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BIOGEOGRAPHICAL CLASSIFICATION OF INDIA --Presented by Varshini VJ S.Siva Pavithra Malar Vizhi .K I.M.Sc Economics


INTRODUCTION Biogeography is the study of the biosphere and of human effects on plants and animal. India is the seventh largest country in the world and Asia's second largest nation with an area of 3,287,263 encompassing a varied landscape rich in natural resources. India is shielded by the world's highest mountains, the Himalayas , in the north.

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The southern part of India takes the shape of a peninsula and divides the Indian Ocean into the Bay of Bengal to the southeast and the Arabian Sea to the southwest. The southern tip of Kanyakumari is washed by the Indian Ocean. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and the Lakshadweep group of islands in the Arabian sea are also a part of India. India has a great diversity of natural ecosystems from the cold and high Himalayan ranges to the sea coasts , from the wet northeastern green forests to the dry northwestern arid deserts , different types of forests , wetlands , islands and the oceans.

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India consists of fertile river plains and high plateaus and several major rivers, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Indus. The climate of India is determined by the southwest monsoon between June and October, the northeast monsoon between October and November and dry winds from the north between December and February . From March to May the climate is dry and hot.


INDIA’S BIOGEOGRAPHIC ZONES Our country is divided into ten major regions , based on the geography, climate and pattern of vegetation seen and the communities of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibian, insects and other invertebrates that live in them by the Forest and Wildlife Dept of Government of India .

The country has 10 different bio geographic zones and 26 biotic provinces::

The country has 10 different bio geographic zones and 26 biotic provinces: Bio geographic Zones Biotic provinces Trans-Himalayas Ladakh mountains, Tibetan plateau Himalayas North west, west, central and east Himalayas Desert Thar , Kutch Semi-arid Punjab plains, Gujarat Rajputana Western Ghats Malabar plains, Western Ghats Deccan Peninsula Central highlands, Chotta -Nagpur, Central Plateau, Deccan South Gangetic Plains Upper and Lower Gangetic plains Coast West and East coast, Lakshadweep North-East Brahmaputra valley, Northeast hills Islands Andaman and Nicobar

1. Trans-Himalayan Region :

1. Trans-Himalayan Region The Himalayan ranges immediately north of the Great Himalayan range are called the Trans- Himalayas. .

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The Trans-Himalayan region with its sparse vegetation has the richest wild sheep and goat community in the world. The snow leopard is found here, as is the migratory black-necked cranes.

2. Himalayas :

2. Himalayas The Himalayas consist of the youngest and loftiest mountain chains in the world.

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The forests are very dense with extensive growth of grass and evergreen tall trees. Oak, chestnut, conifer, ash, pine, deodar are abundant in Himalayas. There is no vegetation above the snowline. Several animals live in the Himalayan ranges. Chief species include monal , wild sheep, mountain goats, ibex, shrew, and tapir. Panda and snow leopard are also found here.

3. Semi-Arid Areas :

3. Semi-Arid Areas Adjoining the desert are the semi-arid areas, a transitional zone between the desert and the denser forests of the Western Ghats.

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The natural vegetation is thorn forest. This region is characterized by discontinuous vegetation cover with open areas of bare soil and soil-water deficit throughout the year. A few species of xerophytic herbs and some ephemeral herbs are found in this semi-arid tract. Asiatic lions, Birds, jackals, leopards, eagles, snakes, fox, buffaloes are found in this region.

4. Western Ghats :

4. Western Ghats The mountains along the west coast of peninsular India are the Western Ghats, which constitute one of the unique biological regions of the world. The Western Ghats extend from the southern tip of the peninsula (8°N) northwards about 1600 km to the mouth of the river Tapti (21°N). The mountains rise to average altitudes between 900 and 1500 m above sea level.

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Apart from biological diversity, the region boasts of high levels of cultural diversity, as many indigenous people inhabit its forests. The Western Ghats are amongst the 25 biodiversity hot-spots recognized globally. These hills are known for their high levels of endemism expressed at both higher and lower taxonomic levels. Most of the Western Ghat endemic plants are associated with evergreen forests. Rice cultivation in the fertile valley proceeded gardens of early commercial crops like areca nut and pepper. The Western Ghats are well-known for harboring 14 endemic species of caecilians (i.e., legless amphibians) out of 15 recorded from the region so far.

5. North-West Desert Regions :

5. North-West Desert Regions This region consists of parts of Rajasthan, Kutch, Delhi and parts of Gujarat. The climate is characterized by very hot and dry summer and cold winter. Rainfall is less than 70 cms .

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The plants are mostly xerophytes. Babul, Kikar , wild palm grows in areas of moderate rainfall. Indian Bustard, a highly endangered bird is found here. Camels, wild asses, foxes, and snakes are found in hot and arid deserts.

6. Deccan Plateau :

6. Deccan Plateau Beyond the Ghats is Deccan Plateau, a semi-arid region lying in the rain shadow of the Western Ghats. This is the largest unit of the Peninsular Plateau of India.

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The highlands of the plateau are covered with different types of forests, which provide a large variety of forest products. Fauna like tiger, sloth bear, wild boar, gaur, sambar and chital are found throughout the zone along with small relict populations of wild buffaloes, elephants and barasingha .

7. Gangetic Plain :

7. Gangetic Plain In the North is the Gangetic plain extending up to the Himalayan foothills. This is the largest unit of the Great Plain of India. The Great Plains cover about 72.4mha area with the Ganga and the Brahmaputra forming the main drainage axes in the major portion.

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The physiographic scenery varies greatly from arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Rajasthan Plains to the humid and per-humid landscapes of the Delta and Assam valley in the east. The plain supports some of the highest population densities depending upon purely agro-based economy in some of these areas. The trees belonging to these forests are teak, sal , shisham , mahua , khair etc.

8. North-East India :

8. North-East India North-east India is one of the richest flora regions in the country. It has several species of orchids, bamboos, ferns and other plants. Here the wild relatives of cultivated plants such as banana, mango, citrus and pepper can be found.

9. Islands :

9. Islands The two groups of islands, i.e., the Arabian Sea islands and Bay Islands differ significantly in origin and physical characteristics. The Arabian Sea Islands (Laccadive, Minicoy, etc.) are the foundered remnants of the old land mass and subsequent coral formations. On the other hand, the Bay Islands lay only about 220 kms .

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Away from the nearest point on the main land mass and extend about 590 kms . With a maximum width of 58 kms the island forests of Lakshadweep in the Bay of Bengal have some of the best-preserved evergreen forests of India. Some of the islands are fringed with coral reefs. Many of them are covered with thick forests and some are highly dissected.

10. Coasts :

10. Coasts India has a coastline extending over 5,500 kms . The west coast is narrow except around the Gulf of Canbary and the Gulf of Kutch. In the extreme south, however, it is somewhat wider along the south Sahyadri . The backwaters are the characteristic features of this coast.

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Extensive deltas of the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri are the characteristic features of east coast. Mangrove vegetation is characteristic of estuarine tracts along the coast for instance, at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. Larger parts of the coastal plains are covered by fertile soils on which different crops are grown. Rice is the main crop of these areas. Coconut trees grow all along the coast.

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