NCERT Class 9 Geography Chapter 5 - Natural vegetation and Wildlife

Chapter 5 - Natural vegetation and Wildlife

Question and Answer
Question 1: Define natural vegetation.
Answer:
Natural vegetation refer to a plant community, which has grown naturally without human aid and has been left undisturbed by humans for a long time. This is termed as a virgin vegetation.

Question 2: What is meant by endemic and exotic species?
Answer:
The virgin vegetation, which are purely Indian are known as endemic or indigenous species but those which have come from outside India are termed as exotic species.

Question 3: Write about flora and fauna of our country.
Answer:

S.no

Flora

Fauna

1.

The term ‘flora’ is used to denote plants of particular region or period.

The species of animals are referred to as fauna.

2.

With about 47,000 plant species India occupies 10th place in the world and 4th in Asia in plant diversity.

India also has approximately 90,000 species of animal.

3.

There are about 15,000 flowering plants in India which account for 6% in the world’s total number of flowering plants.

It also has a rich variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.



Question 4: What are the different factors responsible for the distribution of plants and animals in India?
Answer:
The various factors responsible for the distribution of plants and animals are:
→ Relief
Land
1. Land affects the natural vegetation directly and indirectly.
2. The nature of land influences the type of vegetation.
3. The undulating and rough terrains are areas where grasslands and woodlands develop and give shelter to a variety of wildlife.
Soil
1. Different types of soils provide basis for different types of vegetation.
2. The sandy soil of the desert support cactus and thorny bushes, while wet, marshy, deltaic soils support mangroves and deltaic vegetation.
3. The hill slopes with some depth of soils have conical trees.

→ Climate
Temperature
1. The character and extent of vegetation are mainly determined by temperature along with humidity in air, precipitation and soil.
2. The fall in the temperature affects the types of vegetation and its growth, and changes it from tropical to sub-tropical temperate and alpine vegetation.
Photoperiod
1. The variation in duration of sunlight at different places is due to differences in latitudes, altitude, season and duration of the day.
2. Due to longer duration of sunlight, trees grow faster in summer.
Precipitation
1. Areas of heavy rainfall have more dense vegetation as compared to areas of low vegetation.

Question 5: Why forests are important for human beings?
Answer:

1. Forests are renewable resources and play a major role in enhancing the quality of environment.
2. They modify local climate, control soil erosion, regulate stream flow, support a variety of industries, provide livelihood for many communities and offer panoramic and scenic view for recreation.
3. They control wind force and temperature and cause rains.
4. They provide humus to the soil and shelter to the wildlife.

Question 6: Explain the different types of natural vegetation in India.
Answer:

Tropical Evergreen Forests


Tropical
Evergreen Forest

Area covering the forest

Western Ghats and the island groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu coast.

Important features

1. Having more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry season.
2. The trees reach great heights up to 60 metres or even above.
3. There is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves.

Flora

Ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber and cinchona

Fauna

Elephant, monkey, lemur and deer
One-horned rhinoceroses are found in the jungles of Assam and West Bengal. Plenty of birds, bats, sloths, scorpions and snails are also found in these jungles.


Tropical Evergreen Forests

Tropical Deciduous Forest

Area covering the forest

1. Moist deciduous forests are found in the northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Odisha and Chhattisgarh, and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
2. Dry deciduous forests are found in the rainier parts of the Peninsular Plateau and the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Important features

1. Trees of this forest type shed their leaves for about six to eight weeks in dry season.
2. On the basis of the availability of water, these forests are further divided into moist and dry deciduous.
3. The moist deciduous forests found in areas receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm.
4. The dry deciduous forests are found in areas having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.

Flora

1. Moist deciduous – Teak is the most dominant species of this forest. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun and mulberry are commercially important species.
2. Dry deciduous – Teak, sal, peepal, and neem.

Fauna

In these forests, the common animals found are lions, tiger, pig, deer and elephant, A huge variety of birds, lizards, snakes and tortoises are also found here.


 Thorn Forests and Scrubs

Thorn Forests and Scrubs

Area covering the forest

North-western part of the country, including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Important features

1. In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and bushes.
2. Trees are scattered and have long roots penetrating deep into the soil in order to get moisture.
3. Leaves are mostly thick and small to minimize evaporation.

Flora

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

Fauna

Rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tier, lion, wild ass, horses and camels.


Montane Forests

Montane Forests

Area covering the forest

Southern slopes of Himalayas, places having high altitude in southern and northeast India.

Important features

1. The wet temperate type of forests are found between a height of 1000 and 2000 metres.
2. The temperate forests are found between a height of 1500 and 3000 metres.
3. Temperate grasslands are found at high altitudes, generally, more than 3600 metres above the sea level.

Flora

1. Wet temperate – Evergreen broad-leaf trees, such as oaks and chestnuts predominate.
2. Temperate forests – Coniferous trees like pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce and cedar are found.
Alpine vegetation including silver fir, junipers, pines and birches are the common trees of temperate grassland forests

Fauna

Kashmir stag, spotted deer, wild sheep, jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, shaggy horned wild ibex, bear and rare red panda, sheeps and goats with thick hair.


Mangrove Forests

Mangrove Forests

Area covering the forest

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

Important features

Dense mangroves are the common varieties with roots of the plants submerged under water.

Flora

1. In the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta, sundari trees are found which provide durable hard timber.
2. Palm, coconut, keora, agar etc. also grow in some parts of the delta.

Fauna

1. Royal Bengal Tiger is the famous animal in these forests.
2. Turtles, crocodiles, gharials and snakes are also found in these forests.


Question 7: Quite a few species of plant and animals are endangered in India. Why?
Answer:

1. The main cause for this major threat to nature are hunting by greedy hunters for commercial purposes.
2. Pollution due to chemical and industrial waste, acid deposits, introduction to alien species and reckless cutting of the forests to bring land under cultivation and habitation, are responsible for the imbalance.
3. Due to excessive exploitation of plant and animal resources by human beings, the ecosystem has been disturbed. About 1300 plant species are endangered and 20 species are extinct.

Question 8: What are the various steps taken by the Government to protect flora and fauna of our country?
Answer:
To protect the flora and fauna of the country the government has taken many steps:
1. Eighteen biosphere reserves have been set up to protect the flora and fauna. Ten out of these, the Sunderbans, Nanda Devi, the Gulf of Mannar, the Nilgiri, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Manas, Simlipal, Pachmarhi and Achanakmar-Amarkantak have been introduced in the world network of biosphere reserves.
2. Financial and technical assistance is provided to many botanical gardens by the government since 1992.
Kachchh
Cold Desert
Seshachalam
Panna
3. Project Tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and many other eco-developmental projects have been introduced.
4. 103 national parks, 535 wildlife sanctuaries and zoological gardens are set up to take care of natural heritage.

Question 9: Give a brief data on wildlife of India.
Answer:

1. India is also rich in its fauna. It has approximately 90,000 animal species.
2. The country has about 2,000 species of birds. They constitute 13% of the world’s total.
3. There are 2,546 species of fish, which account for nearly12% of the world’s stock.
4. It also shares between 5 and 8 percent of the world’s amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

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