The Taklamakan desert is one of the largest deserts in the world, just a little smaller than the popular African Sahara desert. It currently covers about 130.300 square miles of Northwestern China. (almost the size of Finland)
With very little rainfall and violent storms, covered in sand dunes, the Taklamakan desert remains one of the most extreme environments on the planet earth.
One begins to wonder is it possible that life forms, especially plants can be found in such a place as the Taklamakan desert?
Some parts of the desert edge support various plants and animals that have adapted to the extremely harsh conditions of the desert environment. Desert plants in order to survive always have adaptations to battle the various stressors in the desert like water scarcity, extreme temperatures and high salinity. These plants develop mechanisms to conserve water, and withstand the violent storms of the desert.
Some of the plants found in the Taklamakan desert include:
Populus euphrateca , Tamarix rossisima and Alhagi sparsifolia.
These plants are tall and deeply rooted, with various modifications in their respiration and leaf structure to conserve water and control salt.
some of the animals species found there are; rabbits, gerbils, field mice, hedgehogs, bats camels and more. All of the animals are adapted for survival in the harsh desert climate, the camels store large quantities of water and fat, while most other animals are small so that they need less water to thrive.