Natural vegetation refers to a plant community that has grown naturally without human aid. It doesn’t need help from humans and gets whatever it needs from its natural environment. There is a close relationship between the height of land and the character of the vegetation. With the change in height, the climate changes and that changes natural vegetation. The growth of vegetation depends on temperature and moisture. It also depends on factors like slope and thickness of soil.
Types of Natural Vegetation in India
Vegetation Types of India
- Tropical Rain Forests: These 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 are at their best in areas having more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry season. The trees reach great heights up to 60 meters or even above. Some of the commercially important trees of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber, and cinchona.
- Dry deciduous forests: These forests grow in areas where the precipitation is between 50 cm and 100 cm. These are mainly seen in the areas of the Central Deccan plateau, Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and South-east of Rajasthan.
- Mountain Forests Montane forests are those found in mountains. Mountain forests differ significantly along the slopes of the mountain. On the foothills of the Himalayas until a height of 1500 meters, evergreen trees like Sal, teak, and bamboo grow copiously. On the higher slope, temperate conifer trees like pine, fir, and oak grow. At the higher elevation of the Himalayas, rhododendrons and junipers are found. Further, then these vegetation zones, alpine grasslands appear up to the snowfield.
- Tidal or Mangrove forests: The tidal or mangrove forests grow by the side of the coast and on the edges of the deltas e.g., the deltas of the Cauvery, Krishna, Mahanadi, Godavari, and Ganga. In West Bengal, these forests are known as ‘Sundarbans’. The ‘Sundari’ is the most major tree in these forests. The important trees of the tidal forests are Hogla, Garan, Pasur, etc. This forest is an important factor in the timber industry as they provide timber and firewood. Palm and coconut trees beautify the coastal strip.
- Semi-deserts and Deserts vegetation: This area receive rainfall of less than 50 cm. Thorny bushes, acacia, and Babul are found in this vegetation region. The Indian wild date is generally found here. They have long roots and thick flesh. The plants found in this region store water in their stem to endure during the drought. This vegetation is found in parts of Gujarat, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
- The Himalayan Vegetation: A wide range of species is found in the mountains according to the variation in height. With the increase in height, the temperature falls. At a height between 1500metres and 2500 meters, most of the trees are conical in shape. Chir, Pine, and Deodar are important coniferous trees found in these forests.