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Chapter 15. Vegetation (Geography Notes)

VEGETATION

Major Forest types
(1) Tropical Hardwood Forestc :
These are found in the regions of high temperature and high rainfall.
Forests are divided into two types.
(a) Equatorial Forest : These forests extend between 5° North and 5° South of the equator. They are found in Zaire basin of Africa, the Amazon basin of South America and with some modifications in Malaysia and Indonesia.
➤ The equatorial forests in the Amazon basin are also known as Selvas.
➤ These forests are very dense due to high temperature and rainfall throughout the year.
➤ They present a layered structure.
Numerous creepers like liana climb the trees. Due to high humidity throughout the year epiphytes growing on trees could be seen commonly.
➤ These are evergreen forests.
➤ Most of the trees in these forests have hard wood.
➤ Mohogany, Rosewood, Ebony etc.are the hard wood trees.
(b) Monsoon Forests :
➤ These forest are found in central and north-east India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and northeast Australia.
➤ Monsoon forests are not very dense. Sal, teak and Sisam are important trees of the region.
➤ Besides, in the areas of high rainfall bamboos, rubber, cinchona, mahogany etc. are found.
(2) Temperate Deciduous Hardwood Forests
➤ Temperate regions of moderate temperature and rainfall like central and western Europe, northeastern USA, Southern Russia, Central America, eastern Asia.
Korea, Japan, China etc. have the hardwood deciduous forests.
➤ Trees of these forests shed their leaves at the onset of the winter and remain without leaves throughout the winter.
➤ They are found between 30° to 50° North and South of the equator.
➤ Wood of these trees are lighter and easier to work on. Important trees of this forests are Oak, Birch, Chestnut, Maple, Walnut and Elm.
(3) Temperate Coniferous Softwood Forests or Taiga
➤ Except for a few hill-slopes, most of the coniferous forests are confined to the northern latitudes.
➤ These are located between 50° N
➤ In the southern hemisphere, the extent of these forests is limited.
➤ They are found in an extensive belt in the northern hemisphere running through Canada, Norway, Swedan, Finland, Latavia, Lithuania, Estonia and Central and Eastern Siberia.
➤ In Siberia they are known as Taiga forests. They are found on the mountain slopes, between altitudes of 1500 and 2000 meters.
➤ Coniferous trees are tall, straight with narrow, needle like leaves.
Most of these are evergreen but some trees like larch are deciduous.
➤ These forests are commercially valuable as one species of tree is found over extensive areas.
➤ Pine, Cedar, Spruce, Fir, Red wood and Walsum are some of the important trees of these forests.

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