Abiotic and Biotic Factors

Abiotic factors are the non-living chemical and physical factors that influence an ecosystem. Abiotic factors affect the Mojave National Preserve include water flow through the region (including rain), temperature, wind, soil quality, movement along fault lines, and elevation. Water flow through a region is important because in times when little rain falls, it allows organisms another means of acquiring water. The Mojave River is the largest drainage system in the Mojave Desert. The current direction of this essential river was shaped by the movement of tectonic plates of the San Andres Fault. Additionally, rain fall plays an important role in the Mojave National Preserve. Different elevations receive different amounts of waterfall. Lower elevations receive 3.37 inches of rain annually, whereas higher elevations receive approximately 9 inches. All of these abiotic factors are interconnected, as you can see. The Mojave River is effected by tectonic plate movement, rain fall also influences the river and elevation effects rain fall. In places that receive more rain, they can support more plant life, which prevents erosion in times of heavy wind. In turn, soil can remain healthy if it is able to retain rain water and allow for organisms to live there, effectively creating a synergistic environment.



Biotic factors are the living factors that influence an ecosystem including plants and animals.
There are many animals and plants living in the Mojave Desert. Mammals of this region include bats, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, mule deer, bobcats and jackrabbits, coyote. The amphibians living in the Mojave Desert Preserve consist of the Red-spotted toad and Pacific treefrog. Birds living here include Ravens, Cactus wrens, Golden eagles, Roadrunners, and Red-tailed hawks. Chuckwalla, the Common Kingsnake, Desert Tortoise, and Mojave rattlesnake make up most of the reptile inhabitants of this region. Insects and arachnids that live in the Mojave Desert Preserve include the Tarantula, Tarantula Hawk, Pronuba Moth, and Scorpions. These animals are supported by plants such as trees, grasses, and wildflowers. Some trees include Joshua Trees, White Fir, Juniper and Pinyon pines. Creosote is bush scrub used for cover by many animals as well as a nesting place. Some grasses of the region include Big Galleta, Indian Rice Grass, Bush Muhly, Fluff Grass, Red Brome, and Desert Needle. Desert wildflowers come in many different colors. Some of the different examples that display this variety include Blue Dicks, Owl’s Clover, Red Maids, Apricot Mallow, and Fremont's Pin Cushion.