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Q15. Identify and discuss the factors responsible for diversity of Natural Vegetation in India. Assess the significance of wildlife sanctuaries in rainforest regions of India. (15 marks)- Geography
भारत में प्राकृतिक वनस्पति की विविधता के लिए उत्तरदायी कारकों को पहचानिए और उनकी विवेचना कीजिए। भारत के वर्षा वन क्षेत्रों में वन्यजीव अभयारण्यों के महत्व का आकलन कीजिए।
- You can start with India being a part of two biogeographic realms contributing to diversity in natural vegetation. Substantiate with data – In terms of floral diversity, India ranks 10th in the world and 4th in Asia.
Factors Responsible for Diversity of Natural Vegetation in India
- Climate (Temperature and Precipitation): For example, Rainforests (Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests) in Western Ghats, Temperate Forests in Himalayas (Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand), Tropical Thorn Forests (Xerophytic vegetation) in Thar Desert.
- Soil: For example, cacti and thorny bushes in sandy soil and mangroves in deltaic, marshy soils.
- Altitude/Topography: For example, Tropical deciduous forests of sal and teak and at lower elevations and temperate or montane forests of chir, pine, deodar in Himalayas.
- Photoperiod (Sunlight):With a longer duration of sunlight in summers, the Southern Himalayas is covered with thick vegetation than the Northern slopes.
- Alien and Invasive Species: Lantana Camara, Parthenium etc. introduced during British colonisation
Significance of Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rainforest Regions of India
- Water conservation: e.g. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala (construction of man-made reservoirs)
- Wildlife Conservation: e.g. Conservation Lion Tailed macaque in Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, conservation of chinkaras Yadahalli Chinkara Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
- Soil Conservation: Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra (soil conservation by construction of check dams).
- Carbon Sequestration: Forest conservation efforts aiding to higher carbon capture.
- Research and Scientific Understanding: e.g. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station in Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka -research station dedicated to studying rainforest ecology
- Ecotourism and Economic Benefits: e.g. Dandeli wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka.
- Conservation of Bio-Cultural Diversity: e.g. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary (van bhojan to celebrate the spirit of the forest; reviving local biodiversity based cultural activities and festivals)
- Conclude with stating how India’s natural vegetation is a complex interplay of climatic and topographical factors. State that wildlife sanctuaries in India’s vulnerable rainforests help in conserving biodiversity, preserving cultural traditions, and mitigating climate change.
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