Forest ecosystem: Environmental sciences Notes, MCQ, Books, PDF
EVS Notes Unit I Multidisciplinary nature, Natural Resources, Forest resources, Water resources, Mineral resources, Food resources, Energy resources, Land resources, Role of an individual Unit II Introduction structure-function, Forest eco-system; Grassland ecosystem; Desert ecosystem; Aquatic ecosystems Unit III Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution
Forests are natural plant communities with the dominance of phanerophytes and occupy nearly 40% of the land. In India, the forests occupy roughly 10% of the total land area.
According to Champion and Seth (1968), Indian forests are of 11 types, which are classified on the basis of physiography, physiognomy floristics, habitat etc. The different components of forest ecosystems are as follows:
These include inorganic and organic substances present in the soil and atmosphere. The climate (temperature, light, rainfall, etc.) and soil (minerals) vary from forest to forest. In addition to minerals, the occurrence of litter is a characteristic feature of the majority of forests.
These are mainly trees that show much species diversity and a greater degree of stratification, especially in tropical moist deciduous forests. Besides trees, there are also present shrubs and ground vegetation. In these forests, the producers include the dominant tree species such as Tectona grandis, Butea frondosa, Shorea robusta, and Lagerstroemia parviflora. In temperate coniferous forests, shrubs and ground flora are insignificant. In temperate deciduous forests the dominant trees are species of Quercus, Acer, Betula, Thuja, Picea, etc., whereas, in temperate coniferous forests, the producer trees are species of Abies, Picea, Pinus, Cedrus, Juniperus, Rhododendron, etc.
These are as follows:
i) Primary consumers
These are the herbivores that include smaller animals feeding on tree leaves as ants, flies, beetles, leaf hoppers, bugs, spiders, etc., and larger animals grazing on shoots and/ or fruits of producers such as elephant, nilgai, deer, moles, squirrels, shrews, flying foxes, mongooses, etc.
ii) Secondary consumers
These are the carnivores like snakes, birds, lizards, foxes, etc. feeding on the herbivores.
iii) Tertiary consumers
These are the top carnivores like lions, tigers, etc., that eat carnivores of secondary consumers level.
These are a wide variety of microorganisms including fungi (species of Aspergillus, Polyporus, Alternaria, Fusarium, Trichoderma, etc.), bacteria (species of Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Clostridium, etc.), and actinomycetes (species of Streptomyces). The rate of decomposition in tropical and subtropical forests is more rapid than in temperate zones.
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