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Natural Vegetation in India

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Natural Vegetation: Natural vegetation denotes the plant community, which grows naturally without the help of human beings and has been left undisturbed, away from humans for a long time. Cultivated crops and fruits form a part of the vegetation but are not referred to as natural vegetation.

Natural Vegetation

In the world, there are 12 mega biodiversity countries and our Country India is one of them. India has a huge variety of Flora and Fauna. India has held tenth place in the world with about 47000 plant species and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. About 15000 flowering plants are there in India which is six percent of the total world’s flowering plants. India has many non-flowering plants like ferns, algae, and fungi. In its Fresh and Marine water, India has a total of 80000 species of animals as well as a rich variety of fish.

Natural Vegetation

Natural Vegetation

Features of Natural Vegetation

The features of natural vegetation are as follows:

  • The nature of vegetation and the height of the land are strongly intertwined. 
  • The climate varies as the height rises, and the natural vegetation changes as well. 
  • Temperature and moisture play a role in plant development. 
  • It also depends on parameters such as slope and soil thickness. Forest, grassland, and shrubs are the three main classifications. 

Factors Affecting Natural Vegetation

There are different types of forests depending on physical, geographical, climatic, and ecological factors, such as evergreen forest (mainly composed of evergreen tree species, i.e. species with leaves all year) and deciduous forest (mainly composed of deciduous tree species, i.e. species with leaves all year) (mainly composed of deciduous tree species i.e. species which lose their leaves during particular months of the year). Each forest type supports a distinct community of creatures that have evolved to dwell there. 

Due to the following factors, there is huge diversity in the kingdom of Flora and Fauna:

Relief

The relief itself has three factors i.e. Land, Soil, and Altitude, which are discussed as,

  1. Land: The natural vegetation is affected both directly and indirectly by the land’s character. For example, the vegetation in hilly locations differs from that in plateau and plain areas. The rich ground is usually used for agriculture, whilst the undulating and uneven terrains are where grassland and forests grow, providing a habitat for a diversity of fauna. 
  2. Soil: The soil factor also varies from place to place as different types of soil provide a basis for different types of vegetation. Different kinds of soils support different kinds of plants. Cactus and prickly shrubs thrive in the desert’s sandy soils, while mangroves and deltaic flora thrive in the delta’s damp, marshy soils. Conical trees grow on hill slopes with some soil depth.
  3. Altitude: When elevation rises, so does the distribution of flora, which is comparable to that seen as latitude rises. In general, ‘altitude mirrors latitude,’ and there is a strong correlation between latitudinal and altitudinal climatic zonation, as well as natural vegetation.) 

Climate

Climate itself has three factors i.e. Temperature, Photoperiod, and Precipitation, which are discussed as,

  1. Temperature: Temperature determined the nature and extent of vegetation of a region along with the humidity in the air, precipitation, and soil. Temperature affects the nature, type, and growth of vegetation in a place because when the temperature decreases or height increases, the climate gets colder. For Example, The fall in temperature affects the types of vegetation and its growth on the slopes of the Himalayas and the hills of the peninsula above the height of 915 m. Here on the slope of the Himalayas, the vegetation changes from tropical to subtropical temperate and alpine vegetation.
  2. Photoperiod (Sunlight): It is defined as the variation in the duration and amount of sunlight at different places. This variation in sunlight is due to latitude, altitude, season, and duration of the day. For Example, the Growth of trees and plants is high in summer due to the longer duration of sunlight. With a longer duration of sunlight, the Southern Himalayas has covered with thick vegetation than the Northern slopes.
  3. Precipitation: In India, almost the full rainfall season receives in advancing South-West monsoon i.e. (June to September). Areas always have denser vegetation with heavy rainfall than the other areas with lesser rainfall. For Example, Monsoon rains cause a heavy growth of tropical evergreen forests on the western slopes of the Western Ghats because of the southwest monsoon rains whereas, on other hand, the eastern slopes do not have dense forests.

Natural Vegetation in India

India is gifted with a wide range of flora and fauna. Due to the presence of great diversity and climatic conditions, an extensive range of vegetation grows in India.

Types of Natural Vegetation in India

There are 5 major kinds of Natural vegetation in India, which are listed as:

  1. Tropical Evergreen Forests
  2. Deciduous Forests 
  3. Dry Deciduous Forests
  4. Mountain Forests
  5. Mangrove Forests
  6. Semi- Desert or Desert Vegetation

Let’s discuss them in detail as

Tropical Evergreen Forests

  • Forests are grown in heavy rainfall areas where the annual rainfall is over 200 cm with a short dry season.
  • These are also known as Tropical Rainforests. 
  • The trees in these areas have intensive growth. Major types of trees are Sandalwood, Rosewood, Gurjan, and so on.
  • It has a variety of vegetation like trees, shrubs, and creepers; giving it multilayers.
  • Elephants, monkeys, Lemur are common types of animals here.
  • These forests are found in the Western Ghats and on the island groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman, and Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.
Tropical Evergreen Forests

Tropical Evergreen Forests

Deciduous Forests

  • Deciduous Forests are one of the most widespread forests in India. 
  • These forests are found over the region where the annual rainfall is between 100 cm to 200 cm.
  • Teak is the dominant species, along with deodar, blue gum, pal, and so forth.
  • Trees of These forest types shed their leaves for about six to eight weeks in dry summer. 
  • Based on the availability of water, these forests are divided into moist and dry deciduous.
  • These forests are also known as Monsoon Forests.
Deciduous trees

Deciduous Forests

Dry Deciduous Forests

  • These forests grow in areas with rainfall between 50 cm and 100 cm.
  • Mainly they are found in the Central Deccan plateau, Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and South West Rajasthan.

Dry Deciduous Forests

Mountain Forests

  • Montane Forests are forest that is usually found in a mountainous region where a decrease in temperature with an increase in altitude leads to the corresponding change in the natural vegetation. 
  • This is a unique sort of vegetation in India, where the species develop larger leaves and is found at elevations of 1000-3000 meters above sea level.
  • Some of the mountainous areas are Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Chestnuts, oaks, and other broad-leaved evergreen trees may be found here.
Mountain forests

Mountain Forests

Mangrove Forests

  • Mangrove Forests are the forests that are found in coastal areas influenced by tides, because of this, they are also known as Tidal Forests.
  • The Ganga, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri deltas, for example, develop along the shore and on the edges of deltas.
  • These woodlands are known as ‘Sundarbans’ in West Bengal.
  • The trees include the hogla, garan, gewa, golpata, and pasur, among others.
  • The most common varieties in these forests are Dense Mangroves and their roots are submerged underwater.
Mangrove Forests

Mangrove Forests

Semi-Deserts and Deserts Vegetation

  • These specific tree species provide insight into natural vegetation as well as the environments in which they flourish. It is obvious that these areas receive just 50 cm of yearly rainfall. This is why these plantations have begun to produce thorns in order to conserve water in this arid climate.
  • In nature, the trees are often bushy and thorny. India’s dry environment and natural vegetation reflect the characteristics of these plants. 
  • These plants may be found in Rajasthan and Gujarat’s higher reaches, where the environment is arid.
  • The main plant species are Acacias, Palms, Euphorbias, and cacti.
Semi-Deserts and Deserts Vegetation

Semi-Deserts and Deserts Vegetation

FAQs on Natural Vegetation

What is Natural Vegetation under?

Natural vegetation refers to the gifts of nature, which grow naturally by following the climatic variables. Types of vegetation differ according to precipitation, soil, climate, and topography.

What are Vegetation and its types?

Earth’s land is divided into vegetation regions. These areas have distinct kinds of plants, soil, and weather patterns. 5 major types are divided into- forests, grasslands, tundra, desert, and ice sheet.

What are natural vegetation factors?

The slope of the land, the thickness of the soil, moisture, and temperature are the factors of vegetation.

Which are the three broad categories of natural vegetation?

The three main broad categories of natural vegetation are forests, grasslands, and shrubs.

Which among the following is predominant in India?

  1. Tropical Evergreen Forests
  2. Deciduous Forests 
  3. Dry Deciduous Forests
  4. Mountain Forests
  5. Mangrove Forests
  6. Semi- Desert or Desert Vegetation

Tropical Evergreen Forests are predominant in India.



Last Updated : 05 Dec, 2023
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