Explain Hydrological Cycle. Specify the role of vegetation in Hydrological cycle

The hydrological cycle, also known as the water cycle, is a continuous process that describes the movement and circulation of water on Earth.

GET PDF of fully solved assignment MSD 012 or any other by click above. You can order any subject ignou solved assignments pdf, ignou handwritten assignments pdf or ignou Handwritten Assignments hard copy from above link.

It involves the exchange of water between the atmosphere, land, and oceans through various processes such as evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, and runoff. The hydrological cycle is crucial for maintaining the availability and distribution of freshwater resources.

The role of vegetation in the hydrological cycle is significant and can be observed in the following ways:

  1. Transpiration: Transpiration is the process by which plants absorb water through their roots and release it as vapor through small openings called stomata on their leaves. This water vapor enters the atmosphere, contributing to the moisture content in the air. Transpiration by vegetation accounts for a significant portion of the water that is returned to the atmosphere, acting as a natural water pump.
  2. Evapotranspiration: Evapotranspiration combines the processes of evaporation from the soil surface and transpiration from plants. Vegetation plays a crucial role in this combined process, as it acts as a mediator between the soil and the atmosphere. It enhances the overall evaporation rates by increasing the surface area available for evaporation through leaves, stems, and other plant parts.
  3. Interception: Vegetation intercepts rainfall before it reaches the ground surface. This interception can occur on the leaves, branches, and stems of plants. When precipitation is intercepted, it can be temporarily stored on the vegetation, undergo evaporation, or eventually drip down to the ground surface. This process influences the timing and amount of water that reaches the soil, affecting the overall hydrological balance.
  4. Infiltration and Soil Moisture: The presence of vegetation helps to enhance the infiltration of water into the soil. Vegetation acts as a protective layer, reducing soil erosion and increasing water absorption capacity. The roots of plants create channels and increase soil porosity, allowing water to penetrate deeper into the ground, thus contributing to groundwater recharge. Vegetation also helps in maintaining soil moisture by extracting water from the soil through their roots.
  5. Streamflow and Runoff: Vegetation plays a role in regulating the flow of water in rivers, streams, and watersheds. The presence of vegetation along riverbanks and slopes helps in reducing surface runoff and controlling erosion. Vegetation acts as a buffer, slowing down the movement of water, reducing the chances of flooding, and promoting a more controlled release of water into the water bodies.

Overall, vegetation plays a critical role in the hydrological cycle by influencing various processes such as evapotranspiration, interception, infiltration, and runoff. It helps to regulate the movement and distribution of water, maintain soil moisture, and contribute to the overall water balance in ecosystems. Sustainable management and conservation of vegetation are essential for maintaining healthy hydrological cycles and ensuring the availability of freshwater resources.

Leave a Comment