A forest refers to vast areas of land covered with thick vegetation, trees and animals dwelling within. Forest ecosystem comprises diverse flora and fauna. It includes various living organisms such as trees, shrubs, plants, microorganisms, wild animals and birds. They also include abiotic factors of the environment like temperature, wind, topography, water and rocks. Forests are one of the major natural resources of a country. The total forest and plant cover of the country is 78.92 million hectare, which is 24 percent of the geographical area of the country.
Climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature along with soil, determine the kind of natural vegetation that will be found in a particular area.
There are numerous kinds of trees like Neem, bamboo, canes, Sheesham, ebony, fig, sal, teak and many more.
Along with trees, there are various types of shrubs, herbs, creepers, grass, climbers are found in forests.
Their use in fuel, timber and industrial raw material cannot be undermined.
Hard woods such as teak, mahogany, logwood, ironwood, ebony, sal, semal, etc. are used in making furniture, tools and wagons. Softwoods like deodar, pine, fir and cedar balsam are used as raw material for making paper pulp.
Forest provides the most conducive environmental conditions, food and shelter to various kinds of animals, birds, insects and other microorganisms.
The soil in the forest is so fertile that it becomes favorable habitat for small insects and microorganisms.
A complex biodiversity in the forest forms a chain of food to the animal kingdom like different organisms depend on each other. For instance, herbivorous animals depend on plants and carnivorous animals depend on herbivores for their food, thus forming a big chain of food.
Forest helps in controlling floods to a large extent. The roots of the trees absorb the rainwater, preventing soil from getting eroded.
The humus formed from the dead and decay of insects and microorganisms when added to the soil, increases the fertility of the soil. It also soothes the extremes of climate by reducing the heat in the summers and the cold in winters.
We know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Hence, trees in the forest provide oxygen to the animals and animals provide carbon dioxide to the trees and plants. This cycle of exchanging gases balances the atmosphere in the forest, thus called the green lung. They prevent global warming.
Forest is a rich source of oxygen and so the air inside the forest is always pure and clean.
The dense trees and plants also prevent the wind and dust storm from flowing inside the area, hence the air pollution is prevented.
The atmosphere is always cool inside the forest and receives a good amount of rainfall.
Forest also absorbs the loud sound and noise from the vehicles nearby, thus reducing the noise pollution.
As we know that plants and trees get rid of excess water through the process of transpiration. Water is released in the form of water vapor in the process of transpiration. It increases the content of water vapor in the atmosphere. The water vapor condenses and forms clouds and this leads to rainfall. The roots of the trees absorb the rainwater and hence the groundwater level increases. This is how the forest regulates the water cycle.
Forest provides medicinal products, gum, latex, hone, wax, oil, spices, bones as valuable sources for many products.
1. What Do You Understand By The Term Forest?
The term forest refers to vast areas of land covered with thick vegetation, trees and animals dwelling within.
2. What Are The Climatic Factors That Determine Natural Vegetation In The Forest?
Climatic factors like temperature, rainfall and soil determine the kind of natural vegetation in the forest.
3. List Five Benefits Of A Forest?
The Five benefits of forest are:
Forests provide home and food to innumerable species of plants and animals.
Forests provide raw materials for many products that are used by humans
Forests prevent global warming
Forests prevent soil erosion
Forests regulate water cycle.
4. Why Are Forests Called Green Lung?
Forests are called the green lung of the Earth because as we know plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen which helps in the process of photosynthesis and respiration of animals. This exchange of gases maintains the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere inside the forest.