VII GEO GIST – NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILD LIFE

Natural vegetation is generally classified into three broad categories as follows:

  • Forests: which grow where temperature and rainfall are plentiful to support a tree cover. Depending upon these factors, dense and open forests are grown.
  • Grasslands: which grow in the region of moderate rain.
  • Shrubs: Thorny shrubs and scrubs grown in the dry region.

The changes in the type of natural vegetation occur mainly because of the changes in the climatic condition.

FORESTS:

Tropical Evergreen Forests:

  • Also called as tropical rain forests.
  • Occur in the regions near to equator and close to the tropics.
  • Hardwood trees like rosewood, ebony, mahogany are common here.

Tropical deciduous forests:

  • Are the monsoon forests found in large part of India, N. Australia and in Central America.
  • The hardwood trees found in these forests are sal, teak, neem and shisham.
  • Tigers, lions, elephants, langoors and monkeys are the common animals of these regions.

Temperate Evergreen forests:

  • These are located in the mid-latitudinal coastal region. They are commonly found along the eastern margin of the continents, e.g., In South east USA, S.China and in SE Brazil.
  • They comprise both hard and soft wood trees like oak, pine, eucalyptus, etc.

Temperate Deciduous Forests:

  • These are found in the NE part of USA, China, New Zealand, Chile and also found in the coastal regions of W.Europe.
  • The common trees are oak, ash, beech etc.
  • Deer, foxes, wolves are the commonly found animals. Birds like pheasants, monals are also found here.

Mediterranean Vegetation:

  • The west and south west margins of the continents have this vegetation.
  • Mostly found in the areas around the Mediterranean sea in Europe, Africa and Asia, hence the name.
  • These regions are marked for hot dry summers and mild rainy winters.
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, figs, olives and grapes are commonly cultivated.
  • These regions are known as ‘Orchards of the world’ for their fruit cultivation.

Coniferous forests:

  • These forests are seen in the higher latitudes.
  • These are also called as Taiga.
  • The trees are tall, softwood evergreen trees. The woods of these trees are very useful for making pulp, which is used for manufacturing paper and newsprint.
  • Match boxes and packing boxes are also made from softwood.
  • Chir, pine, cedar are the important variety of trees in these forests.
  • Silver fox, mink, polar bear are the common animals found here.

Tropical grasslands:

  • These occur on either side of the equator and extend till the tropics.
  • This vegetation grows in the areas of moderate to low amount of rainfall. Ex: Savanna grasslands of Africa
  • Elephants, Zebras, giraffes, deer, leopards are common here.
  • Tropical Grasslands in East Africa are called Savannahs.
  • They are called Campos in Brazil
  • They are called Llanos in Venezuela

Temperate Grasslands:

  • These are found in the mid-latitudinal zones in the interior part of the continents.
  • Wild buffaloes, bisons, antelopes are common here.
  • The temperate grasslands of Argentina are called Pampas.
  • They are called Prairie in N.America
  • They are called Veld in S.Africa
  • They are called Steppe in C.Asia
  • They are called Down in Australia.

Thorny bushes:

  • The vegetation cover is scarce because of scanty rain and scorching heat.

Tundra Vegetation:

  • This is extremely cold.
  • The growth of vegetation is very limited here.
  • Only mosses, lichens and very small shrubs are found here. It grows only during the very short summer.
  • This is found in the polar areas of Europe, Asia and N.America.
  • Seal, walruses, musk-oxen, Arctic owl, Polar bear and snow foxes are some of the animals found here.
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