Difference between Tundra and Desert

Tundra vs. Desert

What is difference between Tundra and Desert? The tundra and the desert are two biomes with a decrease in the amount of precipitation. Due to the decrease in precipitation rate, the species diversity in these biomes is lower compared to others, such as savanna, grasslands and chaparral. However, the number of individuals per species is often quite high.

Difference between Tundra and Desert


Tundra’s are found mainly in the north of the Arctic Circle and in the Arctic peninsula in the southern hemisphere. The vegetation consists mainly of grasses, grasses and lichens.

This area faces extreme conditions of nature, where the temperature reaches -50 ° C in the winters. Summers are very short in this region. Because of this factor, only the topsoil is thawed. The deepest layers remain frozen throughout the year. Severe weather, lack of soil and nutrients makes it a difficult place to survive.

The plants most abundant in the tundra’s are mosses and lichens, as these can survive even in soils with minimal conditions. In tundra’s, the roots of plants are broad and shallow; they serve to support them when the strong winds and icy winds. Some higher plants like juniper have adapted and grow small and horizontally along the ground.

The animals that inhabit this area are mainly: caribou, deer, weasels, mice and wolves. The most abundant animals in these regions are: polar bears, walruses, seals and penguins. Many migratory birds visit the tundra in the summer. They choose this region to raise their young. Tundra’s are very fragile biomes and the food chain in these regions is relatively simple.


Desserts are the driest areas on the planet. These are the areas that receive less than 25cm. of rain per year. Deserts have little or no vegetation. This biome also has extreme temperatures. Mercury peaks at up to 190 ° F in places like the Mojave Desert, while a lower limit can be set at about -4 ° F. The Sahara Desert in Africa and the Sonora Desert in Arizona are among the warmer deserts, while the Gobi Desert in China and the Great Basin in the United States are examples of cold deserts.

The plants in the desert zones adapt to the arid climate. They have evolved to withstand the conditions of perpetual drought. Most desert plants have few leaves, to minimize water loss through perspiration. The shoots are short and fleshy; while the roots are deep and generalized. Plants like cacti abound in the desert biome. However, the vegetation of the deserts varies from place to place.

Desert animals usually live in burrows or under rocks. They are brightly colored and move fast, this allows them to camouflage themselves with the environment and escape quickly when they are in danger. These animals are more active at night and remain hidden during the day. Kangaroos, rats, snakes, camels, guinea pigs, some foxes and lizards are often found in these regions.

Key differences between tundra and desert

  • Tundra’s are found near the poles, while the deserts lie towards the equator.
  • In tundra’s the temperatures are very low, whereas in the deserts they tend to be very high, although in some cases they can also be cold.