URBAIZATION AS AN IMPORTANT DETERMINANT IN SPATIAL ORGANIZATION
The term natural vegetation generally refers to the plant cover of an extensive part of the earth. It also refers to the different plant communities found on the surface of the earth. (Monkhouse 1970, Collinson 198). The part of the earth on which plant grow is known as the biosphere. The biosphere is also refers to as an ecosystem because there is an interrelationship between that plant and other environmental factors e.g. soil. The land biosphere may be subdivided into bios cycles, including the land bios cycle which is of relevance to this study since it carries the forest ecosystem.
However, vegetation growth depends essentially on the types of soil and climatic factors of an area, for example rainfall, light and heat which are known to influence vegetation structure. If vegetation is allow to grow without human interference. It becomes a primeval forest (Church 1973). However, there is no primeval forest in Akwa Ibom State because of constant human interference for agriculture purposes, settlement and urban development and industrialization. The vegetation cover, except in some distant swamps and few sacred forests, has undergone serious modification by man. In essence, when to total demand for land in all categories exceeds supply forest land will be sacrificed tom that other needs can be met. Natural vegetation is the plants and other flora that make up the plant life in the region, the natural vegetation determine the characteristic of the region
THE ROLE OF NATURAL VEGETATION
Vegetation or natural vegetation support critical functions in the biosphere, at all possible scales. First, vegetation regulates the flow of numerous biogeo chemical cycles, most critically those of water, carbon, and nitrogen. It is also of great important in local and global energy balance. Such cycle are impotent not only fo9r global pattern of vegetation but also for those of climate. Second, vegetation strongly affects soil characteristics, including soil volume, chemistry and texture, which feed back to affect various vegetation characteristics, including productivity and structure. Third, vegetation serve as wildlife habitat and the energy source for the vast array of animal species on the planet and, ultimately to those that feed on these. Vegetation is also critically important to the world economy, particularly in the use of fossil fuel as an energy source, but also in the global production of food, wood fuel and other materials