Natural Vegetation Analysis Essay Example
Natural Vegetation Analysis Essay Example

Natural Vegetation Analysis Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1211 words)
  • Published: November 17, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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Natural vegetation refers to a plant community which has grown naturally without human aid and has been left undisturbed by humans for a long time. This is termed as virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not natural vegetation. Virgin vegetation -The virgin vegetation, which are purely Indian are known as endemic or indigenous species but those which have come from outside India are termed as exotic plants. Flora- The term flora is used to denote plants of a particular region or period. Fauna- the species of animals are referred to as fauna. This huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is due to the following factors.

Land Land affects the natural vegetation directly and indirectly. The nature of land influences the type of vegetation. The fertile le


vel is generally devoted to agriculture. The undulating and rough terrains are areas where grassland and woodlands develop and give shelter to a variety of wild life. Soil The soils also vary over space. Different types of soils provide basis for different types of vegetation. The sandy soils of the desert support cactus and thorny bushes while wet, marshy, deltaic soils support mangroves and deltaic vegetation. The hill slopes with some depth of soil have conical trees.

Temperature The character and extent of vegetation are mainly determined by temperature along with humidity in the air, precipitation and soil. On the slopes of the Himalayas and the hills of the Peninsula above the height of 915 metres, the fall in the temperature affects the types of vegetation and its growth, and changes it from tropical to subtropical temperate an

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alpine vegetation.

Temperature Characteristics of the Vegetation Zones Vegetation Zones Tropical Sub-tropical Temperate Alpine Mean Annual Average Temp.(in degree C) Above 24°C 17°C to 24°C 7°C to 17° C Below 7°C Mean Temp. In Jan. In degree C Above 18° 10°C to 18°C -1°C to (-10 ) °C Below–1°C Remarks No Frost Frost is rare Frost some snow Snow

Source: Environment Atlas of India, June 2001, Central Pollution Control Board Delhi Photoperiod (Sunlight) The variation in duration of sunlight at different places is due to differences in latitude, altitude, season and duration of the day. Due to longer duration of sunlight, trees grow faster in summer. Precipitation In India almost the entire rainfall is brought in by the advancing southwest monsoon (June to September) and retreating northeast monsoons. Areas of heavy rainfall have more dense vegetation as compared to other areas of less rainfall.

The nature of the plants in an area, to a large extent, determines the animal life in that area. When the vegetation is altered, the animal life also changes. All the plants and animals in an area are interdependent and interrelated to each other in their physical environment, thus, forming an ecosystem. Human beings are also an integral part of the ecosystem. A very large ecosystem on land having distinct types of vegetation and animal life is called a biome. The biomes are identified on the basis of plants. The following major types of vegetation may be identified in our country (i) Tropical Rain Forests (ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests (iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs (iv) Montane Forests (v) Mangrove Forests

Tropical Rain Forests These forests are

restricted to heavy rainfall areas of the Western Ghats and the island groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast. They are at their best in areas having more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry season. The trees reach great heights up to 60 metres or even above. Since the region is warm and wet throughout the year, it has a luxuriant vegetation of all kinds – trees, shrubs, and creepers giving it a multilayered structure.

These forests appear green all the year round. Some of the commercially important trees of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber and cinchona. The common animals found in these forests are elephants, monkey, lemur and deer. The one horned rhinoceros are found in the jungles of Assam and West Bengal. Besides these animals plenty of birds, bats, sloth, scorpions and snails are also found in these jungles. Tropical Deciduous Forests These are the most widespread forests of India. They are also called the monsoon forests and spread over the region receiving rainfall between 200 cm and 70 cm.

Trees of this forest-type shed their leaves for about six to eight weeks in dry summer. On the basis of the availability of water, these forests are further divided into moist and dry deciduous. The former is found in areas receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm. These forests exist, therefore, mostly in the eastern part of the country – northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Orissa and Chhattisgarh, and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Teak is the most dominant species of

this forest. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, mulberry are other commercially important species. The dry deciduous forests are found in areas having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.

These forests are found in the rainier parts of the peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In these forests, the common animals found are lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant. A huge variety of birds, lizards, snakes, and tortoises are also found here. The Thorn Forests and Scrubs In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and bushes.

This type of vegetation is found in the north-western part of the country including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Acacias, palms, euphorbias and cacti are the main plant species. Trees are scattered and have long roots penetrating deep into the soil in order to get moisture. The stems are succulent to conserve water. Leaves are mostly thick and small to minimize evaporation. These forests give way to thorn forests and scrubs in arid areas. In these forests, the common animals are rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tiger, lion, wild ass, horses and camels.

Montane Forests In mountainous areas, the decrease in temperature with increasing altitude leads to the corresponding change in natural vegetation. The wet temperate type of forests are found between a height of 1000 and 2000 metres. Evergreen broad-leaf trees such as oaks and chestnuts predominate. Between 1500 and 3000 metres, temperate forests containing coniferous trees like pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce and cedar, are found. These forests cover mostly the southern

slopes of the Himalayas, places having high altitude in southern and north-east India. Silver fir, junipers, pines and birches are the common trees of these forests.

The common animals found in these forests are Kashmir stag, spotted dear, wild sheep, jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, Shaggy horn wild ibex, bear and rare red panda, sheep and goats with thick hair. Mangrove Forests The mangrove tidal forests are found in the areas of coasts influenced by tides. Mud and silt get accumutated on such coasts. Dense mangroves are the common varieties with roots of the plants submerged under water. The deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Krishana, the Godavari and the Kaveri are covered by such vegetation. Royal Bengal Tiger is the famous animal in these forests. Turtles, crocodiles, gharials and snakes are also found in these forests.

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