals and Plants of Taklamakan Desert. It's famous for a diverse range of bird and plant species. As the official state flower of California, … After the great Sahara desert of northern Africa, the Taklamakan is the second biggest moving –sands desert in the world. In depressions among the sand dunes, where the groundwater lies no deeper than 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 metres) from the surface, thin thickets of tamarisk, nitre bushes, and reeds may be found.  At the beginning of this century, some new lakes unex-pectedly appeared in the Taklamakan Desert – one of the largest and driest deserts in the world. Comprising a dense plantation of irrigated, indigenous, desert plant species adjacent to the highway that cuts through the centre of the desert, the Green Wall protects the road infrastructure from being covered in sand. Vegetation is extremely sparse in the Takla Makan; almost the entire region is devoid of plant cover. Scorzonera divaricata, which grows in the transitional areas between the oases and the desert, gets about 1 foot high west of Qira County. The Chinese TV series Candle in the Tomb is mostly spent in this desert as they are searching for the ancient city of Jinjue (see Niya (Tarim Basin).) Vegetation is extremely sparse in the Takla Makan; almost the entire region is devoid of plant cover. Tamarisk, nitre bushes and reeds are the only types of greenery found in the depressions between the dunes; however, plant life is much richer along the edges of the desert area. Locals recount tales that ancient cities filled with treasure lie lost and buried beneath the unknown depths of the Taklamakan Desert. Small, tufted larks and the Tarim jay are the most common birds. Despite the harsh climate conditions and nutritionally poor soils of the Taklamakan Desert, an array of plant life can be found growing in certain regions including Tamarisk flowering plant, Nitre bushes and reeds, Oleaster, Camel Thorn Tree, and Saltwort flowering plants. Rolling waves of 100-metre high sand dunes stretch endlessly beyond the horizons in all directions and settlements inside the desert are virtually non-existent. Alhagi sparsifolia is uniquely suited to desert life because it has a rare ability to take nitrogen from the air. Oleaster, an evergreen shrub that horticulturists also know as the Russian olive, spreads at the edge of the Takla Makan Desert. Alhagi sparsifolia is a perennial desert legume that grows in the borders between various oases and full-desert areas in the Taklamakan Desert. Scorzonera divaricata, which grows in the transitional areas between the oases and the desert, gets about 1 foot high west of Qira County. However, … Among the ﬁrst ﬁve branch orders, the ﬁrst two (perennial herbs, shrubs) or three (trees) root orders were ephemeral and had a primary anatomical structure, high nitrogen (N) concentrations, high respiration rates Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. Few plant species present in river valleys of the Taklamakan desert include: oleaster, turanga poplar, saltworts and camel thorn. In recent years, workers have been planting more vegetation around the Taklamakan Desert, specifically around the Tarim Desert Highway. Although it is considered the country’s hottest and driest desert, plants still sprout there in the spring. Areas in the transitional zone between these oases and the full-desert parts may have as much as 5 percent plant cover. Its name means “the place of no return”, “the place where you go in, but never go out”, or “the abandoned place”. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Because the fertility of the soil is so low to begin with, the fallow fields have tended to become desert rather than to revert to grassland. Nitraria sphaerocarpus is another bush that grows in areas similar to the range of the Ephedra przewalskii. Its wide distribution and perennial nature make it a good stabilizer for the sands around the oases. It grows in higher altitude arid areas in the border areas between the oases of the Taklamakan and its full-desert areas. Xinjiang plants more trees to contain desertification ... China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plans to plant about 70,000 hectares of trees to stop the country's largest desert Taklamakan from further expanding. The 68 °F (20 °C) isotherm moves as far as latitudes 55° to 60° N, but, in the eastern Gobi and near the cool Pacific Ocean, it bends to the south. A stable isotope approach was used to investigate water-use efficiency and water availability in three species of the natural vegetation surrounding Qira oasis at the southern fringe of the Taklamakan desert in China. Only sparse and scattered vegetation of reeds, tamarisk and nitre bushes can be seen in areas where groundwater lies close (10 to 15 feet) to the surface. Wolves and foxes are among the carnivores. Dead poplar trees stand on the fringes of the Taklamakan desert. In China, it is found in north Gansu, Nei (Inner) Mongol, Ningxia, north Qinghai, Xinjiang and the Taklamakan Desert. Taklamakan Desert Plants & Animals Long-Eared Jerboa. Ex: investigators have yet to accumulate enough evidence . The Taklamakan Desert, also known as the “Place of Ruins” or the “Sea of Death”, is the largest desert in China, at over 620mi (1000km) long and 250mi (400km) wide. Laperrine's Olive Tree. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. These animals eat plants, beetles, insects, etc. The Taklamakan desert is a place of such epic proportions and intimidating size that its name in the local Uygur language translates as 'You can go in, but you will never come out'. The vegetation is richer along the edges of the desert—the area where the sand dunes meet the river valleys and deltas and where the groundwaters lie comparatively close to the surface. It is the largest, warmest and driest desert … Image of the Day Land Life Floods. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Rare animals include the Siberian deer, which inhabits the Tarim River valley, and the wild camel, which at the end of the 19th century roamed over much of the Takla Makan as far as the Hotan River but now appears only occasionally in the eastern desert region. The desert is showcased in the Japanese animation Mobile Suit Gundam 00, set in the year 2307. There, in addition to the plants mentioned above, a number of species characteristic of river valleys are found: Turanga poplar, oleaster, camel thorn, members of the Zygophyllaceae (caltrop) family, and saltworts. The entire Taklamakan desert is devoid of plant cover. New lakes in the Taklamakan Desert Jiansheng Chen,1,2 Chi-Yuen Wang,3 Hongbing Tan,2 Wenbo Rao,2 Xiaoyan Liu,1 and Xiaoxu Sun1 Received 22 September 2012; revised 18 October 2012; accepted 21 October 2012; published 29 November 2012. Scorzonera divaricata is a very simple plant that grows below partially stable or fully stable hills or on flat, sandy areas between the full desert and the oases. But even in this dry, dangerous desert nicknamed the “Sea of Death,” plant life sprouts in the springtime. In depressions among the sand dunes, where the groundwater lies no deeper than 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 metres) from the surface, thin thickets of tamarisk, nitre bushes, and reeds may be found. As the desert moves, whole swathes of trees can be eaten by the sand, reducing areas to forest graveyards. Even greater deposits were discovered from 1980s along the southern rim and in the central portion. Spinifex Grass. The desert is known for its harsh conditions, though many forms of wildlife and vegetation seem to flourish in the hot, dry environment, among them a variety of plants. There are very few living things per square kilometre, ... All of the animals are adapted to harsh desert climate, the camels are because they store water and fat, while most other animals are small so that they need less water. The stems of the plants have long been used by aboriginal natives in the construction of their footwear. V. To gradually increase over time. However, plants and animals have learned to adapt to the difficult climate and survive the extreme conditions. Accumulate. Accumulate. Determine. This is especially true of the Taklamakan Desert, the largest desert in China and one of the largest ergs on earth, covering over 337000 km2 (Zhou1993). The images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Plant and animal life. It's indeed a must-visit place on any bird or plant lover's Xinjiang travel itinerary. Fossilized dinosaur nests and eggs, for instance, have yielded new insight into how those reptiles nurtured and reared their young. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, desert image by Balogh Eniko from Fotolia.com, The World Wonders: Taklimakan Desert, Xinjiang Uygur Zizhigu, China, Plants for a Future: Scorzonera divaricata, The Gymnosperm Database: Ephedra przewalskii, "Chinese wildlife: a visitor's guide," Martin Walters. Transportation across the shifting sands has remained hazardous, though roads exist surrounding the edge of the desert, and new ones have been built across the centre of the desert from Korla to Yutian in the south, near the Kunluns. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. This is important as it does not allow for major settlements or towns to be constructed in it. …the Thar (Great Indian) and Takla Makan deserts. Stretching 450 km from north to south and 1100 km from Chinese man plants 50,000 trees in 15 years, turning barren land on the edge of China's third largest desert into an oasis. This expedition set off an international race to rob the Takla Makan of its ancient treasures, which ceased only in the mid-1920s when the Chinese forbade further exploration. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Adapt. Even in China’s largest, driest, and hottest desert, vegetation sprouts in the spring. The Taklamakan Desert and the Silk Road . A NASA satellite captured an image of greenery in China's Taklamakan Desert. V. To change to fit a … Lying between the Tien Shan and Kunlun mountain ranges, the Taklamakan Desert is a waterless death trap, experiencing an average annual rainfall of just 0.4in (1cm). The images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. 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