Explain important Sanctuaries and National Parks in India.

Important Sanctuaries and National Parks in India

1. Kaziranga Wild life Sanctuary: This is a world famous sanctuary. It was established in 1926 and covers the total area of 430sq.km of forest land and heavy swamp on the southern bank of Brahmputra. It is the home of about 700 rhino and a few species of elephant, buffalo, tiger, sloth beer, barking deer, wild pig and other birds.

2. Palaman National Park : It is situated in Daltonganj district in Bhihar and is spread over 345 sq. km. It has thick tropical forests and the habitats of this park include tiger, panther, elephant, wild bear, sloth bear, chical, gaur, mouse deer, nilgai, chinkara etc.

3. Manas Wild Life Sanctuary : This sanctuary covers an area of
540 sq.km and situated at an altitude of 50 metres in district Kamrup, Assam, on either sides of Manas river. It harbours tiger, panther, rhino, swamp deer, golden langur, wild bear, wild dog, sambar, etc.

4. Cortigo Wild Life Sanctuary : It covers 105 sq.km. area in south and is located in South Goa. It is rich in wet everreen type of Elve and Berla trees. Sambar, hogeer, hyaena, panthers, leopard, jackal, barking deer, chital, wild beer and birds, such as wood pecker, kingfisher, bulbul, jingle fowl, etc. are the important animals found in this part.

5. Bhagwan Mahadew Wild Life Sanctuary:  It is also located in Goa and is spread over 240 sq.km. area. All the habitats of this sanctuary are the same as that of Cortigo Wild Life Sanctuary.

6. Hazaribagh National Park : This national park was established in
1954 in Bihar and has total area of 184 sq.km. It is covered with think tropical forests and is the home for wild bear, sloth bears, hyaena, leopard, tiger, sambar, etc.

7. Shakari Devi Wild Life Sanctuary: Situated in Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) vJh an area of 213 sq.km. This sanctuary has flying fox, musk deer, black bear, snow leopard, partidges, etc.

8. Ranganthitta Bird Sanctuary : It consists of several islands in Cauvery River, 15 km. of Bangalore-Mysore Road near Shrirangapattam. It covers and area of 166 sq.km. and the birds found are spoon bill, wild duck, right heron, little egret, etc.

9. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary : Located in Gurgaon (Haryana) about
30 km from Delhi, and with an area of 2 sq.km. This bird sanctuary has sportbills, drakes, rudyshel, sanus and crane.

10. Sagan Gir : It is the home of lion and is situated 468 km. from Ahmedabad and 43 km. from Veraval (Gujarat). It is spread.over an area of 1295 sq.km. and is rich in deciduous and thorn forests. The important fauna of Sagan Gir includes, gir lion, stripped hyaene, spotted deer, blue bull, four horned antelope, spotted deer, blue bull, four horned antelope, Indian wild bear, langur, pythons, crocodiles, etc. Green pigeon, partridge, rock grause, etc. are the bird species living here.

11. Dachigan Wild Life Sanctuary : This wild life Sanctuary was established in 1951 and is situated 26 km from Srinagar (Kashmir). It covers an area of 2131 sq.km. and used to be old time preserve of rulers of Kashmir. ]t 1árbours hangul (Kashmir stag). It is situated at two levels : one called upper Dachigam and other lower Dachigam nd represent summer and winter ranges. The animals found here, include musk deer, brown bear, black bear, leopard, elephant, etc.

12. Perlyar Wild Life Sanctuary : It is the southern most sanctuary situated in Kerela and was created in 1940. It covers about 77 sq.km. area and is situated around the artificial lake behind a dam built across Periyar river. It has wooden hills and valleys and grasslands. It is best known for elephants and also has gaur, leopard, sloth bear, black langur, water birds, etc.

13. Corbett National Park: It is one of the most famous sanctuary of India. It was the first a National Park started in 1935 and stretches over 525 sq.km. within west to south bend of river Ramganga, between Nainital and Garhwal districts in Uttar Pradesh. It is home of elephants, panthers, tigers, hyaeno, Indian Antelope, wild bears sloth bear, swamp deer, barking deer, etc. are among mammals; crocodile, python, king cobra, etc. among reptiles and babbler, bee eater, wood pecker, barbets, etc. among birds.

14. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary : This bird sanctuary is situated around one of the world’s biggest marshes at Bharatpur (Rajasthan). It has total area of 28 sq.km. and harbors all types of indigenous nesting water birds, migratory birds and water side birds. It harbors more than 328 varieties of birds. Most common among them are spoon bills, Indian darters, open bill stork, egrets, etc. In September, the birds migrate from all over India to Ghana and in early winters, migratory ducks, geese, cranes, etc. start nest formation here. It is a beautiful home of birds.

15. Sarika (Tigar Project) : This project has rock canyons of 800 sq. km. and is situated in district Alwar (Rajasthan). It is covered with dense Dohokra and solar forests and harbors langurs, hedgehog, four horned antelope, leopard, tiger, chital etc.

16. Kanha National Park : It was established in 1955 in the former Banjar Valley Reserve (M.P.). It has a very rich fauna and is well known for tigers and chitals. It covers about 939.94 sq.km. of area and is surrounded on three sides by Maikhal Hills. This park has sal trees and streams flow through meadows. It is situated 175 km. from Jabalpur and sambar, chital, panther, black buck, bara singha etc. are the important fauna found in it.

17. Chilka Lake : It is the largest inland lake with an area of 1000 sq.km. It is situated 100 km. from Bhuaneshwar and its best season is November-December. Its fauna include water fowls, ducks, golden plovers, flamingos, sandpipers, cranes, etc.

18. Tandoba National Park : This park is located in chandrapur district (Maharashtra) and spread over 116 sq.km. area. Important fauna, of this include langur, peafowl, barking deer, chital, bison, sambar, sloth deer, tiger, chinkara, blue bull, deer and few crocodiles.

19. Simplipal National Park (Tiger Project) : It is spread over 2750 sq.km. in district Mayuribhanj (Orissa) and is covered with dense sal forests. Its important fauna are tiger, deer, chital, sambar, elephant, peacock, panther, gaur, sloth bear, hyaena, etc.

20. Bandipur Wild Life Sanctuary : It was established in 1941 by the ruler of Mysore. It is situated 80 km. south of Mysore city and covers and area of 874 sq.km. It is located at an altitude of 1444’5 metres. Its fauna includes elephants, leopard, sloth bear, bear, wild dog, barking deer, panther, chital, etc.

 

21. Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary : It covers a stretch of 65 sq. km. of grassland and is situated in Jalpaiguri district (West Bengal). Horned rhinoceros, elephants, deer, leopard, gaur, a few birds, and reptiles, etc. are found in this sanctuary.

Write a note on Conservation of Wild Animals ? Also explain conservation of forests.

Conservation of Wild Animals: “Wildlife” seem to be a broad term, covers any or all non cultivated and non domesticated life. It has in the recent past been largely used with reference to game and fur-bearing vertebrates, and to the plants and lesser animals which interact directly with the game species. Even fish, which are often “wild”, have been excluded from the wildlife category and treated under other headings. The trend of the 1970 and beyond includes a broader concept of wildlife. It is because (i) an increasingly large number of people are becoming interested in non game species (song birds, for example) and (ii) since preservation of outdoor recreation in general depends more and more on like preservation of the totality of the wildlife ecosystem.

Wildlife management is a field of applied ecology and concerned not only with game production land. This is not only suitable for anything else, but also with game “crops”. This may also be produced on more productive land being used primarily for agriculture or forestry. As land becomes intensively farmed or urbanized wildlife becomes largely a function of “edges”.

The large blocks of forest and prairie may he broken up into numerous small pieces-which are interspersed with crop Gelds, roads, and house sites. The original upland game birds, the ruffed grouse and the prairie chicken, this way will be completely replaced by other few species. Introduced species this way become adapted to intensively fanned areas. Thus, as the landscape becomes more “domesticated” so does the wildlife. Under such conditions, habitat living space, disease, and predation replace food as major limiting factors.

This brings us to the point that efforts to roster and increase wildlife populations have been generally directed along four major lines : (1) preservation of breeding stock by means of game laws restricting the harvest and other similar measures, (2) artificial stocking, (3) habitat improvement, and (4) game farming. When game begins to get scarce, people generally think and act in the order listed above, which is sometimes unfortunate, since the third item is often more important than the first two. If suitable habitat is lacking protection or stocking is useless. As the human population density increases, game and fish management as such is faced with the same dilemma as forestry, namely, to what extent can the demand for hunting and fishing be accommodated under natural area management and to what extent will it be necessary to “farm” game and fish. The ultimate in wildlife farming involves artificial propagation of animals, stocking, and harvest within a few days or weeks of release with the hunter or fisherman paying a large fee for the privilege of shooting or fishing what amounts to a domesticated or feral population. Like all agro business, game farming has “unforeseen” problems such as predation, disease, nutritional problems, artificial selection,and so on, and requires energy subsidy in the form of supplemental food, labour, taxes, and so on.

Conservation of Forests : Some measures specially prescribed for the preservation of forests are the following.
1. Extraction of timber should not interfere with watershed protection. Tree-felling should be matched by tree-planting programmes.
2. The use of firewood should be discouraged to reduce pressure on more valuable natural forests. Other sources of energy, such as biogas, have to be provided to supplement the firewood.
3. Modem management practices such as optimization of silvicultural and nutritional requirements, including use of irrigation, fertilizers, bacterial and mycorrhizal inoculations, disease and pest management, control of weeds, breeding of the elite trees and use of tissue culture techniques have to be adopted.

The Union and State governments have launched several afforeation programmes as part of the forest conservation started in 1976. It seeks the use of public and common land to produce firewood, fodder, and small timber for the use of the rural community to relieve pressure on existing forests needed for soil and water conservation. The programme includes raising, planting and protecting trees with multiple uses (firewood, fodder, agricultural implements, fruits, etc.) for the rural community.
The Agroforestry Programme consists of reviving an ancient land use practice where the same land is used for farming, forestry and animal husbandry.

The Urban Forestry Programme aims at planting trees for aesthetic purposes. in urban settlements. Flower and fruit trees are planted along the road side, private compounds and vacant lands to add colour and mitigate the harshness of the urban environment.

Experts believe that for sustaining agriculture and maintaining the quality of environment at least one-third of a country’s land should be under forests. This requires action at all levels : individuals, the community and the government. There have been several people’s movements in recent times in India, such as the Chipko Movement (Tehri Garhwal area of Uttar Pradesh) and the public agitation for preventing the construction of a hydroelectric project in the Silent Valley region. Protection of precious forests, especially in the ecologically fragile areas, should be supplemented by efforts to plant and regenerate forests.

What is the relationship between Conservation and Development?

Ecology is the science of inter-relationships between environment and the living communities including man. Environment and biotic communities are interacting units. For example, photosynthesis and the availability of sunlight has resulted in the formation of our arerobic atmosphere.

Scarcity of plants and grasses which provides as food for herbivores, cause starvation among them, In the same manner indiscriminate and unplanned hunting of herbivores leads to shortage of food for carnivores in forests. When the forest land is converted into agricultural lands, the wild animal species are either forced to emigrate or to die. Due to modification of natural environment and further accentuates the severity of man made environmental pollution.

The ultimate aim of all economic development plan and the conservation of natural resources is to improve the welfare and quality of human life. Both these aspects are correlated with each other and are inseparable. The economy of a community depends on the richness of its natural resources. The fruits of conservation of nature are obtained after hard work and
of several years whereas the gains of economic activities developmental activities of man have their impact upon natural, biotic, climatic factors, water and soil resources. Natural conservation plans should be planned on long-term basis so that they can fulfill the ever ending needs of man for a a longer period. The natural conservation approach is the most suitable as it is is scientifically sound and bears long term effects on man. The town planners while planning new towns should bear in mind the basic ecological principles that govern the functioning and stability of the ecosystem.

 

Explain the Biodiversity protection in India?

Biodiversity protection in India

India has much flora and fauna due to diverse climate and physical conditions, ranging from the cold desert of Ladakh and Spiti to the hot desert of Thar, the temperate forests in the Himalayas to the tropical rain forests of low lands. There are also present large inland fresh water lakes like Wular and Man Sarovar in Kashmir, the Chilka in Orissa, the Kollerulake in Andhra Pradesh and the rugged and rich coastline and coral reefs of Deccan.

In India, a number of steps have been taken for the benefit of wild life. The Indian Board of Wild life (IBWL) was established in 1952 to look after the country’s wild life. Since 1995, Wild Life Week is observed every year to educate the people about the importance of Wild Life Protection Act 1972. The killing, capturing and trading of rare and endangered species has been banned under this Act. National Parks and sanctuaries can be set up under third act for the preservation of wild life. This act has been adopted by all the states except Janimu and Kashmir, which has its own similar Act. The National Wild Life Action Plan of 1983-84 requires rehabilitation of endangered species by captive breeding. creation of Biosphere Reserves has also been put into practice since 1986. Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) also have wild life protection programmes. Certain societies like. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Wild Life Preservation Society of India (WPSI) are also doing useful work for the conservation of wild life.

 

Objectives of Conservation of Biodiversity

Conservation of biological diversity has three specific objectives
(i) To maintain essential ecological processes and life supporting systems : air, water and soil.
(ii) To preserve the diversity of species or the range of genetic material found in the world’s organisms.
(iii) To ensure continuous use of species and ecosystems, which support rural communities and major industries.

Thus, the conservation of living resources is concerned not only with the plants, animals and micro-organisms but also with the abiotic components of the environment which support them.

Explain the Conservation of National Resources? What do you mean by water conservation ?

 

Conservation of National Resources

Man is the greatest enemy of environment, as he has the ability to modify it. With increase in its population, there is a need to develop the new areas on the earth which has not been utilized previously. There is need to increase the production of the old areas. Water, air and soil resources are to be protected from adverse effects of pollution caused by wastes and other industrial products. The physical and biological environments, control man and other animals. To improve his standard of living, improvement of the environment is essential. Environmental conservation is a continuous process which is essential to maintain our living standard.

Conservation is the protection, preservation and use of the natural resources of the earth. The term natural resources means all land, minerals, waters, vegetation and wildlife useful to human society. Conservation of natural resources means control and management of land and its minerals, soil, water, vegetation, etc. It is also applied ecology. The important natural resources which need conservation are land, water, minerals and soil.

Since man began to realize the consequences of unlimited exploitation of the nature by him, all the efforts are being made to study the environmental problems on global level. The ecologists consider whole of the biosphere as a workable ecosystem and man constitutes an important component as well as factor in it. In order to meet his increasing demand of food, shelther, energy, etc. he has started exploiting indiscriminately his natural resources at a very rapid rate, thus causing ecological imbalance of the nature. With the rapid increase in human population, man has to understand ecological potential of his environment Realizing the need of evaluating the biotic potential of different kinds of habitats of biosphere, two very important Programmes have been launched on global level (i) International Biological programme (IBP) (ii) Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB).

 Water conservation in India

Though water renews itself through hydrological cycles, still an increasing demand for water needs its conservation. Following measures can be adopted for this purpose.

1. Treatment of used water before passing it into irrigational channels
2. Prevention of wastage of water in irrigation by brick lining of channels and subsurface and sprinkler techniques.
3. Prevention of water wastage in industries and homes.
4. Prevention of water pollution by not allowing raw sewage and industrial effluents to pass into water bodies.
5. Building of dams upstreams to store flood water for use during dry periods.
6. Afforestation and reforestation of hill slopes and catchment areas to hold water and prevent its loss through floods.
7. Building of tanks and ponds to retain rain water for later use in areas, where perennial sources of water are not available.

Explain the Modes of Conservation ?

Modes of Conservation

1. Protection of Law : It is very necessary that stringent laws are passed now and enforced very strictly. There will be always the case of the law breakers. The defect about this method is that under legal protection some animals alone will become plentiful and become a nuisance. Again this is a less effective method as when the laws are enforced some people may stealthily hunt the protected animals and earn huge profits and thereby nullify the very purpose of the law.

2. Establishment of Sanctuaries and Refuges : After the establishment of the Indian Board for wild life in 1952 many sanctuaries and refuges have been set up. Most of the sanctuaries have ideal conditions for the animals to live. However, a constant watch must be kept on the numbers so that overpopulation is not allowed.

3. Restoration of the Original Habitat: This is a case of rectifying the mistakes committed earlier. If for example a lake was drained for fields it can be reformed. Similarly, forests that, are denuded can again be restored by reforestation. The main aim of Vanamahotsava is towards reforestation and increase of plant wealth. A polluted river can be made alright by treating the effluents with chemicals. Roads and railways can be avoided through dense forests.

4. Better Living Conditions:
(a) Provision of cover :
Animals can be encouraged to live in any
by providing cover in the form of shrubs and trees. Even grasslands
can be converted into ideal places for wild animals if trees and shrubs are planted in between in long rows. In Europe often hedges are used as farm
strips of plant life are left along margins of fields to enable animals to move to their places of food and water and food

(b) Provision of food : In the reforestation programme those trees and
plants should be planted in abundance which form food for the wild animals by those in authority.

5. Raising for Fur and Game animals: Many of the fur bearers threatened with epidemics. In that case it is necessary to isolate the animals and rear them in protected areas for subsequent release in their original habitats.

6. Educating the Common Man : All the efforts of the Government and private agencies will fail if the common man is not educated regarding the preservation of wild life. There must he more books available on wild life so that even children can know about them people must be encouraged to visit sanctuaries and spend days there. Arrangements must be made to create interest among the common man so that the learns more about the wild life. This is the most important method of preservation.

In India there is a greater need of scientific conservation today than before. Among all the measures for conservation the most important method of conservation is habitat improvement.

Write an essay on Man’s Disruption of Ecosystem and Conservation of environment.

Man’s Disruption of Ecosystem

Man has done much to alter the face of earth. Almost in all the countries the sprawling cities, the broad highways, the highly cultivated farmlands, the big factories and the great areas of land made unproductive through mismanagement, all combine to produce a disruption of natural ecosystem. Great achievements in industrialization, transportation, mechanized agriculture, public health and medicines have aided in uplifting the standard of living far above than ever known before, but these advances have been bought at a price.

In achieving all these comforts, man has created several problems, by disturbing the delicate ecological balance in nature. The web of life is so delicately inter-woven that we cannot alter any part without far reaching consequences. For example, the poisons and insecticides are used to kill the insects which the birds eat, but these insecticides also kill those birds that we do not wish to kill. The forests cleared for the construction of factories, dams or railway tract also cause grave danger to the wildlife. The industrial wastes as chemical effluents, gases, smog etc. pollute the water and air, killing numerous freshwater and marine organisms (fishes, oysters and green vegetation) valuable to man in various ways.
In early times man formed only a small part of the ecosystem exchanging material with it just like other animals. By learning to hunt, to grow crops he gained superiority over other species in his environment. The explosive increase in his population accompanied with an expanding knowledge in every field made him the ruler of the earth. By creating artificial environment and providing modern comforts man has combated with nature. But all this has disturbed the ecological balance to such an extent that ecologists have started predicting that if man continues to disrupt his environment at the same speed, he will bring the dooms day of his race very soon. Now he mu use his intellect to preserve the ecosystem and the natural balance, which are very necessary for his survival.
The conservation of environment, and natural resources by the application of ecological principles is very essential in ensuring a continual yield of plants, animals and materials for fast expanding human population Man has been squandering natural resources by improper cultivation of land wasteful lumbering methods, unrestricted slaughter or animals, depletion fisheries and industrial and sewage pollution of water resources.

A new method has been evolved by the experts of the Dehradoon based Central Soil and Water Conservation Research Institute at it Bellary
Research Centre involves digging of ditches of suitable sizes to break flow of run-off water. Conservation ditching, as the new technique is called helps in preserving, a major portions of the run-off water for utilization during the dry period for irrigating field crops. By cutting off the flow of water from a rain storm, these ditches help in preventing effectively the erosion of down stream soil.

Major Advantage: One of the major advantage of the new conservation system is that it offers scope for boosting farm production in rain fed areas of black cotton soils by providing supplementary irrigation. The practice can be adopted even at the individual farm level. In an experiment at the Bellary Centre, the results indicated that the yield of sorghum (jowar) could be increased by nearly 47 percent by just providing one irrigation to the crop from water stored in the ditches.

Experiments have also been conducted at Dehradoon to ascertain the viability of water harvesting technology involving storage of excess rain water in ponds and utilizing it for providing supplementary irrigation to rainfed crops. It has been found that about 40 percent of the storage capacity of the ponds constructed in the fields is generally lost due to seepage and evaporation. The remaining 60% of the available water can be successfully used for providing life saving irrigation to rail crops.
Conservation of Natural Resources: The natural resources means the land, soil, minerals, waters and their products; the vegetation, and wild life which are useful for human society and maintenance of modern comforts .Conservation of these resources by the application of ecological principles is very essential in ensuring a continuous yield of plants and animals used as food and other materials which are essential for the expanding human population. Therefore, conservation is nothing but applied ecology.

1. Soil conservation: Soil is the top cover of the earth in which plants an grow. The plant life is very essential for conserving kinetic solar energy into potential energy and forms the only source for providing energy to the animals. These supply fodder for animals, food and clothing to man and shelter to all. Its wood is put to various uses. It is, therefore, essential to protect the soil against soil erosion, floods and to conserve its fertility. The rotation of crop, contour ploughing and use of proper fertilizers help in maintaining the fertility of soil. Plantation of trees, controlled grazing of islands, reforestation, prevention of forest fires will protect the erosion of top soil. The regulation of water resources to prevent flood will help not only soil conservation but also supply an adequate water supply in the period of drought.

2. Water Conservation : Soil conservation alone will prove inadequate is not accompanied by the maintenance of suitable quantities of water. r is needed for our domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. With an increase of our industrial civilization our need for water has increased. If our water resources are polluted, or stored water runs short, the very existence of the entire civilized world is threatened.

The Construction of artificial reservoirs, lakes and canals enable us to spread  water to suitable lands where it could be used. The mismanagement of stored water may lead to soil erosion, may fill reservoirs, run canals and dams and may cause overflow of the river
hanks ruining the farms.

 

3. Environmental Conservation: Life and environment are inseparable. Man is an integral part of the environment exchanging materials with the environment in a continuous cycle. With his modern knowledge in technology, chemistry, and biology and agriculture man has the ability to modify his environment, but still he cannot completely isolate himself. As his population increases, he needs more space and to utilize resources from other place, which he had not exploited earlier. It must, therefore, be realized that man should try to conserve his environment in which he is residing and should use his environment in an intelligent way so that the human race is not exposed to environmental hazards.

Explain the terms bio-diversity, biome and biosphere?

Bio-diversity

Bio-diversity is the number of species of different organisms present in an area. Bio-diversity includes all plants, animals and mircro-organisms of an area. Earth is endowed with an immensely rich variety of life forms which roughly consist of 3,00,000 green plants, 8,00,000 insects, 23,000 fishers, 2,000 birds, 6,500 reptiles, 4,100 animals and few thousand microbes.

Thus, Bio-diversity means variation and abundance of species and their habitats According to the World Resources Institute, ‘Bio-diversity’ is variety of the world’s organisms including their genetic diversity and the assemblage they form. It is the blanket term for natural biological wealth that underguards human life and well-being.

India is recognized as a country uniquely rich in Bio-diversity, because of its tropical location, varied physical features and climate. It consist of approximately 850 bacteria, 23,000 fungi, 25,000 algae 1,600 lichens, 2,664 bryophytes, 1,022 pteridophytes, 64 gymnosperms, 15,000 angiospernis, 53,430 insects, 5050 molluscs, 2,546 fishes, 204 amphibians, 456 reptiles, 1228 ayes and 372 Mammals.

Biome

The natural ecological grouping of plants and animals on the basis of climates are called biomes. In other words, all the ecosystems taken together in a given geographical area having the same type of climate is called a biome. The examples of biomes are : deserts, grasslands, tropical forests, temperate forests, etc.  A biome is a very large ecosystem having the same type of climate, ie type of plants and animals throughout. So, biomes are also termed as ecosystems of the world.

Biosphere

A zone consisting of land, water and air, where life exists is called a biosphere. It includes all the living organisms of the Earth and all the life supporting regions of the Earth. Thus, the biosphere consists of four parts, Lithosphere (Land surface or soil); Hydrosphere (Water bodies) Atmosphere (Air) and Living organisms (like animals and plants).

Explain biotic community and community structure??

Biotic Community

A biotic community is a localized association of several populations of different species living in a given geographic area or habitat. It is a heterogeneous collection of different groups of organisms both plants and animals present in that area. The biotic community is, therefore, composed of smaller units of intimately associated members which belong to different species. Each unit is known as population which may be defined as having the same given biotic area.

A biotic community exhibits adaptive radiation because the organisms of different populations have some features in common due to the effect of the same abiotic factors of the environment. The abiotic factors include the temperature, light and other radiations, water, gravity, pressure, hydrogen concentration, soil texture, chemicals in solution, air-currents, water currents, atmospheric gases etc.

The biotic environment i.e. the plants and animals present in thai particular area also influence the density of a particular group of population the abundance of organisms of a particular group). Thus in nature there exists an interaction between organisms and environment, between plants and plants, between animals and animals and between animals and plants and the biotic community is the net result of all such interactions.

Community Structure

Community consists of mainly three groups, which are the fundamental units of an ecosystem:

1. Producers : Producers include autotrophic organisms i.e. the green plants which synthesize their food. These are of two types (i) Posted or large floating plants and (ii) minute floating plants (phytoplankton). These are in abundance in a community.

2. Decomposers : These are also living components of the community. Mostly these are composed of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi. These act on the dead bodies of producers and consumers and are responsible, for breaking up complex materials into simple substances. The released usable nutrient material goes back into the system for reuse by the producers.

3. Consumers : These include the heterotrophic organisms which consumer the food produced by the producers. On the basis of feeding habits consumers are subdivided into 2 subgroups
(i) Herbivores or primary consumers: These depend upon vegetation and form the food for secondary consumers.
(ii) Carnivores or secondary consumers : These depends on the primary consumers e.g. rabbit which is a herbivore forms the food of wolves. Primary carnivores or secondary consumers (wolves) in turn form the food lion (secondary carnivore). This constitutes the food chain.

Explain the Biodiversity ? What are the importance of Biodiversity?

The term biodiversity describes all aspects of diversity, i.e. richness of species within a specified region or the world; the complexity of ecosystems and genetic diversity. The boundless diversity in the living organisms is the most distinguished characteristic of life. The term biological diversity or biodiversity refers to the extent of variation of living organisms on earth. It is total living component of the biosphere. Thus, biodiversity means variety and variability of all animals, plants and micro-organisms Organisms look different from each other because of differences, in their genes. Hence, biodiversity stands for diversity in the genetic makeup of living organisms. So we can observe biodiversity at following three levels: species level, genetic level and ecosystem level. For the sustenance of humankind, conservation of diversity is very important. All the components of nature exist in perfect harmony. These are interwoven and interdependent. A disturbance to one type of fauna and flora can threaten the whole life support system.

Human beings are also a part of this complex system. So, the loss of diversity can lead to the destruction of human species as well. Indeed every species in nature is not only exerting a biological control over the other, but are supporting and co-operating with each other directly or indirectly.

Due to its great diversity of plant life, especially the angiosperms, India belongs to the category of 12 mega diversity countries of the world. From angiosperms new drugs are being discovered every day. Besides angiosperms, India is equally rich in species of insects, amphibian, reptiles, birds and mammals of great economic potential.

India’s long established diversity is now under serious threat due to various factors. We can consider only one major factor here. The unchecked growth in human population has created need for more food and shelter. This led to monoculture cropping system, industrialization and urbanization at the cost of wild habitat. It is anticipated that a quarter of earth’s diversity will be endangered in the next 20-30 years. Therefore, the requirement of conservation of biodiversity is more urgent now. In this direction, best step would be to educate the public and make people to realize the seriousness of the problems. Another immediate step should include the creation of more and more protected areas such as national parks, sanctuaries and biosphere reserves.

Besides above conventional methods of conservation of biodiversity, the new field of biotechnology has provided some long-term methods for conserving the fast depleting diversity. The diversity is preserved in the form of germplasm (genetic material). Germplasm or gene banks are established for the conservation of species. Such gene banks exist in the form of botanical gradens, zoological parks, culture collection, seeds, pollen grains and vegetatively propagated parts (such as corm, bulb, tubers) are collected and stored in such germplasm or seed banks under very specialized conditions (Cold storage, cryogenic storage). Some of these collections are kept dry.

Importance of Biodiversity

A rich bio-diversity is essential for the health of biosphere and bioindustrial development of a country. The main importance of biodiversity is discussed below.

1. Gene Banks: Improved varieties of crop plant and domestic animals are the backbone of modern agriculture. In recent years, many improved varieties of crops and useful animals have been developed from their wild relatives through breeding programmes. Wild life serves as a gene pool which may be tapped for improving yield and resistance. Animal breeders select useful genes by screening a wide range of their wild relatives. A few years back a new rice pest called brown plant hopper (Nilaparvata lugens) threatened the entire rice cultivation, because all the high yielding varieties were susceptible to t. In a world wise search, only a few old rice varieties from Kerala were found to have resistance to this pest. The resistance gene from these varieties have been introduced into the modern rice variety. This indicates the need for conserving’ biodiversity for breeding programmes.

2. Means of Recreation: Bio-diversity provides a good deal of fun and recreation. A visit to a sanctuary or national park is a thrilling experience.

3. Scientific value : New surgical methods or efficiency of new medicines are tested first on animals like rats, gunia pigs, rhesus monkey etc.

4. Aesthetic Value: Bio-diversity provides aesthetic value to man. A world without thick forests, graceful beasts and melodious birds would be a
poorer place for man to live in.