Natural Vegetation includes that part of plant life which grows without human help and grows naturally according to the available environment. The part of the natural vegetation which has remained undisturbed by humans is called virgin vegetation. This is found only in the remote parts of the Himalayas. In the rest of the country, the natural vegetation has changed as man's interference has increased.
Forests are a very important natural resource because
1. They provide an environment for wildlife.
2. They improve the fertility of the soil and prevent soil erosion.
3. They provide many products for our use.
4. They help in checking floods.
The Forest Research Institutes at Dehradun and Coimbatore are the main centres for research in forest and forest products.
Forests Products can be divided into
1. Major Products
(i) Manufacture of paper
(ii) Railway sleepers
(iii) Furniture, doors, windows
(iv) Boxes for packing
(v) Perfumes, handicrafts (e.g. sandalwood), medicines
2. Minor Products
(i) Turpentine oil, resin, varnishes
(iii) Lac (used for making sealing wax, jewellery)
Depending upon the climate, soil, relief and structure. Indian forests can be divided into following categories:
1. Tropical Evergreen
2. Tropical Deciduous
3. Tropical Desert
4. Littoral or Tidal