Natural Vegetation

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Tropical evergreen or rain forest

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. 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. 

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Uses of important trees of tropical forest

Some of the commercially important trees of tropical evergreen forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber and cinchona. Teak is the most dominant species of tropical deciduous forests. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, mulberry are other commercially important species. 

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Moist deciduous forest

Tropical deciduous forests 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.

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Dry tropical deciduous forest

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.

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Thorn forests

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. These forests give way to thorn forests and shrubs in arid areas.

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Natural vegetation and different forest categories

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. 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

definition

Mangrove forests

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 under water. The deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Krishna, the Godavari and the Kaveri are covered by such vegetation. In the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta, sundari trees are found, which provide durable hard timber. Palm, coconut, keora, agar, also grow in some parts of the delta.

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Thorn forests and shrubs

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 minimise evaporation.