Chapter 6. Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

• height of land and character of vegetation have a close relation.
• With change in height, climate changes and that changes natural vegetation.
• growth of vegetation depends on temperature and moisture. It depends on factors like slope and thickness of soil.
• type and thickness of natural vegetation vary from place to place because of variation in these factors.
• Natural vegetation is usually classified in to three broad categories as follows:
(1) Forests: They grow where temperature and rainfall are plentiful to support tree cover.
(2) Grasslands: They grow in regions of moderate rainfall.
(3) Shrubs: Thorny shrubs and scrubs grow in dry region.
• changes in type of natural vegetation occur mainly because of changes of climatic condition.

Forests Tropical Evergreen forests
• They are known as tropical rainforests.
• equator and regions close to tropics are hot and receive heavy rainfall throughout year making favourable conditions for these forests.
• These are known as evergreen because trees do not shed their leaves altogether.
• thick canopies of closely spaced trees do not allow sunlight to penetrate inside forest even during day time.
• common hardwood trees are rosewood, ebony, & mahogany.
• tropical evergreen forests in Brazil are so enormous that they act as lungs of earth.

Tropical Deciduous Forests
• They are monsoon forests found in a large part of India, northern Australia and in Central America.
• These regions experience seasonal changes.
• Trees shed their leaves in dry season to conserve water.
• hardwood trees found in these forests are sal, teak, neem & shisham.
• Hardwood trees are extremely useful for making furniture, transport & construction materials.
• Tigers, lions, elephants, langoors & monkeys are common animals of these regions.

Temperate Deciduous Forests
• These are found in north eastern part of USA, China, New Zealand, Chile & found in coastal regions of Western Europe. They shed their leaves in dry season.
• common trees are oak, ash, beech.
• Deer, foxes, wolves are animals commonly found.
• Birds like pheasants, and monals are found here.

Temperate Evergreen forests
• These are located in mid latitudinal coastal region. They are commonly found along eastern margins of continents.
• These are found in south east USA, South China and in South East Brazil. They comprise both hard and soft wood trees like oak, pine, eucalyptus.

Mediterranean Vegetation
• west and south west margins of continents have Mediterranean vegetation. This is mostly found in areas around Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa & Asia.
• This kind of vegetation is found outside actual Mediterranean region in California in USA, south west Africa, south western America and south west Australia.
• These regions are marked for hot dry summers and mild rainy winters.
• Citrus fruits such as oranges, figs, olives & grapes are commonly cultivated here.
• There is not much wildlife present here.

Coniferous Forests
• In higher latitudes [50° – 70°] of Northern hemisphere spectacular Coniferous forests are found. These are known as as Taiga.
• These forests are present in higher altitudes. They are tall, softwood evergreen trees.
• woods of these trees are very useful for making pulp, which is used for manufacturing paper and newsprint.
• Match boxes and packing boxes are made from softwood.
• Chir, pine, cedar are important variety of trees in these forests.
• Silver fox, mink, & polar bear are common animals found here.


Tropical Grasslands
• These occur on either side of equator and extend to tropics.
• This vegetation grows in areas of moderate to low amount of rainfall.
• grass can grow very tall, about 3 to 4 metres in height.
• Savannah grasslands of Africa are of this type.
• Elephants, zebras, giraffes, deer, & leopards are common in tropical grasslands.

Temperate Grasslands
• These are found in mid-latitudinal zones and in interior parts of continents.
• In these grasslands, grasses are generally short and nutritious.
• Wild buffaloes, bison & antilopes are common in temperate region.

• Polar Regions are extremely cold therefore growth of natural vegetation is very limited here.
• Only mosses, lichens & very small shrubs are found here. It grows during very short summer. It is known as Tundra type of vegetation.
• This vegetation is found in polar areas of Europe, Asia & North America.
• animals have thick fur and thick skin to protect themselves from cold climatic conditions.
• Seal, walruses, musk-oxen, Arctic owl, Polar bear and snow foxes are some of animals found here.

Thorny Bushes
• These are found in dry desert like regions.
• Tropical deserts are located on western margins of continents.
• vegetation cover is scarce here because of scanty rainfall and scorching heat.

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