JAC Board Class 9th Social Science Notes Geography Chapter 5 Natural Vegetation and Wildlife
- 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 the world’s total number of flowering plants.
→ Natural Vegetation
- Natural vegetation refers to a plant community which has grmvn naturally without human aid and has been left undisturbed by humans for a long time. This is also called Virgin Vegetation.
- Virgin vegetation is of two types: (i) Endemic species: These plants species have originated from the country. (ii) Exotic species: These plants species have originated outside the country.
→ Factors affecting flora and fauna: Factors which influence the diversity of flora and fauna are as follows:
- Relief: It includes land and soil.
- Land: The nature of the land i.e., hilly, plateau or a plain, determines the kind of vegetation which will grow on it. Fertile lands are used for growing crops, vegetables and fruits. Rugged and uneven terrains generally develop either into grasslands or forests.
- Soil: The soils also vary from place to place. Different kinds of soils provide different kinds of vegetation.
→ Climate: It includes temperature, photoperiod and precipitation.
- Temperature: The character and extent of vegetation and distribution of fauna is mainly determined by temperature.
- Photoperiod: Due to longer duration of sunlight, trees grow faster in summers.
- Precipitation: Areas of heavy rainfall have more dense vegetation and fauna as compared to other areas of less rainfall.
→ Types of Vegetation
- According to India State of Forest Report 2011, the forest cover in India is 21.05 per cent.
- India has following types of vegetation: (i) Tropical evergreen forests, (ii) Tropical deciduous forests, (ii) Tropical thorn (iv) orests and scrubs, (v) Montane forests, (vi) Mangrove forests.
- Tropical Evergreen Forests: They are found in areas where the annual rainfall is over 200 cm with a short dry season.
- Ebony, mahogany, rubber, cinchona and rosewood trees are useful commercial trees found in these forests.
- Animals found here include rhinoceros, elephants, monkey, lemur, deer, many bird species etc.
→ Regions of these forests are western slopes of the Western Ghats, Lakshadweep islands, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, upper parts of Assam and some parts of the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
→ Tropical deciduous forests
- Tropical deciduous forests or monsoon forests are the most widespread forests of India.
- These types of forests are found in areas with rainfall ranging from 70 to 200 cm.
- On the basis of the availability of water, these forests are further divided into moist and dry deciduous.
- Moist deciduous forests are found mostly in the eastern part of the country, such as- north-eastern states, west Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, foothills of Himalayas and the leeward side of the Western Ghats. Teak is the most prominent species of these forests.
- Dry deciduous forests are found in rainier parts of the Peninsular plateau and the plains of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
→ Tropical Thron Forests and Scrubs
- These forests are found in north-western part of the country including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, some areas of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
- Trees like acacia, palm, euphorbia and cactus are found in these areas. Fox, wolf, rats and mice, wild ass, horses, tiger, lion, camels and similar animals are found in these areas.
→ Montane Forests
- Montane forests are found in mountainous areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Altitudinal distribution of montane forests are as follows: (i) Wet temperature forests, (ii) Temperate forests, (iii) Temperate grasslands, (iv) Alpine vegetation, (v) Alpine grasslands, (vi) Tundra vegetation.
- Trees like oaks, chestnut, pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce, cedar, birch are found in these areas.
- Animals found here include the Kashmir stag, spotted dear, wild sheep, Jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, bear, rare red panda, sheep and goats with thick hair.
→ Mangrove Forests
- These are found in the delta areas of rivers on the eastern coast in India (Ganga, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri).
- In the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta, Sundari trees providing durable timber are prominent. Other trees are palm, coconut, keora and agar.
- Animals found here include the Royal Bengal tigers, snakes, turtles, gharials and crocodiles.
→ Wild Life
- Like its flora, India is also rich in its fauna.
- India has approximately 90,000 of animal species. The country has more than 2,000 species of birds. They constitute 13% of the world’s total species. There are 2,546 species of fish, which account for nearly 12% of the world’s stock. It also shares between 5 and 8 per cent of the world’s amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
- Wildlife Protection Act was implemented in 1972 in India.
- The Gir forest is the last remaining inhabitat of the Asiatic lion.
- The Elephants are found in the hot wet forests of Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.
- Indian bison, nilgai, chousingha, garel and different species of deer and some other animals are also found in India.
- India is the only country in the world that has both tigers and lions.
- The natural habitat of the Indian lion is the Gir forest in Gujarat.
- Tigers are found in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, the Sundarbans of West Bengal and the Himalayan region.
- Gharial is the only representative of a variety of crocodile found in India.
- Peacocks, pheasants, ducks, parakeets, cranes and pigeons are some of the birds inhabiting the forests and wetlands of the country.
- The wetlands of India are home to many migratory birds such as Siberian crane, flamingo, etc.
- Due to excessive exploitation of plant and animal resources by human beings, the ecosystem has been disturbed.
→ The main cause of threat to ecosystem are:
- Hunting by greedy hunters for commercial purpose,
- Pollution due to chemical and industrial waste, acid deposits,
- Reckless cutting of the forests to bring land under cultivation and habitation,
- Introduction of alien species.
→ To protect the flora and fauna of the country, the government has taken many steps, such as:
- Setting up of various biosphere reserves,
- Providing financial and technical assistance to many botanical gardens,
- Introduced eco-developmental projects,
- National Parks (104), Wildlife Sanctuaries, (543) and Zoological Gardens have been set up.
→ But, in spite of all these steps, all of us must realise the importance of the natural eco-system for our own survival. It is possible if indiscriminate destruction of natural environment is put to an immediate end.
→ Natural Vegetation/Virgin Vegetation: It refers to a plant community which has grown naturally without human aid and is left undisturbed by humans for a long time.
→ Wildlite: It refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all plants, fungi, and other organisms that grow or survive wild in an area without being introduced by humans.
→ Biodiversity: The existence of a large number of different kinds of animals and plants which makes a balanced environment.
→ Fern: A green plant with no flowers and a lot of long thin leaves.
→ Algae: Algae is a single or multi-cellular organism that has no roots, stems or leaves and is often found in water.
→ Endemic Species: Purely Indian species.
→ Exotic Plants or Species: Plants or species which have come from outside in India are called exotic plants or species.
→ Flora: It is used to denote plants of a particular region.
→ Fauna: It is used to denote animals of a particular region.
→ Feres: Extensive and covered with trees.
→ Tropical Forests: These forests are dense and evergreen; they grow in areas receiving over 200 cm annual rainfall.
→ Deciduous Forests: Forests having trees that lose their leaves every year.
→ Thorn and Scrub Forests: These grow in areas receiving less than 70 cm of annual rainfall.
→ Ecosystem: It comprises the community of living organisms and the physical environment.
→ Biosphere: Part of the earth which is inhabited by living things.
→ Biosphere Reserve: A reserved forest area where all types of flora and fauna are conserved in their natural environment.
→ National Park: It is a reserved area meant for preserving natural vegetation, wildlife and natural beauty.
→ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Wildlife sanctuaries are that part of the natural forests where hunting and poaching of wild animals and birds is prohibited.
→ Zoological gardens: These are reserved gardens where wild animals are kept in man- made surroundings according to their natural habitat.