Vegetation is the sum total of plants growing in a particular area. It differs from flora which refers to the species content only. Vegetation is an integral part of the complex arid ecosystem. Vegetation comes into being as result of interaction of biotic and abiotic environmental factors.
Broadly speaking, vegetation is a reflex of two major factors, i.e., climatic and the landform with its surface deposits. The vegetation of Indian arid zone is quite sparse with limited number of species. Vegetation is a part of the complex ecosystem which includes the plant cover, the landform and the features of its surface deposits.
In arid zone a close relationship exists among the habitat, to vegetation and its environment. This relationship of an arid zone is always in a dynamic equilibrium. Minor changes in the physical environment entail dynamic changes in plant life.
Characteristics plants that occur on various arid zone habitats are summarised below: