Natural Vegetation of India - Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs

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Notes

Tropical Thorny Forests and Scrubs:

These are also known as Tropical Thorn Forests. 

(a) Climatic Conditions: These forests can be found in regions with annual mean temperatures between 25°C and 27°C, less than 47% humidity, and less than 50 cm of precipitation.

(b) Distribution: These forests are chiefly distributed in south-western Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, central and eastern Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. 

(c) Characteristic Features:

  • These forests have Xerophytic (a plant that needs very little water) vegetation. Due to a lack of rainfall, the trees are stunted with large patches of coarse grasses.
  • These forests have trees that have adapted themselves to survive in drought-like conditions and are called xerophytes.  Acacia and babool trees, for example, have developed long tap roots that can reach deep groundwater resources and, as a result, can survive drought-like conditions.
  • Acacia trees also have long thorns and a mutually beneficial relationship with stinging ants. When an animal takes a bite of the leaves, the ants attack the animal because they live in the thorns and eat the nectar the trees produce.
  • For the majority of the year, the plants in these forests are leafless and look like scrub vegetation.
  • The important trees found here include babool or acacia, date palm, ber, khair, neem, khejri, kanju, cactii, Kokko, etc. 

(d) Economical Value:

  • Ber fruit is eaten raw or made into pickles or beverages. Its wood is hard, strong, tough, and long-lasting. It is used to make bedstead legs, boat ribs, agricultural tools, charcoal, and other items.
  • The bark and gum of the babool tree have medicinal value. Date palm is eaten raw and also used as an astringent, decoction, syrup, or paste for sore throat, cold, fever, and other ailments.
  • The bark and roots of neem have medicinal properties. Neem oil, leaves, and extracts are used in the production of health and beauty products. It also serves as an insecticide.

Khejadi

Aloe vera

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