NCERT Notes for Class 9 Social Science Chapter 5 Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

India is a huge nation with a diverse range of bio-forms and is classified as the world’s 12th mega-biodiversity country. The country’s fresh and marine waters are home to many plant species, flowering and non-flowering plants, animal species, and a diverse array of fish. In Chapter 5 of CBSE Notes Class 9 Geography, you will study India’s Natural Vegetation and Wildlife. Examine these notes carefully.

CBSE Class 9 Social Science notes will assist students in studying the topic thoroughly and clearly.

These CBSE Class 9 Social Science notes were written by subject experts who made the study material very basic, both in terms of language and format.

Introduction

Natural Vegetation

It is the plant community that has grown naturally without human involvement via the use of air. Virgin vegetation refers to natural vegetation that has been kept undisturbed for an extended length of time.

Its vegetation is classified into two kinds:

Exotic species – These plant species come from countries other than the United States.

Endemic species- These plants are specific to the nation.

Factors Affecting Vegetation

Relief

Soil: Additionally, soils vary by location. Different soil types support a variety of plants. For instance, the alluvial or deltaic soils (wet, marshy soils) of a river delta near the sea support mangrove forests, while steep slopes support conical trees. Cactus and thorny plants thrive on the desert’s sandy soils.

Land: The nature of the ground, whether it is flat, hilly, or plateau-like, affects the kind of flora that will grow there. Crops, vegetables, and fruits are grown on fertile grounds. Generally, undulating (wavy) and rough surfaces grow into grasslands or woods (forests).

Climate

It is composed of three components: photoperiod,temperature and precipitation.

Photoperiod (Sunlight) : Photoperiod refers to the quantity and duration of sunshine. Plant development is increased in warmer areas due to the longer duration of sunshine, particularly when sufficient moisture is available.

For example, the Southern Himalayas are covered with more vegetation than the Northern Himalayas, owing to the increased availability of sunshine.

Temperature: As the temperature cools, either via elevation gain (over 915 m) or movement away from the equator, the vegetation transitions from tropical to subtropical, temperate, and finally alpine.

For example, in the Himalayan slopes and in the hills of the peninsula, the decrease in temperature has an effect on the type and development of flora.

Precipitation: Regions that get a lot of rain always have thicker vegetation than areas that receive less rain.

For instance, the South-West monsoon showers on the windward side of the Western Ghats, resulting in a dense development of tropical evergreen forests, while the leeward side has none.

Importance Of Forests

Forests are beneficial to the ecosystem. They have an effect on the climate, decrease soil erosion, control stream flow, supply raw materials for businesses, and provide a source of income for people, among other things.

They exert influence on wind direction and temperature, as well as rainfall. Additionally, they offer refuge for a variety of animal species.

Change In Nature Of Vegetation In India

Natural vegetation has been altered by factors such as increasing need for agricultural land, industrialization and mining development, and urbanisation.

India’s plant cover is no longer natural in the true sense, save in certain difficult areas such as the Himalayas, Central India’s hilly region, and the Marusthali. In the majority of cases, human intervention modifies, replaces, or degrades it.

Types Of Vegetation

Relief and climatic conditions influence the development of various kinds of plants. According to the main forest types, India contains the following kinds of vegetation:

  • Tropical Deciduous Forests
  • Tropical Evergreen Forests
  • Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
  • Mangrove Forests
  • Montane Forests

Tropical Deciduous Forests

  1. These are the most numerous types of forests in India, accounting for 64 percent of the total forest cover.
  2. These are also known as monsoon woods and are found across the area that receives between 200 and 70 cm of rainfall.
  3.  During the dry summer, trees in this forest type lose their leaves for about six to eight weeks.
  4. These regions are densely forested with teak, sal, peepal, and neem trees. Numerous sections of these lands have been cleared for agricultural use and grazing.
  5.  Apart from lions, tigers, elephants, pigs, and deer, these woods are home to an abundance of birds, lizards, snakes, and tortoises.

Types Of Tropical Deciduous Forest

These woods are further classified according to their water availability into wet and dry deciduous.

Dry Deciduous: Dry deciduous forests are those that develop in regions with an annual rainfall of between 70 and 100 cm. They comprise about 30% of the country’s wooded land. These are found on the Peninsular plateau’s rainier regions and the plains of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Moist Deciduous: Moist deciduous forests are those that develop in regions with an annual rainfall of between 100 and 200 cm. They comprise about 34% of the country’s wooded land.

They are mostly found in the Eastern portion of the nation, particularly in the North-Eastern states, West Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, as well as in the Himalayan foothills and on the leeward side of the Western Ghats.

These woods are dominated by teak, bamboo, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, and mulberry trees.

Tropical Evergreen Forests

  1. Additionally, they are referred to as tropical rainforests. They account for about 12% of India’s total wooded land.
  2. They are found in regions with an annual rainfall of more than 200cm and a brief dry season.
  3. These ‘forests’ cover the western slopes of the Western Ghats, both island groups (Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands), the higher reaches of Assam, and portions of the Tamil Nadu and Odisha coastlines.

Characteristics Of Tropical Evergreen Forests

  1. The vegetation that has developed on this site is stratified in structure.
  2. These woods are densely forested. with a cover of towering trees (up to 60 metres), creepers, and shrubs.
  3. These remain green throughout the year because of the trees’ seasonal leaf loss.
  4. There are rhinoceros, elephants, many monkey and lemur species, deer, numerous bird species, bats, sloths, scorpions, and snails found here.
  5. Ebony, mahogany, cinchona, rubber, and rosewood are all commercially valuable trees found in this area.

Tropical Thorn Forests And Scrubs

  1. These constitute about 5% of India’s total wooded land. These are found in regions with less than 70 cm of yearly rainfall.
  2. These are located in the country’s northwestern region, encompassing semi-arid regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan, as well as sections of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh.
  3. Acacia palms, euphorbia, and cactus thrive in these regions.
  4. These regions are home to foxes, wolves, rats and mice, wild asses, horses, tigers, lions, and camels, among other species.

Characteristics Of Tropical Thorn Forests And Scrubs

Tropical thorn woods and scrubs are densely forested.

Additionally, other plants with extensive roots, succulent stems, and tiny, thick leaves are found here.

All of these features evolved to reduce evaporation and retain moisture. Scrubs are the only plants that grow in arid regions with little rainfall.

Mangrove Forests

These are found in coastal delta regions subject to the effect of sea tides. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as tidal forests. The roots of the majority of mangroves are underwater.

These woods are located in the delta regions of rivers on India’s east coast (Ganga, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri), where the rivers deposit mud and silt.

Sundari trees, which provide durable wood, are abundant in the Ganga- Brahmaputra delta. Additionally, there are palm, coconut, keora, and agar trees.

The Royal Bengal Tiger, snakes, turtles, gharials, and crocodiles are all present here.

Montane Forests

  1. These forests account for about 17% of India’s total wooded area and are located in the Himalayan regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  2. In mountainous regions, natural flora changes in lockstep with variations in temperature.
  3. These natural vegetation belts follow the same sequence as in the order from tropical to tundra vegetation.
  4. The Kashmir deer, spotted deer, wild sheep, jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, shaggy horned wild ibex, bear, and the uncommon red panda are all found here, as well as sheep and goats with thick hair.

Altitudinal Distribution Of Montane Forests

  • Wet Temperate Forest :Wet temperate woods with evergreen wide leaf trees such as oaks and chestnuts are common at lower elevations between 1,000 and 2,000 metres.
  • Temperate Forest : Temperate woods with coniferous trees such as pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce, and cedar are found between 1,500 and 3,000 metres in elevation.
  • These woods are mostly found on the southern Himalayan slopes, in areas of great elevation in southern and north-eastern India.
  • Alpine-Vegetation : These plants are found over 3,600 metres in level. Silver fir, junipers, pines, and birches are all popular trees in these forests.
  • At the snow line, these forests become stunted and integrate into the Alpine grasslands through shrubs and scrubs.
  • Alpine Grasslands : These grasses are widely cultivated by nomadic tribes such as the Gujjars and Bakarwals.
  • Temperate Grasslands : These are found at greater altitudes. At elevations more than 3,600 m, temperate forest and grasslands are replaced by alpine flora.

Tundra Vegetation : Mosses and lichens are found at higher elevations as part of the tundra vegetation.

Wildlife

India is very rich in wildlife (animal life). India is home to more than 90,000 animal species. They account for 13% of the world’s total stock.

There are 2,546 fish species, accounting for almost 12% of the world’s supply. Additionally, it contains between 5% and 8% of the world’s amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.

Distribution Of Wildlife In India

Animals are found in varying numbers across our nation. India is unique in the world in having both tigers and lions. The Gir forest in Gujarat is the native home of the Indian lion. Tigers and leopards are found in Madhya Pradesh’s jungles, West Bengal’s Sunderbans, and the Himalayan area.

Certain pockets are home to the ibex, bear, snow leopard, and the very uncommon red panda. One-horned rhinoceroses are found in Assam and West Bengal’s swampy and marshy areas.

Elephants are found in Assam, Karnataka, and Kerala’s hot, damp jungles.

Wild asses and camels inhabit the arid regions of the Rann of Kutch and the Thar desert, respectively.

Ladakh’s frigid high elevations are home to yak, shaggy horned wild ox (about 1 tonne), Tibetan antelope, bharal (blue sheep), wild sheep, and kiang (Tibetan wild ass.

Turtles, crocodiles, and gharials are found in rivers, lakes, and coastal regions. Gharial is the only example of a crocodile species known in the modern world.

Peacocks, pheasants, ducks, parakeets, cranes, and pigeons are just a few of the birds that inhabit the country’s woods and marshes.

India’s wetlands are home to a variety of migratory species, including the Siberian crane and flamingo.

Need Of Environmental Conservation

Each species contributes something to the environment. As a result, its preservation is critical. The ecology has been disrupted as a result of humans’ over exploitation of plant and animal resources.

Around 1,300 plant species are critically endangered, while 20 are extinct. Numerous animal species are likewise threatened, and some have already gone extinct.

The primary danger to the environment is:

  1. Commercial hunting by greedy hunters.
  2. Pollution caused by chemical and industrial waste, acid deposits, and the introduction of exotic species.
  3. Forests are being chopped carelessly to make way for agriculture and human settlement.

Governmental Steps For Protection Of Flora And Fauna

The government has made many measures to safeguard animal and plant life. Several of them include the following:

  1. The nation has established 18 biosphere reserves to preserve its flora and wildlife. Four of these areas, the Sunderbans in West Bengal, Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand, the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, and the Nilgiris (Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu), have been included in the global network of biosphere reserves.
  2. Since 1992, the government has given financial and technical support to many botanical gardens.
  3. Numerous additional eco-developmental initiatives have been launched, including Project Tiger, Project Rhino, and Project Great Indian Bustar.
  4. To safeguard natural heritage, 103 national parks, 535 animal sanctuaries, and zoological gardens have been established. Regardless of these measures, we must all recognise the critical nature of the natural environment to our own existence. Then and only then will indiscriminate damage of the natural environment come to a stop.

NCERT Solutions For Class 9 Social Science (Geography) Chapter 5 Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Question 1.

Choose the right answer from the four alternatives given below:

(i) To which one of the following types of vegetation does rubber belong to?

(a) Tundra

(b) Tidal

(c) Himalayan

(d) Tropical Evergreen

Ans: (d) Tropical Evergreen

Tropical evergreen forests are dense, complex, and home to a vast range of plants and animals. These forests are found in areas that receive a lot of rain (more than 200 cm annual rainfall). They are densely packed. Even sunlight is unable to reach the ground. These forests are home to a variety range of tree species.

(ii) Cinchona trees are found in the areas of rainfall more than

(a) 100 cm

(b) 50 cm

(c) 70 cm

(d) less than 50 cm

Ans: (a) 100 cm

(iii) In which of the following states is the Simlipal’ bio-reserve located?

(a) Punjab

(b) Delhi

(c) Odisha

(d) West Bengal

Ans: (c) Odisha

Simlipal National Park is a national park and tiger reserve located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India. It covers an area of 2,750 square kilometres (1,060 sq mi). It is a part of the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which encompasses three protected areas: the Similipal Tiger Reserve, the 191.06-square-kilometer (73.77-square-mile) Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, and the 272.75-square-kilometer Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary (105.31 sq mi). Simlipal National Park is named after the area’s abundance of red silk cotton trees. Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, gaur, and chausingha call the park home.

Since 2009, this protected area has been a member of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

(iv) Which one of the following bio-reserves of India is not included in the world network of bio reserves?

(a) Manas

(b) Nilgiri

(c) Gulf of Mannar

(d) Nanda devi

Ans: (a) Manas

Manas National Park is a national park located in Assam, India. It is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve, and a biosphere reserve. It is adjacent to Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park, which is located in the Himalayan foothills.

Question 2.

Answer the following questions briefly.

(i) Define an ecosystem.

Ans: The term “ecosystem” refers to all plants, animals, and humans being interdependent and connected.

(ii) What factors are responsible for the distribution of plants and animals in India?

Ans: The following variables influence the distribution of plants and animals in India:

Relief

(a) Land: The type of vegetation is determined by the land’s natural characteristics. Agriculture is carried out on flat land, whereas undulating land promotes the growth of grass and trees, which provide habitat for animals.

(b) Soil: Various soil types support a variety of vegetation species. Cactus and thorny shrubs, as well as conical trees, thrive in the desert, swampy deltaic soils, and steep slopes.

Climate

(a) Temperature has an effect on the types of vegetation and their growth. Trees grow differently depending on their location in the mountains.

(b) Variations in sunlight duration have an effect on tree development. Summer is the fastest growing season for trees because the sun shines for longer periods of time.

(c) Precipitation: Areas that receive a lot of rain have more vegetation than areas that receive little rain. There is a dense forest cover in areas where the South West Summer Monsoons generate significant rainfall, such as the windward slopes of the Western Ghats.

(iii) What is a bio reserve? Give two examples.

Ans: A bio reserve is an ecosystem that contains plants and animals that exhibit extraordinary scientific and natural characteristics. These species have been protected in their natural habitats.

(iv) Name two animals having their habitat in montane and tropical types of vegetation.

Ans: Both the Tibetan antelope and the Kashmir stag are found in montane vegetation. Tropical evergreen forests are home to bats and sloths, while tropical deciduous forests are home to snakes and tortoises.

Question 3.

Distinguish between:

(i) Flora and Fauna

Ans: Flora refers to plants indigenous to a particular location or time period, whereas ‘fauna’ refers to animal species.

(ii) Tropical Evergreen and Deciduous Forests.

Ans: Tropical Evergreen : Forests can be found in a variety of locations.

  • Forests remain green throughout the year due to the fact that trees shed their leaves at various times of the year, resulting in over 200 cm of rain.
  • The vegetation is lush, complex, and varied.
  • Commercially significant trees include ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber, and cinchona.
  • Trees have straight and tall trunks.

Monsoon Forests are another name for deciduous forests.

  • These are found in areas with annual precipitation ranging from 70 to 200 centimetres.
  • For approximately 6-8 weeks during the dry summer, trees shed their leaves.
  • This area contains two distinct types of deciduous forests: dry and wet.
  • Wet Deciduous Forests are found throughout India, including the northeastern states, the Himalayan foothills, Jharkhand, and West Odisha.
  • Chhattisgarh and the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Bamboo, sal, shisham, khair, and arjun are all significant trees.
  • Dry deciduous forests cover the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, as well as the rainier areas of the Deccan plateau.
  • Important trees include teak, sal, peepal, and neem. Certain areas have been deforested to make way for farming and grazing.

Question 4.

Name different types of vegetation found in India and describe the vegetation of high altitudes.

Answer: The many types of vegetation present in India are as follows:

  • Tropical Evergreen Forests 
  • Tropical Deciduous Forests 
  • Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs 
  • Montane Forests 
  • Mangrove Forests

High-altitude vegetation: In mountainous areas, vegetation varies in response to changes in temperature and rainfall.

  • At elevations of 1000–2000 metres, wet temperate forest types exist. The most common trees are oaks and chestnuts.
  • Between 1500 and 3000 metres, temperate woods with coniferous trees such as pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce, and cedar can be found. (Take northeast India as an example.)
  • Alpine vegetation occurs at high altitudes. Important trees include silver fir, pines, and birches.
  • The Alpine grasslands are grazed on shrubs and scrubs that have been incorporated into them.

Question 5.

Quite a few species of plants and animals are endangered in India. Why?

Answer:  Many plants and animals in India are endangered for a variety of reasons:

  • Commercial hunting is conducted on animals.
  • Aliens are being introduced. Acid deposits, pollution from chemical and industrial waste
  • indiscriminate logging of trees for the purpose of cultivating and inhabiting land.
  • As a result of these activities, approximately 1300 plant species have become endangered, and 20 have become extinct. Numerous animal species are similarly threatened with extinction.

Question 6.

Why has India a rich heritage of flora and fauna?

Answer: India has a rich heritage of flora and fauna due to a large variety in relief features, soil, temperature, rainfall and the length of the day which determines the hours of sunlight. Moreover, India is a very vast country

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