One crucial fact about deserts is that even though they seem like hostile environments for vegetation and animals, they are still vitally important for Earth’s ecosystem. If you’re not informed enough about desert ecosystems all of this talk might seem frivolous to you, so that’s why I’m writing this.

The plants and animals native to the desert have taken thousands, if not, millions of years to adapt to their home environment, thus becoming indelible from it – some plants remain dormant until rainfall and then grasses and flowers spring up before disappearing again, cacti soak up large amounts of water to last them for longer and their skin is thick so as to prevent loss of moisture, and some trees grow long roots deep into the ground to access moisture. Thus, deserts aren’t just large barren areas of dry land, but they are intelligent ecosystems that need preservation.

Deserts are under threat mostly because of climate change, but there is also the human factor like land development and mineral oil extraction, and once a desert’s ecosystem is destroyed, it’s going to take a while to fix it. It’s not an object, like a watch, that you can just get a repair kit ordered online and do it yourself. It takes awareness and work.

One of the things that can be done is planting. Growing plants in greenhouses before planting them in the wild is a great first step. But, this is a process that takes a while and needs careful planning. Plants are usually grown for a little over a year and then after they are transplanted, they must be protected from herbivores and watered regularly for a while, until they adapt. Sometimes, types of fungi are used as an aid to the plant to absorb nutrients and water.

Seeding is also another way to restore a damaged desert ecosystem, and is usually done by hand for smaller, and by plane for larger areas. Sometimes the seeds are coated or sown with a protective layer for protection from predation but also to conserve water. For successful seeding, the key is to do it when the outside conditions are suitable for the desired outcome.

Manipulating the soil is also a very successful way to aid deserts in their self-renewal. Soil health can be restored by additives, fertilizers, or organic matter, which can vastly improve the condition of the soil.

Restoring desert ecosystems is often challenging because success depends almost entirely on conditions outside of human control. But careful observation and navigation lead to success more often than not.