Identify and discuss the factors responsible for diversity of natural vegetation in India. Assess the significance of wildlife sanctuaries in rain forest regions of India. (250 words)

India’s diverse natural vegetation is shaped by various factors, such as relief, climate, and human activities. This diversity results in a wide range of vegetation types across the country. Wildlife sanctuaries in rainforest regions play a crucial role in conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change.

Factors Responsible for Diversity of Natural Vegetation in India

  1. Relief: The unique topography of the Western Ghats supports rainforests, while the Himalayas have temperate forests due to their elevation and cooler climates.
  2. Climate: The Thar Desert’s arid climate results in vegetation like thorny bushes, acacia, and Babul, while the Sundarbans’ wet climate supports mangrove forests.
  3. Photoperiod: Sunlight availability impacts plant growth, with long day plants like Larkspur and Aster thriving in areas with longer daylight hours, and short day plants like Cosmos and Chrysanthemum flourishing in areas with shorter daylight hours.
  4. Freshwater resources: The Ganga-Brahmaputra river system supports a rich variety of freshwater flora and fauna, while the Western Ghats host numerous endemic fish species due to their freshwater ecosystems.
  5. Human factors: Deforestation in the Western Ghats has led to a decline in natural vegetation, while urbanization and agricultural activities have impacted the distribution of plants and animals in various regions across India.

Significance of Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rainforest Regions of India

  1. Biodiversity conservation: Sanctuaries protect endangered species and maintain ecological balance, like the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, which is home to Asian elephants and tigers.
  2. Climate change mitigation: Rainforests act as carbon sinks, absorbing greenhouse gases and reducing global warming, as seen in the Western Ghats.
  3. Cultural preservation: Sanctuaries help preserve the traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous communities, such as those in the North East of India.
  4. Ecosystem services: Rainforests provide essential services like water purification, soil stabilization, and nutrient cycling, as observed in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  5. Eco-tourism: Wildlife sanctuaries attract tourists, generating income and promoting sustainable development, like the Sundarbans National Park, which is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and other endangered species.

In summary, the diversity of natural vegetation in India is influenced by a combination of factors, including relief, climate, and human activities. Wildlife sanctuaries in rainforest regions are essential for conserving biodiversity, preserving cultural traditions, and mitigating climate change.

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