Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

What is Natural Vegetation?

A plant population that has evolved naturally without the assistance of humans is referred to as natural vegetation. For a long period of time, they have also been unaffected by humans. This is what we refer to as virgin vegetation. Cultivated fruits and crops, as well as orchards, are considered vegetation, but not natural vegetation. Plants from a specific area or time period are referred to as flora. The word "fauna" refers to animal species.


Types of Natural Vegetation

The following are the principal types of natural vegetation in India:

1. Tropical Evergreen Rain Forests: Tropical Evergreen Rainforests are located in areas with even more than 200 cm of annual precipitation. They are mostly located in the northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, the Western Ghats, Nagaland, the Himalayan Tarai zones, the Andaman Islands and Arunachal Pradesh. They can also be found in the Khasi and Jaintia hills. The trees throughout this area are gaining a lot of height.


Sandalwood, Mahogany, Gurjan, Rosewood, and bamboo are the main trees grown in this region. It does have a multilayered structure due to the abundance of vegetation among all kinds – shrubs, trees, and creepers. Elephants, monkeys, and lemurs are among the species that can be found in these regions.


2. Deciduous or Monsoon Type of Forests: On the lower elevations of the Himalayas, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and the surrounding areas, deciduous forests can be found. The rainfall in this region ranges from 100 to 200 cm. Teak is the most common tree in the region. Deodar, Pal Ash,  Blue Gum, Sandalwood,  Sal, Ebony, Arjun, Khair, and Bamboo are among the other trees. Mostly during dry summers and winters, the trees in this forest lose their leaves. These forests are further classified into humid and dry deciduous forests depending upon the availability of water.


3. Dry Deciduous Forests and Scrubs: Such forests thrive in climates with annual precipitation ranging from 50 to 100 centimeters. The Central Deccan plateau, Haryana, Punjab, portions of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and the southeast of Rajasthan are the most affected.


4. Semi Desert and Desert Vegetation: The annual rainfall in this region is less than 50 cm. This vegetation zone is home to thorny trees, acacia, and Babul. The Indian wild date is commonly found in this region. They have dense flesh and broad roots. Plants in this area hold water in their stems to help them survive the drought. Gujarat, Punjab, and Rajasthan all have this kind of vegetation.


5. Tidal or Mangrove Forests: Rainfall totals only about 50 cm in this region. This vegetation zone is home to thorny acacia, bushes, and Babul trees. Here is where you'll find the Indian wild date. Large roots and dense flesh are characteristics of this species. This region's plants store water in their stems to withstand the drought. Gujarat, Punjab, and Rajasthan all have areas with this kind of vegetation. In such forests, the ‘Sundari' is perhaps the most important tree. Hogla, Pasur, Garan, and other tidal forest trees are significant. This forest is vital to the forestry industry because it provides both timber and firewood. The coastal strip is adorned with palm and coconut trees.


Natural Vegetative Propagation

When an axillary bud develops into a lateral shoot that has its own roots, this is considered as biological vegetative propagation (also termed as adventitious roots). Bulbs, stolons, rhizomes, and tubers are plant systems that allow for natural vegetative propagation. Since specialized organs of vegetative reproduction, such as seeds in annuals, help to withstand seasonally harsh environments, some species of plants that withstand and substantially grow through vegetative reproduction are almost by definition perennial. A clonal community is a plant that survives in a given location by the vegetative reproduction of organisms over a prolonged period of time.


In certain ways, Natural vegetative propagation is a method of survival and growth of the individual's biomass rather than reproduction. The process of "vegetative development" occurs when an individual organism grows in size through cell multiplication while remaining intact.


Wildlife

Wildlife used to belong to undomesticated animal species, but it has since expanded to include those animals that evolve or live in the wild without being established by humans. In all habitats, wildlife can be identified. Deserts, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, rainforests, and other regions, including the world's most populated cities, all have unique wildlife.


Although the term is also used to refer to species that are unaffected by human activity, many scientists believe that human activities have a significant impact on wildlife. Humans have traditionally tried to keep society and wildlife apart in a variety of ways, including legal, social, and moral ones. Some species, on the other hand, have adapted to suburban life. Domesticated cats, mice, dogs, dogs, and rats are examples of this. Few religions consider such species to be sacred, and environmental activists have protested against the destruction of wildlife for human benefit or entertainment in recent eras.


Some of the examples of wildlife are given below:

  • Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir in Gujarat is home to Asiatic lions.

  • India is also home to the most magnificent mammal on the planet: the elephant.

  • Tigers are generally found in the Himalayan region, in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, and in the Sundarbans of West Bengal.

  • The leopard is one of the most important animals of prey.

  • The wetlands and forests are home to peacocks, pheasants, ducks, parakeets, cranes, and pigeons.

  • The one-horned rhinoceroses live in the swampy and marshy areas of Assam and West Bengal.

  • The Tibetan antelope, The yak, the shaggy horned wild ox weighing around one ton, wild sheep, the bharal (blue sheep), and the kiang (Tibetan wild ass) are found in the freezing high altitudes of Ladakh.

  • Camels and wild asses are found in arid areas of the Thar Desert, and the Rann of Kachchh, respectively.

  • Turtles, crocodiles, and gharials are generally found in lakes, rivers, ponds, and coastal environments.


Uses of Wildlife

For food: People and trappers in the Stone Age depended on wildlife, including animals and plants, for food. In reality, ancient human hunters might just have hunted some species to extinction. In certain areas of the world, fishing, hunting, and collecting wildlife is still a major food source. Hunting and non-commercial fishing are primarily viewed as a hobby or recreational activity in many other countries.


Bushmeat is meat produced through wildlife that isn't usually considered a game. The increased supply of wildlife as a popular food source in East Asia is decimating communities of sharks, pangolins, primates, and some other animals believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.


As pets and in medicinal ingredients: Others, including parrots and monkeys, are meant for the pet industry and are frequently brought into the United States. Certain Amazon species become famous ingredients in local markets' traditional medicines. The medicinal value of animal parts is primarily dependent on folklore.


Conservation of Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Below given points state the reasons for the conservation of natural vegetation and wildlife:

  • Forests provide us with oxygen and precipitation.

  • Soil erosion is prevented by forests.

  • Pollination and seed dispersal are both based on animals and birds for plants.

  • Forests supply us with a variety of medicines.

  • In industries, a variety of forest products are being used as raw resources.

  • They are a constant in the natural world.

  • These wildlife communities help to preserve ecological balance.

  • Some animals are extinct, and others are on the verge of becoming extinct.

  • Endangered animals ought to be safeguarded.

  • Wildlife has the same right to exist on this planet as humans.


Initiatives by the Government to Protect Natural Vegetation and Fauna

Pollution, commercial hunting, deforestation to make way for cultivable and habitable land, acid deposits, and so forth. are main causes of threat to nature.

  • The Wildlife Protection Act was introduced by the government in 1972. 

  • In India, 10 out of the 18 biosphere reserves set up have been incorporated in the world network of biosphere reserves.

  • There are 104 national parks, 535 wildlife santuaries, and various zoological gardens in order to safeguard the country's flora and animals. 

  • For the preservation of endangered animals, various government projects, such as Project Tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and many other eco-developmental projects have been introduced. 

  • The government has been providing financial and technical aid to the Botanical Gardens since 1992.

  • The government has also taken actions to protect natural resources, including UNESCO Protected 18  biosphere reserves.

  • Various projects and programs have been launched for the protection of wildlife such as Project Tiger, Project Lion, Project Elephant, Project Vulture, etc.


Changes in Natural Vegetation of India

In huge regions of India, the vegetation cover is no longer natural. It has seen significant transformations as a result of a multitude of factors, including the rising demand for arable land, industrial expansion, and mining. The vegetation of the majority of areas has been modified, replaced, or degraded by human habitation in some areas except for some inaccessible locations such as the Himalayas, central India's hilly region, and the marusthali. urbanization and pasture overgrazing.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the importance of wildlife?

Wildlife contributes to the ecological balance of the environment. Carnivore extinction results in a rise in the number of herbivores, which has an effect on forest vegetation. As a result of a lack of resources in the forest, they migrate to agricultural land and kill the crops. Wildlife refers to the birds, plants, animals, and other creatures that live in a forest. Wildlife also balances our earth. So, It also helps the economy of our country as well as the world.

2. What factors have an effect on natural vegetation?

Natural vegetation is defined as an area that exists independently of human intervention.  It depends upon the various environmental factors that mainly include the relief and the climate. The land and soil come under the category of relief while the sunlight, temperature, rainfall, humidity, precipitation, etc come under the category of climate. It is not touched by humans in its original form. Its growth depends upon various environmental factors. The factors that have an effect on natural vegetation:

  • Land

  • Photoperiod

  • Soil

  • Precipitation

  • Temperature

3. Why does India have such diverse flora and animal heritage?

India is one of the world's twelve mega biodiversity countries. India ranks ninth in the world and fourth in Asia in terms of plant diversity, with over 47,000 species. India has over 15,000 flowering plants, accounting for about 6% of the total number of flowering plants on the planet. Non-flowering plants, such as ferns, algae, and fungi, abound in India. India also has 89,000 species of animals as well as a rich variety of fish.

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