Classification and Impact

  • Natural vegetation includes that part of plant life, which grows in wild without human interference. It adapts to constraints of natural environment in size, structure and requirements. Vegetation includes trees, plants, and grass that grow in a particular environment.
  • Flora refers to plants of a particular region or period, listed by species and considered a group, whereas vegetation refers to assemblage of plant species living in association with each other in a given environmental frame.
  • Soil and drainage modify vegetation to a great extent. Tidal forests of coastal areas and acacia in flood prone areas of Maharashtra are an example. Climate also influences the vegetation to a great extent.
  • Indian vegetation can be classified into:
    1. Tropical evergreen forests
    2. Tropical deciduous or monsoon forests
    3. Tropical dry forests
    4. Arid forests
    5. Delta forests, and
    6. Mountainous forests
  • Tropical evergreen forests are found in hot and humid areas in India.
  • Tropical deciduous forests are found in areas receiving 100-200 cm of annual rainfall. They are also known as Monsoon Forests.
  • Tropical dry forests are found in areas receiving annual rainfall of 50-100 cm.
  • Arid forests are found in areas receiving less than 50 cm of annual rainfall.
  • Delta forests are found in tidal and delta regions.
  • Mountainous forests are found in the mountain areas of India. These forests are geographically divided into Himalayan forests and peninsular forests.
  • One-third of the total geographical area should be under forest cover for normal ecological balance. But, only 24.01% area is under forests in India. With an increase in the population, the demand for forest products is also increasing.
  • Intensive damage has been done to forests because of practicing of shifting cultivation. Overgrazing is another important cause of forest depletion. Many industries depend on forests for raw materials. This causes extra pressure on our limited forest resources.
  • The distribution of forests in different regions of India is mainly classified as:
    1. The region of high concentration
    2. The region of medium concentration
    3. The region of low concentration, and
    4. The region of very low concentration

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  • Q1

    What is the main objective of social forestry?


    The main objective of social forestry is to fulfill the basic needs of fuel for man and fodder for animals.

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  • Q2

    Into what categories can mountainous forests in India be divided?


    Mountainous forests in India can be divided broadly into two parts:
    (i) Northern, i.e., Himalayan forests
    (ii) Southern, i.e., Peninsular forests

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  • Q3

    What are the peculiar characteristics of trees found in arid forests?


    The trees in arid forests have small leaves, thick bark and long thick roots which enable them to face the dry climatic conditions.

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  • Q4

    How did ‘Sundarbans’ got its name?


    The name ‘Sundarbans’ is derived from ‘Sundari’ trees, which are grown abundantly in the Ganga delta region.

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  • Q5

    What is meant by virgin vegetation?


    The part of the natural vegetation that has remained undisturbed by humans is called virgin vegetation.

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