Human Environment - Interactions Life in Tropical and Subtropical Regions


Amazon Basin : Chapter Summary

Climate also affects the natural vegetation and wildlife of a region. People the world over share the basic needs of life, which are food, clothing and shelter.

Tropical regions are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The Amazon basin lies in the tropical regions that are located between the Tropic of Cancer, which is 23.5 degree north, and the Tropic of Capricorn, which is 23.5 degree south.

While the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin lies in the sub-tropical regions that are adjacent to the tropical regions. Amazon is the world’s largest river in terms of the volume of water it holds. It is also the second longest river in the world, after Nile, which is in Africa.

The Amazon basin lies very close to the equator – between 10 degree north and 10 degree south. The regions lying on this belt are also known as equatorial regions.

Various tributaries join the Amazon River to form the Amazon Basin. The Amazon river flows across its source – the Andes mountains in Peru, all the way up to its mouth in Brazil, before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

As the equator passes through the Amazon basin, the region experiences hot and wet climate throughout the year.

Life in the Amazon Basin : Chapter Summary

The Amazon basin stretches across the equator and is characterised by a hot, wet and humid climate
and thick and dense forests.

The Amazon river basin has the largest variety of plant species on the earth and a rich source of flora and fauna. Most species of plants and animals are found here. Orchids and bromeliads grow as plant parasites. Birds such as toucans, birds of paradise and Humming birds are found here.

The animals include monkeys, sloths and ant-eating tapir. The anaconda and the boa constrictor are some species of snakes found here. The Amazon river and its tributaries are home to more than 3000 species of fish like piranha and the dreaded electric eel.

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The indigenous people people rely on the forest for their food, clothing and shelter. Slash and burn is a method of land cultivation is practiced here to grow crops tapioca, pineapple and sweet potato. Cash crops like coffee, maize and cocoa are also grown.

The natives live in thatched houses or Malocas. The Trans-Amazon highway was built in 1970 for easier access to the region.

Due to easier access for outsiders, the indigenous population was forced to settle in new areas. This also led to gradual destruction of the rainforest.

The Ganga-Brahmaputra River Basin : Chapter Summary

The Ganga-Brahmaputra basin is a sub-tropical region. The Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries, form this river basin.

The Ganges river is joined by its tributaries like the Ghaghra , the Son , the Chambal , the Gandak  and the Kosi. The Brahmaputra river is joined by its tributaries like the Dibang, the Luhit the Subansiri, the Manas, the Sankosh, the Tista, the Dhansiri and the Champamati.

The main features of this river basin are:
  • A fertile belt that includes most of north and east India
  • Rich source of alluvial soil
  • Number of ox-bow lakes over the plains
  • Bounded on the north by the mountains and foothills of the Himalayas
  • On east, lies the famed Sundarbans delta
The Ganga-Brahmaputra river basin region experiences a monsoon type of climate. As is the case for a monsoon climate area, the summers are hot and the winters cool. The Ganga-Brahmaputra basin is the largest river basin in the country.

Population density is the number of persons who live in one square kilometre of an area. The mountain areas have low population density, while the plains have a very high population density.

Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in the plains. Paddy is the main crop while other crops grown are wheat, maize, sorghum, gram, millets, jute and sugarcane.

Terrace farming is practised in the mountains and hills. The vegetation includes tropical deciduous trees in the plains, mangroves in the Sunderbans Delta, and coniferous trees in the cold and hilly regions. 

Life in the Ganga - Brahmaputra Basin : Chapter Summary

The Ganga-Brahmaputra basin supports a rich variety of wildlife. The animals found here include the one-horned rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal tiger, crocodiles and alligators.

Aquatic life abounds in the fresh river waters, the lakes and the Bay of Bengal. The most popular varieties of fish found here are rohu, catla and hilsa. The lakes in the basin are also an important source of livelihood for many people. The land around the lakes is also very fertile.

Locals are able to grow crops such as paddy, maize and pulses in these areas. The plains are home to several big cities with a majority of the country's population living here. The Ganga-Brahmaputra basin has all well-developed transport facilities i.e. roadways, railways, waterways and airways.

A number of world-famous tourist places lie in this region like The Taj Mahal, the Buddhist Stupas, the Imambara, the Kaziranga and Manas wild life sanctuaries.

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