“All materials obtained from the nature to satisfy the needs of our daily life” is known as Natural resources. Natural Resources can be broadly classified into two types :
A renewable resource in an organic natural resource that can replenish in due time, either through biological reproduction other naturally recurring processes.
Non – Renewable
“Non-Renewable resources are resources that cannot be replaced again after utilization”.
Classification of Soil
Azonal Soil (Pronounced ‘a’ – zonal):
Soils that exhibit the climatic condition of the formation region. Example 1. Laterite soil, 2. Red soil and 3. Desert soil.
Azonal Soil :
Soils that do not exhibit the climatic condition of the regions where they are now found. That is soils that were formed in a climatic region and transported to another climatic region by the agents of denudation.
Intra zonal Soil :
Soils that exhibit the local conditions of smaller area. Example –
Regur or Black cotton soil
Distribution and Characteristics of Indian soils.
Soils of India are divided in to six catagories.
Alluvial soil consists of sediments deposited by rivers along the river course, flood plains, delta and coastal plains. It contributes the largest share to the agricultural production of India.
It is suitable for the cultivation of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and oil-seeds. The parts of Punjab, Haryana, U.P, Bihar and West Bengal are located in this Valley have alluvial soils.
Black soil is formed from the weathering of igneous rocks. It is found in the valleys of the Godavari, Krishna, Narmada and Tapti. Black soil is more suitable for the cultivation of cotton, rice, wheat, jowar, millets, sugarcane.
Black soil is also found in the Deccan trap, comprising the greater part of Maharashtra, Gujarat, part of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
Red soil is formed from the weathering of the ancient crystalline and metamorphic rocks. The red colour is due to its very high iron content. The colour varies form brown to yellow. This soil is porous and not retentive of moisture.
It is generally poor in lime, nitrogen, phosphorus and humus but when suitable fertilizers are added, it becomes rich in fertility. Wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane and pulse are grown in this soil.
Red soil covers in most parts of Tamil Nadu, southern Karnataka, Goa, North-eastern Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
Literite is a porous soil from which the silica has been removed by chemical action (leaching). It is coarse in texture and red in colour owing to the presence of iron oxides.
The crops like coffee, Rubber, Cashew and tapioca are cultivated in this soil.
Laterite is found in Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, on the summits of Eastern Ghats and Parts of Odisha, Kerala and Assam.
This sois is found in the mountainous regions such as Western and Eastern Ghats, the Himachal and Siwalik regions.
This soil is very rich in humus and Organic matter. Plantation crops such as tea, coffee and rubber grow well. Assam and West Bengal in Eastern Himalayas are principal growers of tea.
Desert soil is found in arid zone of the north-western part of India Rajasthan, Gujarat (Kutch region) and south Punjab. It is sandy, alkaline and porous in nature.
Though it is highly infertile, Crops are cultivated with the help of irrigation in some areas. Crops grown are wheat, rice, barley. Grapes and melons.
Natural vegetation is the vegetation or plant cover naturally grown on the earth’s surface.
India’s Forest Resources
The total forest area is around 68 million hectares. The percentage of forests in total area of India is 24%, which is considered rather low when compared to the forest areas in most of the countries of the world.
The fast shrinkage in forest area is mainly due to the growth in population which leads to increasing demands for agricultural land, urbanization, industrialization and new town ships.
Types of Natural Vegetation
Tropical evergreen forests
Tropical Monsoon forests
Shrub and Thorn forests
Mangrove forests and
Tropical Evergreen Forests
The tropical evergreen forest are found in the regions where the annual rainfall is more than 200 cm. These forests are very dense and composed of tall trees reaching up to the height of above 60 metres.
The important trees of these forests are Rose wood, Ebony, Mahogany, Rubber, Cinchona, Bamboo and Lianas. The evergreen forests are mostly found along the western side of the Western Ghats, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, lower slopes of Himalayas and some parts of Assam and Odisha.
Tropical Monsoon Forests
The average annual rainfall ranges between 70cm and 200 cm. The trees in the deciduous forests shed their leaves due to dryness for about 6 to 8 weeks during the spring and early summer. Hence these forests are called deciduous forests. The main trees are Teak, Sal, Sisam, Sandal Wood, Wattle and Neem.
The moist monsoon forests are found mainly in the North – eastern states, along the foot hills of the Himalayan Mountains, Jharkhand, West Odisha, Chattisgarh and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. The dry monsoon forests are found on the peninsular plateau, plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
Shrub and Thorn Forests
These forests are found mainly in those areas where the average annual rainfall is less than 75 cm with the long dry season. The main trees are Acacia, Palms and Cacti. Other important trees include Khair, Babul, Palas, Khagri and Kajuri.
It is mainly found in the north western part of the country, including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, South Western Punjab and Western Haryana. These forests are also grown on the leeward sides of the Western Ghats, covering large areas in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
It is found in regions where the rainfall is less than 25cm. These are found in Rajasthan, Kutch and Saurashtra in Gujarat, south-western Punjab and parts of the Deccan.
Mangrove forests are found in coastal areas flooded by the tides of the sea. They are found in great abundance in the deltas of the Ganga, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri and along the coasts of the Andaman Islands. They are also found along the west coast in a few places. In West Bengal they are called Sundarbans .
In the peninsular India, the mountain forests are found in three areas. They are :
In Nilgiris, the tropical forests are locally called ‘sholas’ Such forests are also found in the Satpura and Maikala ranges. The important trees in this region are Magnolia, Laurel, Cinchona and Wattle.
Low – Land Grasses
These are found in regions receiving 30 cm to 200 cm of average annual rainfall where the temperature is high during summer.
They are found at a height of over 1,000 m in the Himalayas and in the cleared forest areas of the Western Ghats in Karnataka region.
About half of the total forest land has been declared as reserved forests. It is also known as permanent forests. It is regarded as the most valuable as far as the conservation of forests and wild life resources are concerned.
Almost one-third of the total forest area is protected forest, as declared by the Forest Department. Here, felling trees are not allowed.
Forest Conservation and Management
The increasing destruction and degradation of forests have led to extensive soil erosion, uncertainity in rainfall and recurring floods. The Forests conservation Act of 1980 was formulated especially to check deforestation of forestlands for non-forestry purposes.
In 1988, the act was amended by prescribing severe punishment to violators. The government should involve village communities and voluntary agencies for the regeneration of degraded forest land.
National Forest Policy
India is one of the very few countries in the world, where a policy to conserve forests was developed in 1894. It was modified and updated in 1952 and 1988.
The main objectives of the policy
Bring 33 percent of the geographical area under forests (now it is 20% only).
Maintain environmental stability where ecological balance was disturbed.
Conserve bio-diversity of the country.
Check soil erosion, extension of desert land and reduction of floods and drought.
Increase forest cover through social forestry and farm forestry.
Increase productivity of timber, fuel and fodder from the forests.
Involve women to encourage planting trees and stop felling of trees.
Thus, it is our Prime duty to conserve our country’s natural vegetation.