Natural vegetation and Wildlife notes by Vibha Maam
(Some terms are important to understand before continuing the chapter. Let define the words)
Flora – Plants of a particular region of period
Fauna – The species of animals
Biome – A very large ecosystem on land having distinct types of vegetation and animal life
Natural vegetation refers to a plant community which has grown naturally without human help and disturbance for a long time.
Factors affecting the natural vegetation land relief, type of soil, temperature, humidity, latitude, altitude, precipitation.
The interdependence of species of plants and animals in a given area forms a single ecosystem. Human beings are also an integral part of the ecosystem.
Land affects the natural vegetation
- The nature of land influence the type of vegetation
- The fertile land is generally devoted to agriculture
- Grasslands and Woodlands are developed in undulating and rough terrain
- Mangroves are found in muddy and silty areas
- Acacia, cacti and thorny plants found in desert soil
Type of Forests
1) Tropical evergreen forest or equatorial forests
- These forests are found in the area having more than 200cm of rainfall with the short dry season
- Trees have broad leaves and hardwood
- They do not shed their leaves
- Forests are thick and luxuriant with plenty of trees
- Trees – Mahogany, ebony, Rosewood, rubber, cinchona
- Wildlife – Crocodile, elephants, one horned rhinoceros, monkey, lemur, deer, alligator, hippopotamus, scorpions and snails
- Regions – These forests are found in heavy rainfall areas of Western ghats, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Nicobar Islands and Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.
2)Tropical Deciduous Forests or Monsoon forest
- They are not as dense as evergreen forest
- They shed their leaves during the dry season
- On the basis of the availability of water these forests are divided into two categories i.e.,
Moist & Dry deciduous forests
a) Moist deciduous forests
- These forests are found in the area of 100 to 200cm of rainfall
- They shed their leaves during the dry season
- Trees – Teak, bamboo, shisham, sandalwood and sal, khair, mulberry are the common trees.
- regions – Northeastern states, Foothills of Himalayas, Orissa, Chattisgarh.
b) Dry deciduous forests
- These forests are found in areas having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm
- Regions – These are found wetter parts of the plateau, Bihar, UP
- Trees – Teak, sal, peepal, Neem
- This region is not rich in wildlife
- Common animals – Lion, tiger, pig, deer, elephant ,snakes, tortoises.
3)The Thorn Forests and Scrubs or Desert Thorn Forests
- Rainfall less than 70 cm
- Plant have long roots and succulent stem, tiny, waxy and leathery leaves,
- Regions – North Western part of the country, semi-arid areas of Gujarat Haryana, Rajasthan some part of Madhya Pradesh.
- Plants – Acacia, palm, euphorbias, cacti, Babul, kikar
- Common animals – Camel, snake, lizards
4) Mountain Forest or Coniferous forest (Taiga Forests)
- Trees are long about 30m and more
- Trees are tall and straight
- Trees leaves are needle like-shaped curve downward branches
- Little or less rainfall
- Regions – Southern slopes of Himalaya, North- East India
- Trees – Deodar, spruce, cedar, fir, pine.
- Evergreen broadleaf trees like oaks and chestnuts predominate.
- Animals – Panda, deer, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, Shaggy horned wild ibex, bear, red panda, sheep and goat with thick hair
- Mosses and lichens are the tundra vegetation (coldest biomes)
5) Mangrove Forests or Tidal forests
- These forests are found in areas of the coast or marshy regions.
- Regions – the delta of the Ganga ,the Mahanadi ,the Krishna, the Godavari, and the Kaveri,
- Sundari trees are found in the Ganga -Brahmaputra Delta which provide durable hard Timber
- Trees – Palm, coconut, agar, also growing in some part of the delta.
- Wildlife – Royal Bengal tiger is a famous animal in this forest. Turtles, crocodile gharials and snakes are also found in these Forests.
Importance of forests and needs for conservation of natural vegetations
- Forests are renewable resources and play a major role in enhancing the quality of environment
- Forests control soil erosion and also modify the local climate
- Forests support a variety of industries providing raw material
- Forests provide livelihood for many communities
- It controls wind force and temperature and cause rainfalls
- It provides soil to human and shelters to the wildlife
- Forests also balance the ecological system for plants and animals.
- For proper ecological balance nature maintains a balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen
- The Forests also help in the conservation of soil.
Steps Taken by Various Governments
- Biosphere reserves are being established
- Periodic census are undertaken of endangered species
- In order to preserve wildlife in its natural habitat, national parks and sanctuaries have been set up
- Hundreds of government as well as non- government agencies are working to conserve the wildlife
IUCN – International Union for the Conservation of Nature
UNESCO – The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation
WWF – World Wide Fund for nature
- Education can also play a vital role in conserving wildlife and vegetation.
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