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Desert plants have evolved ways of conserving and efficiently using the water
available to them. Some flowering desert plants are ephemeral; they live for a few
days at most. Their seeds lie dormant in the soil, sometimes for years, until a
soaking rain enables them to germinate and quickly bloom. Woody desert plants
either have long root systems that reach deep water sources or have spreading
shallow roots that are able to take up surface moisture quickly from heavy dews
and occasional rains. Desert plants usually have small leaves. This conserves water
by reducing surface area from which transpiration can take place. Other plants drop
their leaves during the dry period. The process of photosynthesis—by which
sunlight is converted to energy and usually conducted primarily in leaves—is taken
over in the desert by the stems. A number of desert plants are succulents, storing
water in leaves, stems, and roots. Thorns, which are modified leaves, serve to
guard the water from animal invaders. These plants may take in and store carbon
dioxide only at night; during the day their stomata, or pores, are closed to prevent
evaporation. Desert plants growing on saline soils may concentrate salt in their sap
and then secrete the salt through their leaves.
Rain Forest, tropical woodland, characterized by lush vegetation and great
biological diversity. There are more species of plants and animals in tropical rain
forests than in all the rest of the world’s ecosystems combined. About 70 percent of
all plant species in these forests are trees. Tropical rain forests are vertically
stratified, having three to five layers of plant life: visible emergent trees protruding
partly or entirely above the upper canopy; one to three closed canopies; and an
understory. The upper canopy of trees reaches 30 to 50 m (100 to 165 ft) above
the ground. Woody vines called lianas that can exceed 20 cm (8 in) …

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Haiti
officially Republic Of Haiti, Haitian Creole Repiblik Dayti, French République D’haiti, island country of the West Indies, the only independent French-speaking republic in the Americas, occupying the western third of the island of Hispaniola and several nearby small islands. It is situated about 600 miles (970 km) southeast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean and has a total land area of 10,579 square miles (27,400 square km). The capital is Port-au-Prince. The country comprises two peninsulas separated by the Gulf of Gonaives. Haiti is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the Dominican Republic, and on the south and west by the Caribbean Sea. The population in 1990 was estimated to be 5,590,000.
The land.
Haiti is a mountainous country; about two-fifths of the total land area is above 1,600 feet (490 m) in elevation. The principal mountain system, the Massif du Nord (average elevation 4,000 feet [1,200 m]), extends eastward into the Dominican Republic, where it is called the Cordillera Central. Mount La Selle in the southeast is Haiti’s highest point (8,773 feet [2,674 m]). The mountain ranges alternate with fertile but heavily overpopulated lowlands, the largest (150 square miles [390 square km]) being the coastal Plaine du Nord (“Northern Plain”). The Artibonite River, with a length of 174 miles (280 km) and a drainage basin of 2,600 square miles (6,700 square km), is the principal river. The alluvial plain of the Artibonite joins Haiti’s northwestern and southern peninsulas.
Haiti’s mountainous terrain and proximity to the sea modify its humid tropical climate. Daily maximum temperatures at Port-au-Prince range between averages of 94 F (34 C) in July and 87 F (31 C) in January. The country lies in the rain shadow of the mountains of the Dominican Republic, which block the westward movement of moisture-laden trade winds into Haiti. The annual rainfall varies from 20 inches (500 mm) in the northwest…

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