NCERT Textbook - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Class 9 Notes | EduRev

Geography (Prelims) by Valor Academy

Created by: C K Academy

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Class 9 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the twelve
mega bio-diversity countries of the  world.
With about 47,000 plant species India
occupies tenth place in the world and fourth
in Asia in plant diversity. There are about
15,000 flowering plants in India which
account for 6 per cent in the world’s total
number of flowering plants. The country has
many non-flowering plants such as ferns,
algae and fungi. India also has approximately
90,000 species of animals as well as a rich
variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
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 a
virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and
fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not
natural 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.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. This
huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is
due to the following factors.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE
RELIEF
Land
Land affects the natural vegetation directly
and indirectly. Do you expect the same type
of vegetation in mountainous, plateau and
plain areas or in dry and wet regions? The
nature of land influences the type of
vegetation. The fertile level 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.
CLIMATE
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 and alpine
vegetation.
5
2015-16
Page 2


H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the twelve
mega bio-diversity countries of the  world.
With about 47,000 plant species India
occupies tenth place in the world and fourth
in Asia in plant diversity. There are about
15,000 flowering plants in India which
account for 6 per cent in the world’s total
number of flowering plants. The country has
many non-flowering plants such as ferns,
algae and fungi. India also has approximately
90,000 species of animals as well as a rich
variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
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 a
virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and
fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not
natural 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.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. This
huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is
due to the following factors.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE
RELIEF
Land
Land affects the natural vegetation directly
and indirectly. Do you expect the same type
of vegetation in mountainous, plateau and
plain areas or in dry and wet regions? The
nature of land influences the type of
vegetation. The fertile level 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.
CLIMATE
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 and alpine
vegetation.
5
2015-16
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE 43
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.
Why are the southern slopes in Himalayan
region covered with thick vegetation cover as compared
to northern slopes of  the same hills?
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.
Why have the western stopes of the
Western Ghats covered with thick forests and not
the eastern slopes?
Have you ever thought as to why forests
are important for human beings? Forests are
renewable resources and play a major role in
enhancing the quality of environment. They
modify local climate, control soil erosion,
regulate stream flow, support a variety of
industries, provide livelihood for many
communities and offer panoramic or scenic
view for recreation. It controls wind force and
temperature and causes rainfall. It provides
humus to the soil and shelter to the wild life.
India’s natural vegetation has undergone
many changes due to several factors such as
the growing demand for cultivated land,
development of industries and mining,
urbanisation and over-grazing of pastures.
Activity
Celebrate Van Mahotsav in your school/locality
and plant few spalings and notice their growth
The vegetation cover of India in large parts
is no more natural in the real sense. Except in
some inaccessible regions like the Himalayas,
the hilly region of central India and the
marusthali, the vegetation of most of the areas
has been modified at some places, or replaced
or degraded by human occupancy.
Activity
Study the bar graph (Figure 5.1) and
answer the following questions.
(i) Name the state having maximum area under
forest cover.
(ii) Name the union territory having minimum
area under forest cover and why?
According to India State of
Forest Report 2011, the forest cover in India is
21.05 per cent.
ECOSYSTEM
Plants occur in distinct groups of communities
in areas having similar climatic conditions. 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,
Source : Environment Atlas of India, June 2001, Central Pollution Control Board Delhi
Table  5.1 : Temperature Characteristics of the Vegetation Zones
V egetation Zones Mean annual Mean Temp. Remarks
Average Temp. in January
(in degree C) (in degrees C)
Tropical Above 24°C Above 18° No Frost
Sub-tropical 17°C to 24°C 10°C to 18°C Frost is rare
Temperate 7°C to 17°
 
C -1°C to (-10
 
) °C Frost some snow
Alpine Below 7°C Below–1°C Snow
2015-16
Page 3


H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the twelve
mega bio-diversity countries of the  world.
With about 47,000 plant species India
occupies tenth place in the world and fourth
in Asia in plant diversity. There are about
15,000 flowering plants in India which
account for 6 per cent in the world’s total
number of flowering plants. The country has
many non-flowering plants such as ferns,
algae and fungi. India also has approximately
90,000 species of animals as well as a rich
variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
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 a
virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and
fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not
natural 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.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. This
huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is
due to the following factors.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE
RELIEF
Land
Land affects the natural vegetation directly
and indirectly. Do you expect the same type
of vegetation in mountainous, plateau and
plain areas or in dry and wet regions? The
nature of land influences the type of
vegetation. The fertile level 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.
CLIMATE
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 and alpine
vegetation.
5
2015-16
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE 43
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.
Why are the southern slopes in Himalayan
region covered with thick vegetation cover as compared
to northern slopes of  the same hills?
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.
Why have the western stopes of the
Western Ghats covered with thick forests and not
the eastern slopes?
Have you ever thought as to why forests
are important for human beings? Forests are
renewable resources and play a major role in
enhancing the quality of environment. They
modify local climate, control soil erosion,
regulate stream flow, support a variety of
industries, provide livelihood for many
communities and offer panoramic or scenic
view for recreation. It controls wind force and
temperature and causes rainfall. It provides
humus to the soil and shelter to the wild life.
India’s natural vegetation has undergone
many changes due to several factors such as
the growing demand for cultivated land,
development of industries and mining,
urbanisation and over-grazing of pastures.
Activity
Celebrate Van Mahotsav in your school/locality
and plant few spalings and notice their growth
The vegetation cover of India in large parts
is no more natural in the real sense. Except in
some inaccessible regions like the Himalayas,
the hilly region of central India and the
marusthali, the vegetation of most of the areas
has been modified at some places, or replaced
or degraded by human occupancy.
Activity
Study the bar graph (Figure 5.1) and
answer the following questions.
(i) Name the state having maximum area under
forest cover.
(ii) Name the union territory having minimum
area under forest cover and why?
According to India State of
Forest Report 2011, the forest cover in India is
21.05 per cent.
ECOSYSTEM
Plants occur in distinct groups of communities
in areas having similar climatic conditions. 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,
Source : Environment Atlas of India, June 2001, Central Pollution Control Board Delhi
Table  5.1 : Temperature Characteristics of the Vegetation Zones
V egetation Zones Mean annual Mean Temp. Remarks
Average Temp. in January
(in degree C) (in degrees C)
Tropical Above 24°C Above 18° No Frost
Sub-tropical 17°C to 24°C 10°C to 18°C Frost is rare
Temperate 7°C to 17°
 
C -1°C to (-10
 
) °C Frost some snow
Alpine Below 7°C Below–1°C Snow
2015-16
CONTEMPORARY INDIA 44
forming an ecosystem. Human beings are
also an integral part of the ecosystem. How
do the human beings influence the ecology
of a region? They utilise the vegetation and
wild life. The greed of human beings leads to
over utilisation of these resources. They cut
the trees and kill the animals creating
ecological imbalance. As a result some of the
plants and animals have reached the verge
of extinction.
Do you know that 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.
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.3).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
Figure 5.1 Area under Forest Cover
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar,
upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.
Source : India State of Forest Report 2013–14
AREA IN PERCENT
STATE/UT
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
2015-16
Page 4


H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the twelve
mega bio-diversity countries of the  world.
With about 47,000 plant species India
occupies tenth place in the world and fourth
in Asia in plant diversity. There are about
15,000 flowering plants in India which
account for 6 per cent in the world’s total
number of flowering plants. The country has
many non-flowering plants such as ferns,
algae and fungi. India also has approximately
90,000 species of animals as well as a rich
variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
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 a
virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and
fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not
natural 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.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. This
huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is
due to the following factors.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE
RELIEF
Land
Land affects the natural vegetation directly
and indirectly. Do you expect the same type
of vegetation in mountainous, plateau and
plain areas or in dry and wet regions? The
nature of land influences the type of
vegetation. The fertile level 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.
CLIMATE
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 and alpine
vegetation.
5
2015-16
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE 43
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.
Why are the southern slopes in Himalayan
region covered with thick vegetation cover as compared
to northern slopes of  the same hills?
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.
Why have the western stopes of the
Western Ghats covered with thick forests and not
the eastern slopes?
Have you ever thought as to why forests
are important for human beings? Forests are
renewable resources and play a major role in
enhancing the quality of environment. They
modify local climate, control soil erosion,
regulate stream flow, support a variety of
industries, provide livelihood for many
communities and offer panoramic or scenic
view for recreation. It controls wind force and
temperature and causes rainfall. It provides
humus to the soil and shelter to the wild life.
India’s natural vegetation has undergone
many changes due to several factors such as
the growing demand for cultivated land,
development of industries and mining,
urbanisation and over-grazing of pastures.
Activity
Celebrate Van Mahotsav in your school/locality
and plant few spalings and notice their growth
The vegetation cover of India in large parts
is no more natural in the real sense. Except in
some inaccessible regions like the Himalayas,
the hilly region of central India and the
marusthali, the vegetation of most of the areas
has been modified at some places, or replaced
or degraded by human occupancy.
Activity
Study the bar graph (Figure 5.1) and
answer the following questions.
(i) Name the state having maximum area under
forest cover.
(ii) Name the union territory having minimum
area under forest cover and why?
According to India State of
Forest Report 2011, the forest cover in India is
21.05 per cent.
ECOSYSTEM
Plants occur in distinct groups of communities
in areas having similar climatic conditions. 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,
Source : Environment Atlas of India, June 2001, Central Pollution Control Board Delhi
Table  5.1 : Temperature Characteristics of the Vegetation Zones
V egetation Zones Mean annual Mean Temp. Remarks
Average Temp. in January
(in degree C) (in degrees C)
Tropical Above 24°C Above 18° No Frost
Sub-tropical 17°C to 24°C 10°C to 18°C Frost is rare
Temperate 7°C to 17°
 
C -1°C to (-10
 
) °C Frost some snow
Alpine Below 7°C Below–1°C Snow
2015-16
CONTEMPORARY INDIA 44
forming an ecosystem. Human beings are
also an integral part of the ecosystem. How
do the human beings influence the ecology
of a region? They utilise the vegetation and
wild life. The greed of human beings leads to
over utilisation of these resources. They cut
the trees and kill the animals creating
ecological imbalance. As a result some of the
plants and animals have reached the verge
of extinction.
Do you know that 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.
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.3).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
Figure 5.1 Area under Forest Cover
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar,
upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.
Source : India State of Forest Report 2013–14
AREA IN PERCENT
STATE/UT
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
2015-16
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE 45
Study the given map for the forest cover and try to find the reasons as to why certain states have more area under
forest as compared to others?
Figure 5.3 : Natural Vegetation
2015-16
Page 5


H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the twelve
mega bio-diversity countries of the  world.
With about 47,000 plant species India
occupies tenth place in the world and fourth
in Asia in plant diversity. There are about
15,000 flowering plants in India which
account for 6 per cent in the world’s total
number of flowering plants. The country has
many non-flowering plants such as ferns,
algae and fungi. India also has approximately
90,000 species of animals as well as a rich
variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
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 a
virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and
fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not
natural 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.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. This
huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is
due to the following factors.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE
RELIEF
Land
Land affects the natural vegetation directly
and indirectly. Do you expect the same type
of vegetation in mountainous, plateau and
plain areas or in dry and wet regions? The
nature of land influences the type of
vegetation. The fertile level 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.
CLIMATE
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 and alpine
vegetation.
5
2015-16
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE 43
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.
Why are the southern slopes in Himalayan
region covered with thick vegetation cover as compared
to northern slopes of  the same hills?
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.
Why have the western stopes of the
Western Ghats covered with thick forests and not
the eastern slopes?
Have you ever thought as to why forests
are important for human beings? Forests are
renewable resources and play a major role in
enhancing the quality of environment. They
modify local climate, control soil erosion,
regulate stream flow, support a variety of
industries, provide livelihood for many
communities and offer panoramic or scenic
view for recreation. It controls wind force and
temperature and causes rainfall. It provides
humus to the soil and shelter to the wild life.
India’s natural vegetation has undergone
many changes due to several factors such as
the growing demand for cultivated land,
development of industries and mining,
urbanisation and over-grazing of pastures.
Activity
Celebrate Van Mahotsav in your school/locality
and plant few spalings and notice their growth
The vegetation cover of India in large parts
is no more natural in the real sense. Except in
some inaccessible regions like the Himalayas,
the hilly region of central India and the
marusthali, the vegetation of most of the areas
has been modified at some places, or replaced
or degraded by human occupancy.
Activity
Study the bar graph (Figure 5.1) and
answer the following questions.
(i) Name the state having maximum area under
forest cover.
(ii) Name the union territory having minimum
area under forest cover and why?
According to India State of
Forest Report 2011, the forest cover in India is
21.05 per cent.
ECOSYSTEM
Plants occur in distinct groups of communities
in areas having similar climatic conditions. 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,
Source : Environment Atlas of India, June 2001, Central Pollution Control Board Delhi
Table  5.1 : Temperature Characteristics of the Vegetation Zones
V egetation Zones Mean annual Mean Temp. Remarks
Average Temp. in January
(in degree C) (in degrees C)
Tropical Above 24°C Above 18° No Frost
Sub-tropical 17°C to 24°C 10°C to 18°C Frost is rare
Temperate 7°C to 17°
 
C -1°C to (-10
 
) °C Frost some snow
Alpine Below 7°C Below–1°C Snow
2015-16
CONTEMPORARY INDIA 44
forming an ecosystem. Human beings are
also an integral part of the ecosystem. How
do the human beings influence the ecology
of a region? They utilise the vegetation and
wild life. The greed of human beings leads to
over utilisation of these resources. They cut
the trees and kill the animals creating
ecological imbalance. As a result some of the
plants and animals have reached the verge
of extinction.
Do you know that 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.
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.3).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
Figure 5.1 Area under Forest Cover
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar,
upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.
Source : India State of Forest Report 2013–14
AREA IN PERCENT
STATE/UT
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
2015-16
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE 45
Study the given map for the forest cover and try to find the reasons as to why certain states have more area under
forest as compared to others?
Figure 5.3 : Natural Vegetation
2015-16
CONTEMPORARY INDIA 46
Figure 5.4 : Tropical Deciduous Forest
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.
Figure 5.5 : Thorn Forests and Scrubs
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. There
is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves.
As such, 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. There are open stretches
in which Teak, Sal, Peepal, Neem grow. A large
part of this region has been cleared for
cultivation and some parts are used for grazing.
2015-16
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