Chapter 6

Natural vegetation and wildlife

Natural vegetation refers to the plant life of a region which grown naturally.The type and thickness of natural vegetation varies from place to place because of the variation in these factors.

Natural vegetation is classified into 3 broad categories:

Forests- Which grow where temperature and rainfall are plentiful to support a tree cover. Depending on these factors, dense and open forests are grown.

Grasslands- Which grow in the region of moderate rain.

Shrubs-Thorny shrubs from scrubs grow in the dry region. The changes in the type of natural vegetation occur mainly because of the changes of climatic conditions.


Tropical Evergreen forests

These forests are also called tropical rainforests.This thick forests occur in the regions near the equator and close to the tropics.These reasons are hot and receive heavy rainfall throughout the year.As there is no particular dry season, the trees do not shed their leaves altogether. Thus they are called evergreen. The thick canopies of the closely spaced trees do not allow the sunlight to penetrate inside the forest, even in the daytime.

Common trees-Hardwood trees like rosewood, ebony, mahogany.

The tropical Evergreen forest in Brazil is soenormous that it is like the lungs of the earth.Anaconda, one of the world's largest snakes, is found in the tropical rainforest. It can kill and eat a large animal, such as a crocodile. 

Tropical deciduous forests

These are monsoon forests found in the large part of India, Northern Australia, and in Central America.These regions experience seasonal changes.Trees shed their leaves in the dry season to conserve water.

Common trees- Hardwood trees like sal,teak,neem and sheesham. Hardwood trees are extremely useful for making furniture, transport and constructional materials.

Common animals- Tigers,lions,elephants, langoors and monkeys.


Temperate Evergreen forests

These forest are located in the mid latitudinal and coastal region.They are commonly found along the eastern margin of the continents, e.g in south east, USA, South China and in South East Brazil.

Common trees- Both hard and softwood trees like

oak, pine, eucalyptus, etc.

Temperate Deciduous forests

These are present at higher latitudes. These are found in the north eastern part of USA, China, New Zealand, Chile and also found in the coastal regions of Western Europe.They shed their leaves in the dry season.

Common trees- Oak, ash, beech, etc.

Common animals- Deer, Foxes, wolves.Birds like pheasants,monals are also found here.

A Pheasant
A Monal

Mediterranean vegetation

These are present at west and south west margins of the continents and are covered by temperate evergreen and deciduous trees. It is mostly found in the areas around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia which given its name. It is also found outside the actual Mediterranean region in Californiain the USA, south west Africa, southwestern South America and South West Australia. These regions are marked for hot, dry summers and mild rainy winters.

Common vegetation- Citrus fruits such as oranges, figs, olives and grapes are cultivated here because people have removed the natural vegetation in order to cultivate what they want to. There isn't much wildlife here.

Mediterranean trees adapt themselves to try some merge with the help of their thick barks and wax coated leaves, which help them reduce transpiration. Mediterranean regions are also known as “Orchards of the worldfor their fruit cultivation.

Coniferous Forests

Coniferous forest
Snow covered Coniferous Forest

These trees are found in higher latitudes (500-700) of Northern hemisphere. These are also called as Tiga. Tiga means pure or untouched in the Russian language.These forests are also seen in the higher attitudes.These trees are found in the Himalayas in abundance. They are tall, softwood evergreen trees.The wood of these trees are very useful for making pulp, which is used for manufacturing paper and newsprint.Match boxes and packing boxes are also made from softwood.

Common trees- Chir, pine,cedar.

Common animals -Silver fox, mink, polar bear.

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