Diversity of Ecosystem Types in India: A Review

R. K. Chaturvedi
2017 Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy  
India is home to an unusually large number of endemic species and ranks sixth among the 12 megabiodiversity centers of the world. Four terrestrial biodiversity hot spots (Himalaya, Indo-Burma, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, and Sundaland) partly lie in India. The 27 distinct biogeographic provinces, and the variety of life zones and floral groups result in equally diverse vegetation and ecosystem types. The forest ecosystems are markedly diverse and have been classified into six 'major groups'
more » ... ging from tropical to alpine, 16 'groups' and more than 200 'group categories'. The grassland ecosystems are categorized into five major grass cover types. There are 1193 wetlands covering a total area of 3.9 million hectares in 274 districts. Total area of coral reefs comprises 2,375 sq km. India is one of the eight Vavilov's centers of origin of cultivated plants in the world and has twenty distinct agro-ecosystems, characterized by variations in edaphic, climatic and geographic features, and consequently a diverse cropping pattern. In this article we give an overview of the vast array of broad ecosystem types that occur in India. We also briefly discuss the human impacts on the health of country's ecosystems and the ecosystem conservation scenario.
doi:10.16943/ptinsa/2017/41287 fatcat:gd4n5jad6fahrdayochrqaua2m