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Types of Vegetation

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Types of Vegetation - Lesson Summary

The major types of vegetation in India are tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous forests, tropical thorn and scrubs forests, montane forests and mangrove forests.

Tropical evergreen forests are characterized by heavy rainfall and a warm climate. The commercially important trees grown in this area are ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber and cinchona. These forests also have a variety of animals like elephants, monkey, lemur and deer and various birds, bats, sloth, scorpions and snails.

Tropical deciduous forest makes up most of the forest area in India. These forests depend on the monsoon, and are also known as monsoon forests. Rainfall in these areas ranges from 70 to 200 cm. The areas that receive between 100 and 200 cm rains are known as moist deciduous, like along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, western Orissa, Chhattisgarh, and the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Commercially important trees here include teak, bamboo, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun and mulberry.

The areas that receive between 70 and 100 cm rainfall are classified as dry deciduous forests like the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. These are sparsely populated with the teak, sal, peepal and neem trees. The animals found here are elephants, lions, tigers and deer with variety of birds, lizards, snakes and tortoises.

Unlike evergreen and deciduous forests, the vegetation in thorn forests and scrubs is restricted to thorn plants and scrubs due to scanty rainfall. The rainfall is below 70 cm like the semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The stems of these plants are fleshy to conserve water for a longer period. The leaves are like thorns to minimise evaporation. Trees like the acacias, palms, euphorbias and cacti are common here with animals like rabbits, foxes, wolves, tigers, lions, horses and camels.

Montane forests are found in mountainous regions primarily in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. These are very different in their make-up from other types of forests, as the temperature and soil conditions are different on different altitudes.

The animals found here are the Kashmir stag, spotted deer, wild sheep, jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak and snow leopard.

A tree-line is the edge of the habitat, beyond which there is no vegetation due to severe weather conditions.

The mangrove forests are usually found in coastal areas. Mangroves are a variety of plants and trees with their roots submerged in water. Dense mangrove forests are found in the deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri. Wild animals such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, crocodile, gharial, turtle and snake are found here.

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