Key Concepts - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

Class 9: Key Concepts - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

The document Key Concepts - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

What is Natural Vegetation?

Plant community that grows naturally with no human help and is not disturbed by humans for a long time term as natural vegetation.

Natural VegetationNatural Vegetation

  • With over 47,000 plant species, India occupies tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity.
  • India has 89,000 species of animals as well as a rich variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
  • Virgin vegetation that is purely Indian are known as endemic species and those which have come from outside India are termed exotic plants.

Relief

  • Land: Land affects natural vegetation directly and indirectly.
    (i) The fertile level is generally devoted to agriculture.
    (ii) The undulating and rough terrains are areas where grassland and woodlands develop and give shelter to a variety of wildlife. 
  • Soil: Different types of soils provide a basis for different types of vegetation.
    (i) The sandy soils of the desert support cactus and thorny bushes, while wet, marshy, deltaic soils support mangroves and deltaic vegetation.
    (ii) The soil at the hill slopes has conical trees.

Climate

  • The character and extent of vegetation are mainly determined by temperature along with humidity in the air, precipitation and soil.
  • The period of exposure to sunlight varies for different plants leading to their different rates of growth.
  • Areas of heavy rainfall have more dense vegetation as compared to other areas of less rainfall.
  • Forests are renewable resources and play a major role in enhancing the quality of the environment.
  • Vegetation in most parts of India has been modified at some places or replaced or degraded by human occupancy.

Ecosystem

  • All the plants and animals in an area are interdependent and interrelated to each other in their physical environment, thus forming an ecosystem.
  • A very large ecosystem on land having distinct types of vegetation and animal life is called a biome.

Try yourself:How do forests influences the climate of a place?
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Types of Vegetation

In India, the following major types of vegetation are found: 

  1. Tropical Evergreen Forests 
  2. Tropical Deciduous Forests 
  3. Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs 
  4. Montane Forests 
  5. Mangrove Forests

Tropical Evergreen Forests

These forests are present in the Western Ghats and the island groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast. 

  • These forests grow best in areas having rainfall more than 200 cm with a short dry season. 
  • The trees reach great heights up to 60 metres or even above. 
  • It has vegetation of all kinds i.e trees, shrubs and creepers giving it a multilayered structure. 
  • These forests appear green all year round. 
  • Important trees of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber and cinchona. 
  • Common animals found in these forests are elephants, monkeys, lemur and deer.

Tropical Deciduous Forests

These forests are also called monsoon forests

  • They are spread over the region having rainfall between 200 cm and 70 cm. 
  • They shed their leaves for about 6 to 8 weeks in the dry summer. 
  • In these forests, the common animals found are lions, tigers, pigs, deer and elephants. 

These forests are further divided into: 

  • Moist deciduous: These are found in areas having rainfall between 200 and 100 cm. Teak is the most dominant species in this forest. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, Khair, Kusum, Arjun and mulberry are other commercially important species. 
  • Dry deciduous: These are found in areas having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm. There are open stretches, in which teak, sal, peepal and neem grow.

The Thorn Forests and Scrubs 

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. 

  • Trees are scattered and have long roots penetrating deep into the soil to get moisture. 
  • The stems are moist to conserve water. 
  • Leaves are mostly thick and small to minimise evaporation. 
  • Acacias, palms, euphorbias and cacti are the main plant species. 
  • Common animals are rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tiger, lion, wild ass, horses and camels.

Montane Forests 

Montane forests are the forests that are found in the mountains. 

  • The wet temperate type of forest is found between a height of 1000 and 2000 metres. 
  • At high altitudes, generally, more than 3,600 metres above the sea level, temperate forests and grasslands give way to the Alpine vegetation. 
  • Alpine grasslands are used for grazing. 
  • At higher altitudes, mosses and lichens form part of tundra vegetation. 
  • The common animals found are Kashmir stag, spotted deer, wild sheep, jackrabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, shaggy horn wild ibex, bear and rare red panda, sheep and goats.

Mangrove Forests

Mangroves are trees that live along tropical coastlines, rooted in salty sediments, often underwater.

  • The mangrove tidal forests are found in the areas of coasts influenced by tides. Mud and silt get accumulated on such coasts. 
  • Dense mangroves are the common varieties with roots of the plants submerged underwater. 
  • Sundari trees are found in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta and provide hard timber. 
  • Royal Bengal Tiger is a famous animal in these forests.

Wildlife

  • India has more than 1200 species of birds, 2500 species of fish and between 5 to 8 per cent of the world’s amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
  • India is the only country in the world that has both tigers and lions.
  • The Himalayas have a large range of animals that survive the bitter cold.
  • Every species of animal has a role to play in the ecosystem; hence conservation is essential.
  • Hunting and pollution are causing threats to animal species.
  • To protect the flora and fauna of the country, the government has taken many steps.
  • Fourteen biosphere reserves have been set up in the country to protect flora and fauna.
  • 89 National Parks, 49 Wildlife Sanctuaries and Biosphere Reserves have been set up to take care of natural heritage.

Cause of Major Threat to flora and fauna

Every species has an important role in the ecosystem. Hence, the conservation of flora and fauna is essential. About 1,300 plant species are endangered and 20 species are extinct.
The main causes of this major threat to nature are: 

  • Hunting for commercial purposes 
  • Pollution due to chemical and industrial waste 
  • Rapidly cutting of the forests for cultivation and habitation

Government Initiative to Protect Flora and Fauna

The government has taken many steps to protect the flora and fauna of our country. 

  • 18 biosphere reserves have been set up in India to protect flora and fauna. 10 out of these have been included in the world network of biosphere reserves. 
  • Financial and technical assistance has been provided to many botanical gardens by the government since 1992. Project Tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and many other eco-developmental projects have been introduced by the government. 
  • 106 National Parks, 564 Wildlife Sanctuaries and Zoological gardens are set up to take care of natural heritage. (National Wildlife Database, Dec. 2021)
The document Key Concepts - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

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