TYPES OF FORESTS IN INDIA
TYPES OF FORESTS IN INDIA
Tropical Evergreen Forest (or Tropical Rainforests)
- These forests are found on the western slopes of Western Ghats, parts of North-East India and Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
- In these regions, there is humidity throughout the year and the annual rainfall is over 200 cm.
- Important species are rosewood, mahogany, aini, ebony, etc.
- These forests are evergreen due to abundant availability of moisture throughout the year.
- These forests are also called rainforests because these forests receive high rainfall during the year.
- These forests are found in less rainy areas of evergreen forests. These forests have both evergreen and deciduous trees.
- The undergrowth provides an evergreen character to these forests.
- Main species are white cedar, hollock and kail. TYPES OF FORESTS IN INDIA
Tropical Deciduous Forests
- These forests are the most widespread forests in India. They are also called tropical monsoon forests and grow in regions with annual rainfall between 50 and 200 cm.
- Teak, sal, shisham, hurra, mahua, amla, semul, kusum and sandalwood are the common tree varieties of the moist deciduous forests (annual rainfall between 100 and 200 cm), whereas tendu, palas, amaltas, bel, khair and axlewood are the common tree varieties of the dry deciduous forests (annual rainfall between 50 and 100 cm).
- These forests are called deciduous forests, because after rainy season, the trees shed their leaves to adjust to the dry period. Shedding of leaves prevents moisture loss.
Tropical Thorn Forests
- Tropical thorn forests consist of grassland and desert-like vegetation.
- The grasslands are characterised by coarse grass with long roots to absorb water from the soil and scattered short trees.
- This type of vegetation is also called Savanna type of vegetation, because the single longest stretch of this type of vegetation is in Sudan, where it is locally called Savanna.
- Desert-like vegetation is characterised with long roots and well-spaced plants to gather moisture, thick stem to store water and entirely leafless plants with thorns to prevent water loss due to transpiration. TYPES OF FORESTS IN INDIA
- This vegetation also has leathery and waxy stems which prevent deposition of desert sand.
- These forests exist in regions receiving less than 50 cm rainfall. These include semi-arid and arid regions of Rajasthan, Northern Gujarat and South Western Punjab.
- Important species found are babool, ber, wild date palm, khair, neem, khejri and palas.
Montane Forests (Alpine Vegetation)
- These forests represent different biogeographical zones based on the latitude and altitude of the mountains.
- In India, these forests are classified into Northern montane forests and Southern montane forests.
Northern Montane Forests
- Northern montane forests have vegetation ranging from tropical to polar type depending on the altitude.
- The vegetation ranges from deciduous forests at the foothills, coniferous in the middle altitudes, alpine meadows at even higher altitudes and polar type of vegetation at the peaks.
- Coniferous forests (Boreal forests) are not very dense; they are evergreen because their moisture requirement is low and are conical in shape (sloping branches prevent accumulation of snow). TYPES OF FORESTS IN INDIA
- Their leaves are small, leathery and needle-shaped and there is little undergrowth in these forests.
- Coniferous vegetation is also called Taiga type of vegetation, because in Russia, the world’s single longest stretch of coniferous forests is locally called Taiga.
- Polar vegetation predominantly consists of lichens and mosses. This vegetation is locally called Tundra in Russia. This vegetation occurs during summer.
Southern Montane Forests
- Southern montane forests are located within the tropical regions and their altitude is less compared to’ Himalayas. TYPES OF FORESTS IN INDIA
- As a result, the vegetation in these forests ranges from deciduous forests or rainforests at the foothills to coniferous forests at the peaks.