The Thorn Forests and Scrubs
- The Thorn Forests and Scrubs are found in regions where the rainfall is less than 70cm.
- The vegetation in these forests are thorny trees and bushes.
- The Thorn Forests are found in the semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
- Acacias, palms, euphorbias and cacti are the main plants found in these forests.
- The common animals found here are rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tiger, lion, wild ass, horses and camels.
Let us look at the feature of the trees and plants that are found here.
Cacti are distinctive and unusual plants which are found in the thorn forests. They adapt to extremely arid and hot environments, showing a wide range of anatomical and physiological features which conserve water. Their stems have expanded into green succulent structures containing the chlorophyll necessary for life and growth, while the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are so well known.
The life of a cactus is seldom longer than 300 years, but there are cacti which live only 25 years. The Saguaro cactus grows to a height of up to 15 meters.
The diameter of cactus flowers ranges from 5 to 30 cm; the colors are often conspicuous and spectacular.
Most cacti have a short growing season and long dormancy. One feature which distinguishes the cacti from all other plants are the areoles. The areole appears like a cushion with a diameter of up to 15 mm and is formed by two opposing buds in the angles of a leaf. From the upper bud develops either a blossom or a side shoot, from the lower bud develop thorns. The two buds of the areoles can lie very close together, but they can also sometimes be separated by several centimeters.