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Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

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Natural Vegetation and Wildlife - Lesson Summary

Natural vegetation and wildlife are the plants and animals that survive naturally in a specific region and are part of the biosphere. The biosphere is the narrow zone where the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere interact with each other.

An ecosystem refers to the natural surroundings in which living beings and non-living beings support each other. Wild life includes animals, birds and insects and aquatic animals. All birds and animals, regardless of their size, contribute in different ways to maintain the balance in an ecosystem.

The natural vegetation in an area depends on the temperature and the moisture available. The main types of natural vegetation found the world over are: Forests, Grasslands, Scrubs and Tundra. The growth of vegetation in forests varies from region to region. Forests can be classified into evergreen or deciduous, depending on when the trees shed their leaves.

In evergreen forests, the trees do not shed their leaves all at the same time, hence they always remain green. The trees in deciduous forests, shed their leaves in the dry season to conserve moisture and prevent loss of water through transpiration.

Evergreen and deciduous forests can be further classified into tropical and temperate forests. This classification depends upon the latitude at which the forests are located.

The forests that lie within the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are called tropical forests like in Brazil. The trees in tropical forests form a dense canopy and are mostly evergreen.

Temperate forests are found in regions that lie within the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer, and between the Antarctic Circle and the Tropic of Capricorn. The trees in temperate forests form a moderately thick canopy and shed their leaves annually. Each forest type is associated with a certain type of animal life.

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