DEFINITION OF NATURAL
A natural resource is anything that people can use
which comes from nature. People do not make natural
resources, but gather them from the earth.
Examples of natural resources are air, water, wood, oil,
wind energy, iron, and coal.
Ever since the earth was inhabited, humans and other life forms
have depended on things that exist freely in nature to survive.
These things include water (seas and fresh water), land, soils,
rocks, forests (vegetation), animals (including fish), fossil fuels and minerals. They
are called Natural Resources and are the basis of life on earth.
Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of humankind. This
includes all valued characteristics such as magnetic, gravitational, and electrical
properties and forces.
Below is a simple illustration of some great things that we get from some natural
TYPES OF NATURAL RESOURCES
All Natural Resources fall under two main categories: Renewable and Non-
renewable Resources. The table below will help us understand this better.
Renewable resources are those that are constantly available or can be reasonably
replaced or recovered. Examples include sunlight, air, wind, water, etc…
Non-renewable resources are those that cannot easily be replaced once they are
destroyed.Examples include fossil fuels, minerals etc…
Natural resources are available to sustain the very complex interaction between
living things and non-living things. Some important threats to natural resources are
Over population: land use, forest, fishing, greedy needs of humans etc…
To have an environmentally sustainable secure future where we can still enjoy
natural resources, we urgently need to transform the way we use resources, by
completely changing the way we produce and consume goods and services.
Some important ways to conserve natural resources are given below:-
Education and Public Awareness
Individuals, organizations and nations
Governments and Policy
A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or artificial, that is usually
smaller than a lake.
Usually they contain shallow water with marsh and aquatic plants and
Ponds are frequently human-constructed. In the countryside farmers and
villagers dig a pond in their backyard or increase the depth of an existing
pond by removing layers of mud during summer season.
One of the most important features of ponds is the presence of standing
water, which provides habitat for wetland plants and animals. Examples
include water-lilies, frogs, turtles and herons etc…
TYPES OF PONDS
There are different types of ponds in many kinds and sizes. Each of them has
its unique characteristics. Few are listed below:-
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF PONDS
Less mowing, fewer pollutants
Fewer pesticides and fertilizers
Supports local wildlife
Creates environmental awareness
IMAGES OF PONDS
A lake is a large body of water (larger and deeper than a pond) within a
body of land. As a lake is separated from the ocean, it is not a sea
Most lakes on the surface of the Earth are fresh water and most are in the
Northern Hemisphere. More than 60% of the lakes of the world are in
Canada. Finland is known as The Land of the Thousand Lakes
Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for industrial or agricultural
use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, or for
aesthetic or recreational purposes or even for other activities.
Lakes can be also categorized on the basis of their richness in nutrients,
which typically affect plant growth.
Nutrient-poor lakes are said to be oligotrophic lakes and are generally clear,
having a low concentration of plant life.
Mesotrophic lakes have good clarity and an average level of nutrients.
Eutrophic lakes are enriched with nutrients, resulting in good plant growth
and possible algal blooms.
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF LAKES
Lakes as a Water Sources
Lakes for Fishing
Lakes as Tourist and Recreation Locations
Lakes as Biodiversity Conservation Areas
Lakes as Natural Balance Preserving Reservoirs
IMAGES OF LAKES
A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards
an ocean, sea, lake or another river.
River flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without
reaching another body of water.
Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook,
rivulet, and rill.
Rivers are part of the hydrological cycle. Water generally collects in a river
from precipitation through a drainage basin from surface runoff and other
sources such as groundwater recharge, springs, and the release of stored
water in natural ice and snowpacks.
Potamology is the scientific study of rivers
Rivers can flow down mountains, through valleys (depressions) or along
plains, and can create canyons or gorges.
A river begins at a source (or more often several sources), follows a path
called a course, and ends at a mouth or mouths.
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF RIVERS
Rivers have been used as a source of water, for obtaining food, for transport,
as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for
bathing, and as a means of disposing of waste.
River are often a rich source of fish and other edible aquatic life, and are a
major source of fresh water, which can be used for drinking and irrigation.
Fast flowing rivers and waterfalls are widely used as sources of energy, via
watermills and hydroelectric plants.
The coarse sediments, gravel, and sand, generated and moved by rivers are
extensively used in construction.
Rivers have been important in determining political boundaries and
IMAGES OF RIVERS
A sea is a large body of salt water that is surrounded in whole or in
part by land.
The sea moderates Earth's climate and has important roles in the water
cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle..
oceanography is the modern scientific study of the sea
Seawater is invariably salty and, although its degree of saltiness
(salinity) can vary, about 90% of the water in the ocean has 34–35 g
(1.2 oz.) of dissolved solids per liter, producing a salinity between 3.4
The amount of light that penetrates the sea depends on the angle of the
sun, the local weather, and the sea's turbidity.
The amount of oxygen present in seawater depends primarily upon its
temperature and the photosynthetic organisms living in it, particularly
algae, phytoplankton, and plants such as sea grass.
Seawater is slightly alkaline and had a preindustrial pH of about 8.2.
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF SEA
Regulate the earth system.
Supply the living and non-living resources.
Provide social and economic goods and services.
Provide rich source of fish and other edible aquatic life.
IMAGES OF SEA
A forest is a large area dominated by trees.
Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, and are
distributed across the globe.
Forests account for 75% of the gross primary productivity of the
Earth's biosphere, and contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass.
Forests are often home to many animal and plant species, and biomass
per unit area is high compared to other vegetation communities.
The woody component of a forest contains lignin, which is relatively
slow to decompose compared with other organic materials such as
cellulose or carbohydrate.
The three major forest biomes are coniferous forests, deciduous
forests, and tropical rain forests.
Human society and forests influence each other in both positive and
negative ways. Forests provide ecosystem services to humans and
serve as tourist attractions. Forests can also affect people's health.
Human activities, including harvesting forest resources, can
negatively affect forest ecosystems.
The management of forests is often referred to as forestry.
There are also many natural factors that can cause changes in forests
over time including forest fires, insects, diseases, weather,
competition between species, etc.
Losing forest diversity means missing opportunities for medicines,
food, raw materials and employment opportunities, in one word:
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF FORESTS
Forests provide a diversity of ecosystem services including converting
carbon dioxide into oxygen and biomass
Forests also serve as a source of lumber and as recreational areas.
Forests act as a carbon sink, aiding in regulating climate, purifying
water, mitigating natural hazards such as floods, and serving as a
IMAGES OF FORESTS
A patch of land that develops pools of water after a rain storm would not be
considered a "wetland", even though the land is wet.
A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or
seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem.
Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water
purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability.
Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all
ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.
The water found in wetlands can be freshwater, brackish, or saltwater.
The main wetland types include swamps, marshes, bogs, and fens.
Constructed wetlands can be used to treat municipal and industrial
wastewater as well as storm water runoff. They may also play a role in
water-sensitive urban design.
Wetlands have also been described as ecotones, providing a transition
between dry land and water bodies.
Wetlands have unique characteristics: they are generally distinguished from
other water bodies or landforms based on their water level and on the types
of plants that live within them.
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF WETLANDS
Shoreline stabilization and storm protection
Reservoirs of biodiversity
Recreation and tourism
Climate change mitigation and adaptation
IMAGES OF WETLANDS
A sacred grove or sacred woods are any grove of trees that are of
special religious importance to a particular culture.
Sacred groves of India are forest fragments of varying sizes, which are
communally protected, and which usually have a significant religious
connotation for the protecting community.
Hunting and logging are usually strictly prohibited within these
Other forms of forest usage like honey collection and deadwood
collection are sometimes allowed on a sustainable basis.
Indian sacred groves are sometimes associated with temples /
monasteries / shrines or with burial grounds.
Sacred groves are scattered all over the country, and are referred to by
different names in different parts of India.
Groves were associated with religious rites, festivals and recreation.
In the villages, Panchavati, or a cluster of five trees that represented
the forests, were maintained. These trees represented the five elements
of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF SACRED GROVES
They also play an important role in the conservation of flora and fauna.
Sacred groves are the good source of a variety of medicinal plants, fruits,
fodder, fuel wood, spices, etc.
IMAGES OF SACRED GROVES
Checked and corrected by,
Reshma tulsi T L
Assistant professor in Natural science
Keerthana R Nath