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Difference between Desert Plants and Rainforest Plants

The deserts are very dry land areas that can be hot or cold and experience very less rainfall. On the other hand, rainforests receive an enormous amount of rain. Both are homes to a variety of plants. Let us see how deserts plants differ from rainforest plants!

Desert Plants:

Deserts plants are the plants that are found in hot and dry deserts. They can be of two types: xerophytes and phreatophytes. The xerophytes plants are the plants that undergo changes in their structure in order to survive the desert. On the other hand, the phreatophytes are plants that have a deep root system in order to draw water from near the water table.

As there is little rain in the desserts, the desserts plants are adapted to survive the dry and hot conditions. Some deserts plants such as cacti are adapted to store water and some grow long roots to absorb water from deep below the surface.

Deserts plants generally do not have leaves. Instead, they have a smooth green surface with thorns which are highly modified leaves adapted to reduce water loss. They generally bloom only once or twice a year for a short period of time and their seeds remain dormant until it rains.

Rainforest Plants:

The rainforest plants are found in the rainforest habitats. They often experience rain, up to 180 inches a year. They are generally attractive as they have large leaves and flowers. Their leaves have a waxy coating in order to remove the excess water. Their roots are superficial that help them absorb nutrients from the surface of the ground or directly from the plants.

These plants often bloom continuously and produce seeds that start growing immediately. More than 60% of plant species are found in tropical rainforests. Furthermore, tropical plants or trees are very useful as they are used to produce numerous products like coffee, cacao, rubber, dyes, wood, gums etc.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between desert plants and rainforest plants are as follows:

Desert Plants Rainforest Plants
It refers to the plants found in the desserts with a dry and extremely hot climate. It refers to the plants that are found in the rainforest habitats.
Their seeds remain dormant until it rains or moisture arrives. Their seeds do not need to remain dormant until it rains. They can germinate quickly as water is available throughout the year.
They generally have thorns or spines which are highly modified leaves adapted to reduce water loss. They have green fully developed leaves with waxy covering in order to drip off the excess water.
Some desert plants have very deep root system in order to absorb water from near the water table. Rainforest plants have specialized roots that are more adapted to support the trees as trees are often unstable due to the wet and loose soil.
They are less diverse than rainforest plants. They have more diversity than desert plants.
They do not experience much rain. They encounter constant rain up to 180 inches a year.
Some desert plants like cactus are adapted to store the water. They do need to store water as they get plenty of water through rains.
They bloom once or twice a year for a short period of time. They bloom continuously.
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