Types of vegetation

The following major types of vegetation may be identified in our country

(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests

(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests

(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs

(iv) Montane Forests

(v) Mangrove Forest

Tropical Evergreen Forests

Tropical Evergreen Forest

  • Tropical Evergreen forests are restricted to heavy rainfall areas of the Western Ghats and the island groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.

 

  • They do best where there is a short dry season and more than 200 cm of rainfall each year.

 

  • The trees rise to g reat heights of up to 60 meters or higher.

 

  •  The area has lush vegetation of all kinds, including trees, shrubs, and creepers, giving it a multilayered structure because it is warm and humid throughout the year.

 

  • Trees don't necessarily lose their leaves at the same time every year. Because of this, these forests seem green all year long.

 

  • Commercially important trees of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber, and cinchona.

 

  • The common animals f ound in these forests are elephant, monkeys, lemurs,s and deer. One-horned rhinoceroses are found in the jungles of Assam and West Bengal.

Tropical Deciduous Forests 

  • They are also called monsoon forests and spread over the region receiving rainfall between 200 cm and 70 cm.

 

  •  Trees of this forest type shed their leaves for about six to eight weeks in dry summer.

 

  • These forests are further divided into moist and dry deciduous.

 

  • Moist forests -These are found in areas receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm.

 

  • These forests exist, therefore, mostly in the eastern part of the country — northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Odisha, and Chhattisgarh, and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.

 

  •  Teak is the most dominant species of this forest.

 

  •   Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, Khair, Kusum, Arjun, and mulberry are other commercially important species.

 

  • The dry deciduous forests - are found in areas having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.

 

  • These forests are found in the rainier parts of the Peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

 

  • There are open stretches, in which teak, sal, peepal, and neem grow.

 

  • In these forests, the common animals found are lions, tigers, pigs, deer, and elephants. 

The Thorn Forests and Scrubs 

  • These are found in regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall.

 

  •  The natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and bushes

 

  • This type of vegetation is found in the northwestern part of the country, including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana.

 

  • Acacias, palms, euphorbias, and cacti are the main plant species.

 

  • Trees are scattered and have long roots penetrating deep into the soil in order to get moisture.

 

  • The stems are succulent to conserve water. Leaves are mostly thick and small to minimize evaporation.

 

  • In these forests, the common animals are rats, mice, rabbits, foxes, wolves, tigers, lions, wild asses, horses, and camels.

Montane Forests 

  • In mountainous areas, the decrease in temperature with increasing altitud e leads to the corresponding change in natural vegetation.

 

  • The wet temperate type of forests is found between a height of 1000 and 2000 meters.

 

  • Evergreen broad-leaf trees, such as oaks and chestnuts predominate.

 

  •  Between 1500 and 3000 meters , temperate forests containing coniferous trees, like pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce, and cedar, are found.

 

  • These forests cover mostly the southern slopes of the Himalayas , places having high altitudes in southern and northeast India.

 

  • Silver fir, junipers, pines, and birches are the common trees of these forests.

 

  • At higher altitudes, mosses and lichens form part of tundra vegetation. 

Note: Tundra vegetation is c omposed of dwarf shrubs, sedges, grasses, mosses, and lichens . Scattered trees grow in some tundra regions. The ecotone (or ecological boundary region) between the tundra and the forest is known as the tree line or timberline . The tundra soil is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus.

  • The common animals found in these forests are Kashmir stag, spotted dear, wild sheep, jackrabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, Shaggy horn wild ibex, bear and rare red panda, sheep, and goats with thick hair.

Mangrove forests

  • The mangrove tidal forests are found in the areas of coasts influenced by tides.

 

  • Mud and silt get accumulated on such coasts.

 

  •  Dense mangroves are the common varieties with roots of the plants submerged underwater.

 

  • The deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Krishna, the Godavari, and the Kaveri are covered by such vegetation.

 

  • In the GangaBrahmaputra delta, Sundari trees are found, which provide durable hard timbe r. Palm, coconut, keora, agar, etc ., also grow in some parts of the delta.

 

  • Royal Bengal Tiger is a famous animal in these forests. T urtles, crocodiles, gharials, and snakes are also found in these forests.

Note:

MEDICINAL PLANTS

 

India is known for its herbs and spices from ancient times.

 

The World Conservation Union’s Red List has named 352 medicinal plants of which 52 are critically threatened and 49 endangered.

 

The commonly used plants in India are

 

Sarpagandha : Used to treat blood pressure; it is found only in India.

 

Jamun: The juice from ripe fruit is used to prepare vinegar, which is carminative and diuretic, and has digestive properties. The powder of the seed is used for controlling diabetes.

 

Arjun: The fresh juice of leaves is a cure for earache. It is also used to regulate blood pressure.

 

Babool: Leaves are used as a cure for eye sores. Its gum is used as a tonic.

 

Neem : Has high antibiotic and antibacterial properties.

 

Tulsi: Is used to cure cough and cold.

 

Kachnar: Is used to cure asthma and ulcers. The buds and roots are good for digestive problems.

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.