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Varied types of forests are found in the Indian subcontinent.

Primarily, there are 6 major groups, namely, Moist Tropical, Dry Tropical, Montane Sub Tropical, Montane Temperate, Sub Alpine, and Alpine, further subdivided into 16 major types of forests. Evidently, India has a diverse range of forests: from the rainforest of Kerala in the south to the alpine pastures of Ladakh in the north, from the deserts of Rajasthan in the west to the evergreen forests in the northeast. While classifying the forests into different types, the main factors are taken into consideration which includes soil type, topography, and elevation. Forests are also classified according to their nature, the type of climate in which they thrive and its relationship with the surrounding environment. One such way is in terms of the Biome in which they exist are combined with leaf longevity of the dominant species (whether they are evergreen or deciduous). Another distinction is whether the forests predominantly composed of coniferous (needleleaved) trees, broadleaf trees, or mixed. There is no universally accepted or set principle to classify forests. The different types of forests in India are discussed below 2000mm and belong to the tropical wet climate group. The various types of forests in India are discussed below: Tropical Rain Forest in India Tropical Rain Forests maybe called the lowland equatorial evergreen rain forests. . Rainforests are those forests which are characterised by high rainfall between 1750mm and 2000mm. These forests incur heavy showers of 100-600cm a year, and hence the name, Rainforests. For this reason, the soil can be poor because the high rainfall tends to leach out soluble nutrients. These forests experience an average temperature of about 26 degrees Celsius, with no pronounced cold or dry spells. The quantity of life found in these forests and its diversity makes them vital. Some of the strangest and most beautiful plants and animals are found in rain forests. They are also the house to a large amount of natural medicines. Rainforests are dominated by the broad-leaved evergreen trees, which form a leafy canopy over the forest floor. Taller trees, called emergent, may rise above the canopy. Coffee, chocolate, banana tree, mango tree, papaya tree, avocados and sugarcane all originally came from tropical rainforests, and are still mostly grown on plantations in regions that were formerly primary forests. Temperate Deciduous Forests in India Temperate Deciduous Forests are those, which consist of predominantly broad-leafed trees. Deciduous forests are of two types: Temperate and Tropical. Temperate deciduous forests occur in areas of moderate temperature and rainfall with chilly winters. Species belonging to these forests drop leaves in autumn. The deciduous forests in tropical areas shed leaves only by December (in the Northern Hemisphere) when water becomes scarce. The tropical monsoon deciduous forests are found in areas receiving an annual rainfall of 100 to 200cms in India, with a distinct dry and rainy season and minimum temperature. The deciduous forest can further be divided into Moist and Dry. Moist Deciduous Forests in India The moist deciduous forests are scattered throughout India except in the western and the north-western regions. They are found extensively on the wetter western side of the Deccan Plateau, the north-eastern part of the Deccan Plateau and the lower slopes of the Himalayan Mountain, on the Siwalik Hills from Jammu in the west to West Bengal In the east. The trees have broad trunks, are tall and have branching trunks and roots to hold them firmly to the ground. These forests are dominated by Sal and Teak, along with Mango, Bamboo and Rosewood. Dry Deciduous Forests in India Indian Dry Deciduous Forests are found throughout the northern part of the country except in the Northeast. It is also found in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The canopy of the trees does not normally exceed 25 metres. The principal trees of these forests are Indian Teak Tree, Sal, Sandalwood, Mahua, Khair, Mango, Jackfruit, Wattle and Arjun, Semal, Myrobalan and Banyan Tree. Moreover, Littoral and swamps are scattered throughout the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as the delta area of the Brahmaputra River and the River Ganga. Usually, mangrove dates, whistling pines, bullet wood and royal palm tree are predominant here. They contain roots that have soft tissues so that the plant can obtain oxygen from the water. Geographical Distribution of Indian Forests Eastern zone consists of moist, deciduous and wet evergreen forests. The Western zone forms the other extreme infested with thorn and dry deciduous forests while Northern and Central zones consist mainly of dry and moist deciduous forests. Southern zone incorporates characteristics of both Western and Central zones comprising mainly of thorn dry and eastern highlands moist deciduous forests. Forests are mostly exclusive and they are indispensable in further existence of life. Forests

Tropical rainforests hold a large variety of substances potentially useful to humans. the hot regions that lay either side of the equator and the atmosphere in a tropical rainforest is permanently humid . A large number of tree species found in the tropical rainforests have broad. which is a Hindi word meaning wilderness. with rainfall of 100 to 600 centimeters per year. and are still mostly grown on plantations in regions that were formerly primary forest. Deforestation is the reason of global warming. the Tualang is found in southern Asia. Curare. Though the tropical rainforests contain patches of jungle. A true jungle is a thick mesh of vegetation. Tropical rain forests possess a diversity of animals and plant species and the biotic system is regularly stressed by several human activities. The trees are often well connected in the canopy layer. often in graceful arches. All the products like coffee. Tripura. Many of the human foods and medicines and also several useful timbers are collected from them. papayas. The canopy leaves are usually smaller than those found in understory plants and are divided to reduce wind damage. All the trees in these forests carry their branches and leaves at the top of long slender trunks. the Jambu somewhere in southern India to eastern Malaya. They are called as tropical rainforests. where lots of trees and few people live together. although sometimes covered with thorns or spines. and the `world`s largest pharmacy`. While the Bengal Bamboo is found in southern Asia. The other trees have stilt roots that grow down from the branches or trunk. It has been estimated that hundreds of millions of new species of plants. . The soil in these forests can be soft and with less resistance power. The dense canopy filters much of the daylight and leaves a shady green world beneath it. West Bengal. mangoes. the Bougainvillea is found in South America and the Coconut tree is found in hot places like Africa and Asia. The tropical rainforests possess more diverse species of plants and animals than any other part of the world. woody flanges (buttresses) at the base of the trunk. the Kapok tree in the emergent in the South of Asia and the Mangrove forest is found in the south of Asia. TROPICAL RAIN FORESTS Tropical Rain Forest is one of the most spectacular natural wonders and the oldest living ecosystem on Earth. Nagaland. they are more open. bananas. The tallest trees have buttress roots and wing-like growths that spread out from the base of the trunk to act as props. Durian. These forests flourish in or close to the tropics. insects. Some of the most notable plants found in the tropical rainforest include the Bengal Bamboo. Strangler figs. forming a huge umbrella-like green canopy. The tropical rainforests have between five and twenty times as many species of trees as one in the temperate zone of North America or Europe. The rainforests give shelters to two-thirds of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. and microorganisms are still undiscovered and yet unnamed by science. so far. The tropical rainforests are often referred to as jungles in India. The bark is often only one to two millimeters thick and it is usually very smooth. Mangrove forests. Western Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. or by plants with epiphytic adaptations. While the Strangler fig is found in southern Asia. The tropical rain forests are also called the `jewel of the earth`. Various common characteristics can be found in the trees of tropical rainforests. as they grow in those parts of the world where there is heavy rainfall throughout the year.serve as a home to many species. which experience heavy rainfall. The trees in the tropical rainforests are very tall and broadleaved evergreens and the floor of the forests remain covered with the rotting leaves.damp and hot. as large amount of natural medicines have been discovered there. The Durian is found in southern Asia. even more than the oceans that cover nearly three-quarters of the earth. They also provide a home for a number of the most fascinating animals of the world. The tropical rainforest species frequently possess one or more attributes not commonly seen in trees of higher latitudes or trees in drier conditions on the same latitude. Kapok tree and Tualang. Large leaves are common among the trees and shrubs of the forest floor layers and the young trees destined for the canopy and emergent layers also sometimes have large leaves. To prevent that problem Government of India has taken many necessary steps for the plantation of trees. through which people have to force and cut their way. avocados and sugarcane originally came from tropical rainforests. Meghalaya. A large amount of prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources in the tropical rainforests and the scientists believe that the cures for many more diseases will be discovered there in the future. Theses forests cover the states of Assam. chocolate. Arunachal Pradesh. These forests can be characterized by high rainfall. Bougainvillea tree. The other principal characteristics of the trees in tropical rainforests include exceptionally thin bark. In India. because high rainfall tends to leach out the soluble nutrients. Jambu. The large leaves surfaces help intercept light in the sun-dappled lower strata of the forest. Coconut tree. The tropical rainforests are regarded as the most complex biome (structure and species diversity) on Earth and they are actually such a place of wilderness. especially by the growth of woody climbers known as lianas.

which mean they have a denser wood than most of the coniferous trees. rather than at the tips of branches. It represents a north-southdirected island of dry deciduous forests in the rain shadow of Eastern Ghats Mountain Range and is completely surrounded by the Eastern Highlands Moist Deciduous Forests. The second zone is the small tree and sapling zone. Thus the litter under this forest is not as acidic as under needle leaf trees and aluminium and iron are not mobilized from the A-horizon. beech. Many bloom early in the spring. People roam nationally as well as internationally to get a first hand experience of the tropical rainforests. Tourism of the rainforests offers considerable economic benefits which will help in preserving it. Other important trees include hickories and walnuts (right). and huckleberries. thrushes. as is global warming. hot summer. Broadleaf trees tend to be nutrient demanding and their leaves bind the major nutrient bases. Other threats to the forest come from logging. Carya (hickory). maple. Migratory species tend to be insectivorous and include many so-called Neotropical migrants. Many of the same genera. The non-growing season is due to temperatureinduced drought during the cold winters. sycamores and a host of other trees also play a role in the forest and we will meet some of them later. spring. There is an approximately 6 month growing season. walnut. Various zones in Temperate Deciduous forest There are five different zones in this type of forest. and Madhya Pradesh. previously part of an Arcto-Tertiary Geoflora. A lot of deciduous forests have lost land to farms and towns. mammals. The first zone is Tree Stratum zone. Many. Tilia (basswood or linden). one of the largest economic values of tropical rainforests comes in the form of tourism. Ulmus (elm). The height of trees in this zone ranges between 60 and 100 feet. The climate is warmer than the boreal forest. and Liquidamber (sweet gum). Presently. Most of these forests are open scrub influenced by human activities. including warblers. linden. and even fish as dispersal agents. At present. . Animal use the trees for food and a water sources. Fagus (beech). It usually consists of a cold winter. and true mosses. The animals are losing their homes because of people building their homes. The 20 to 60 inches of precipitation is distributed evenly throughout the year. Wildflowers are also common in the forest. azaleas. club mosses. India`s north-eastern states are the only portions where tropical rainforests survive. Orissa. The final zone is the Ground zone containing lichen. Resident bird species also tend to be omnivores. TEMPERATE DECIDUOUS FORESTS The temperate deciduous forest has four distinct seasons. Included among these genera are Quercus (oak). wrens. Most of the animals are camouflaged to look like the ground. The soils are rich and easily converted to agriculture. which in particular may change rainfall patterns. Juglans (walnut). before the big trees have leafed out. summer. Oaks are one of the dominant tree species in the deciduous forest. tanagers. chestnut hickory. mountain laurel. That is one of the reasons there aren`t a lot of original deciduous forests left in the world. formerly the chestnut was a dominant tree until the chestnut blight was introduced and decimated this key species. and may shed their leaves and remain dormant underground through the remainder of the summer. In the autumn the leaves change colour. Also the trees provide shelter for them. are also a common characteristic of the trees in tropical rainforests. Although people are trying to protect the forests some poachers are trying to kill the animals in the forests. The Herb zone is the fourth zone containing short. temperate deciduous forest gets about 51-152 centimetres of rain every year. Large fleshy fruits that attract birds. The third zone or the shrub zone consists of rhododendrons. Maples. although they need some unusual strategies to survive on the heavily shaded forest floor. autumn. basswood. warm spring. Acer (maple). like the several species of woodpeckers and the chickadees. containing trees like as oak. and sweet gum trees. The state of Arunachal Pradesh in India is the long surviving tropical rainforest. It is no coincidence that a good deal of the human population is found in areas that once supported temperate forests. encroachments and hunting caused the destruction of the forest lands in India. Castanea (chestnut). beech. The increase in population.Another common tree in tropical rainforests is Cauliflory that flowers and hence fruits directly from the trunk. Acid Rain from coal burning is another threat. and a cool autumn. are common to all three of the disjunctive northern hemisphere expressions of this biome. The animals have adapted to the land by trying the plants in the forest to see if they are good to eat for a good supply of food. It is having tremendous wealth of forested land and wildlife. are cavity-nesters. elm. having young and short trees. herbal plants. and winter. and hummingbirds. During the winter months the trees lose their leaves. with a temperature range of -30Aø C to 30Aø C. most of the trees here are hardwoods. The eco region extends across the Indian states of Bihar.

000 sq. the forest dates back to the Cretaceous and has Gondwanaland origins.The Kathiawar-Gir forests in the main part of the ecoregion comprise the Aravalli Range and the eastern half of Rajasthan state. wolf. Spread over an area of 25. Like many of the Deccan Plateau dry forest eco-regions. which brings the moisture bearing monsoon winds and provides moisture to the forests.500 sq. Geologically. Chhattisgarh. nor is it exceptionally rich in biodiversity. The other threatened and interesting species supported by the forests are Arisaema tortuosum. Maharastra and Orissa and some parts of Bihar. But twenty-three of the thirty-one reserves are less than 500 sq km. the Central Deccan plateau dry deciduous forests to the southwest and west. It extends from the Bay of Bengal coast in northern part of Andhra Pradesh and southern part of Orissa. covering the states of Andhra Pradesh. Simlipal. Dioscorea anguina. to the eastern Satpura Range and the upper Narmada River valley.000 sq. which cover more than 13. The Bay of Bengal lies in the southeast. The largest protected Linociera ramiflora. It extends from the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh to the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. the Narmada valley dry deciduous forests to the northwest and the Chota Nagpur dry deciduous forests to the north and northeast.000 sq. coalmines. has become extinct from this region. Jharkhand. It lies in the rainshadow region of the Western and Eastern Ghats which block the moisture bearing summer southwest monsoons. the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests surround the drier Northern dry deciduous forests.The coastal region behind the Coromandel Coast on the Bay of Bengal between the Eastern Ghats and the sea is included within the ecoregion. The flora of the forests shares much of the features with the moist forests of the Western Ghats and the eastern Himalayas. The main source of threats to these remaining habitat blocks come from quarries. which was the largest terrestrial vertebrate. The fauna of the region consists of tigers. extending into eastern Gujarat and the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Entada rheedii. Cyathea gigantea. There are thirty-one protected ecoregions. The forests are recognized globally for the rich and varied fauna and ecological processes that they still support. Five percent of the ecoregion remains in forest which is found in scattered fragments. Ninty-five percent of the original forests have been cleared. On the north and the west it is bounded by the tropical dry deciduous forests. gaur and sloth or about 4% of the ecoregions intact habitat. Kanha. in extent. this ecoregion has Gondwanaland origins. and Kawal and Indravati are just over 1. this region does not harbour large numbers of endemic species.500 sq. out of which two are endangered species the green avadavat (Amandava formosa) and Pallas`s fish eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus). 100 sq.000 sq. On the Eastern Ghats range. covers an area of 1. km. Gnetum ula. The ecoregion`s forests are dominated by Sal. The Asian Elephant. The characteristics of these forests are that the leaf of the trees here are broad in shape. Musa rosacea. Twenty five percent of the forest area can create large conservation landscape that can support species of animals like tigers. covering the northern portion of the Eastern Ghats range and the northeastern Deccan Plateau. much of the ecoregion is densely populated and also a lot of activity like agriculture and grazing is carried on. is one of the most important tiger reserves in India. Geologically. the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests is a tropical moist region. km. km. covers an area of 2. and Didymoplexis pallens and the endemic Leucas mukerjiana and Phlebophyllum jeyporensis. hydroelectric projects and slash and burn cultivation EAST DECCAN DRY EVERGREEN FORESTS The East Deccan dry evergreen forests are an ecoregion of southeastern India. It receives an annual rainfall of 800 mm. A unique feature of the East Deccan dry evergreen forest is that they retain their leaves throughout the year unlike most of the world`s tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests who tend to loose their leaves during the dry season . The region is spread over an area of 341. About three fourth parts of the natural forests of this ecoregion have been cleared. Three hundred and thirteen species of birds inhabit the forest area. It covers the eastern part of Tamil Nadu and southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh. Rauvolfia serpentina. The remaining forests are in several large blocks that exceed 5. EASTERN HIGHLANDS Located in east central India. Litsea monopetala. Madhya Pradesh.

Nepal. Other preserves in the region include Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary on Pulicat Lake in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. It is to be noted that majority of these mammals are also being found in other parts of the region as well. and Cordia vestita. these Himalayan sub tropical forests provide habitation to multitudes of endemic bird species that came to this region from the nearby eco regions . The Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary extend over an area of 117. the Himalayan subtropical pine forests stretch across the low hills of the Great Himalayan range and also several states of north India like Jammu and Kashmir. Fire is quite frequent in the Himalayan subtropical pine forests. and the small Indian chevrotain or mouse deer (Moschiola meminna). The ecoregion does not contain any prevalent mammals or birds. this region is also not free from threats. are the woolly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus). and yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula). The grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura) which also needs to be protected is found in the Sriviliputhur (Kamarajar District in Tamil Nadu) and Amaravathy Nagar (Coimbatore District. and Pakistan. It has been subjected to heavy deforestation and the stunted scrub vegetation in most parts of the ecoregion is an indication of the long years of grazing practices. The Marakanam Reserve Forest is a scared grove near Marakanam. Other birds. Various types of pine trees are found in this region of Himalayan subtropical pine forests Amongst them. Themeda anathera. Anogeissus latifolia. Like the other ecoregions in the Indian subcontinent. In India. The other mammals. Several mammals too are found in every nook and corner of the region of the Himalayan subtropical forests. Albizia amara and Chloroxylon spp. there are two endangered species. which also need to be protected. It comprise of `subtropical coniferous forest eco region` . wide-ranging tracts of Chir pine are produced in places like the lower portion of districts like Kangra and Una . the Kaliveli lake in the north of Pondicherryin Viluppuram district of Tamil Nadu and Pulicat Lake in the north of Chennai. Puthupet. Some of the characteristic mammals that belong to the family of `focal species` of this region of Himalayan subtropical pine forests are barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak). Its scientific name is Pinus roxburghii and is resistant to drought. goral (Nemorhaedus goral). The Jerdon`s courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) is endangered. which need preservation attention. Near about one hundred and twenty species of `mammal fauna` are found here. Chir pine is strewn here and there and grow usually along with Shorea robusta. the chinkara (Gazella bennettii). Especially in the Himachal Pradesh. Other species that need to be preserved include the common leopard (Panthera pardus). It covers areas of India and also other countries like Bhutan. Mudaliachavadi and Kottakarai. as per the record of some of the experts . and the spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) and lesser florican (Eupodotis indica) are some of the endangered bird species. . According to several dendrologists. and Cymbopogon distans . There are two hundred and thirty species of bird that inhabit the forest. white-bellied seaeagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). and some of the smaller predators such as the jungle cat (Felis chaus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Biodiversity Features Unlike like the adjoining `broadleaf forest`. are the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra). However. the Himalayan subtropical pine forests are not ideal abodes for species.Pacific areas. This stretches toward the eastern portions of the same state and also in the lower region of the mountains of Uttar Pradesh . which inhabit the forests. northwest of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu. Rubus. Arundinella setosa. km. and other thorny bushes. Quite a multitude of shrubs are found in several species like Berberis. the prevalent tree is the Chir Pine.The region is also dotted with temple groves which includes.26 sq. Two important wetlands are located in the forest area. However. Pillaichavadi. Less than one percent of the ecoregion are protected areas or reserve forests. Sikkim and Uttarakhand. Comprehensive Chir pine plantations are prevalent in states like Himachal Pradesh and in northwestern portion of Uttar Pradesh. which preserves a section of evergreen closed canopy forest. the wild dog (Cuon alpinus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus).to conserve moisture. The flora of the forest consists of evergreen trees and an emergent species of canopy of taller deciduous trees including Sal. Himachal Pradesh. of the sixty-six known mammal species. This is a growing concern among the environmentalists HIMALAYAN SUB TROPICAL PINE FORESTS Himalayan subtropical pine forests are renowned for being the largest in the whole of the Indo . and is a protected area. and Indian grey hornbill (Ocyceros birostris). All the burnt slopes of this Himalayan subtropical pine forests region shows a rampant growth of grasses like Imperata cylindrica.

Sal. Orissa. Semal. Apart from Kerala. south Bihar and west Orissa. in order to prevent the loss of water in the form of moisture through the process of transpiration. and Madhya Pradesh. The moist deciduous forests. and continue as teak-dominated forests across the Deccan Plateau. Deciduous forests are so called because the trees of these forests seasonally shed all their leaves. deciduous forests also are under extensive pressures from human resource-use. Snowy-throated babbler. Dry Deciduous Forests The dry deciduous forests are found in those areas where annual rainfall ranges from 500 . Khair. Teak is considered as one of the most vital species of this region. Maximum of these birds are not restricted to this eco region of Himalayan subtropical pine forests and also build their nests in other nearby areas. Moist Deciduous Forests The moist deciduous forests are situated in wet regions which receive rainfall ranging between 100-200 cms. Myrobalan. Hoary-throated barwing. the deciduous forests are further made important by the fact they are home to some of the most endangered wildlife in the country. They are widespread along the Shiwaliks in the northern India. immaculate wren-babbler. Mishmi wren-babble and Western tragopana deserves mentioning. Sal is the most significant tree found in the dry deciduous forests. It has been found in studies that the dry deciduous forests are step by step replacing the moist deciduous forests in India.1. cultivation. Found in a range of landscapes from the plains to the hills. in the region of Chota Nagpur Plateau. the Himalayan subtropical pine forests have faced several threats from the modern day society. exploitation for fuel woods etc have brought about degradation of this eco region INDIAN DECIDUOUS OR MONSOON FORESTS The Indian Deciduous forests are the most abundantly found among all the different types of forests in India. these forests grow over a wide range of rainfall regimes. The Indian deciduous or monsoon forests are pretty substantial. Arjun and the Banyan Tree. Birds like Chestnut-breasted partridge. Mango Tree. Overgrazing. Rusty-bellied shortwing. The largest remaining populations of species such as the tiger. as they are less resistant to fire. are most commonly found on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Cheer pheasant. Some of the important trees found in these forests include Teak. They are counted among the most widely-represented forest types in India. occurring as dry deciduous forests where rainfall ranges from 500 . Over the years. cost-effective and they demand a lot of maintenance. They occur as Sal-dominated forests in the Bhabhar tract of the Himalayan foothills and Central India. Bird fauna too throng various places of the Himalayan subtropical pine forests . The eco-region extends across the Indian states of Bihar. They can also be found in the north-eastern part of the peninsula i.Due to deficiency in under woods and crops. generally during the months March to May. A number of valuable and popular trees can be found in these forests. Wattle And Bamboo. Every species in these forests has its own time of leaf casting. Elliot`s laughingthrush. Ludlow`s fulvetta. covering east Madhya Pradesh. Most of the tropical deciduous forests are found in the state of Kerala in India. in the north-eastern parts of the peninsular plateau and in the valleys of the Himalayas. they can also be found in the eastern slopes of Western Ghats. The Indian deciduous are found in a range of landscapes from the plains to the hills. the herbivores do not find the eco region of Himalayan sub tropical forests suitable for living. Spiny babbler. The trees found in these regions usually shed their leaves for about six to eight weeks during the dry season. Asian elephant and Gaur in the country occur in these forests. among the Indian deciduous or monsoon forests. As with all other ecosystems in India. Sandalwood. It represents a north-south-directed island of dry deciduous forests in the rain shadow of the Eastern Ghats Mountain Range in India and is completely . There are about 480 species . Jackfruit.1.500 mm and moist deciduous forests in wetter regions.e.500 mm. Mahua. Types of Deciduous Forests The Deciduous forests usually cover a wide range of rainfall regimes and they can be classified into two divisions. Apart from the extensive space that they cover in the country`s land area. Features of Deciduous Forests The trees in these forests have quite large and broad leaves and they shed all their leaves for about six to eight weeks in summer. namely the moist deciduous forests and the dry deciduous forests.

The Indian dry deciduous forests are mainly located at tropical and subtropical latitudes. The Indian dry deciduous forests in this region have a three-storied structure. and Madhya Pradesh. called the Sunderban. The Mammalian biomass also tends to live in higher numbers in dry forests than in rain forests. The mangrove forests provide critical habitat for a diverse marine and terrestrial flora and fauna. Among the threatened species found here are the tiger.500 millimeters (mm). they harbour several large vertebrates. Anogeissus latifolia. The Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) has taken a lot of initiatives to preserve the Indian deciduous forests. The mangrove forests are one of the most productive and bio-diverse wetlands on earth and they grow in the inter-tidal areas and estuary openings between land and sea. during this time. sloth bear. literally translates to Beautiful Forest. wild dog. The annual rainfall in these forests ranges from 900 to 1. as well. They occur in climates that are warm. but they demand a lot of maintenance. Hardwickia binata. Several studies have revealed that the dry deciduous forests are step by step replacing the moist deciduous forests in India. Flacourtia indica. The Northern Dry Deciduous Forests Ecoregions in India do not have large number of species or they are not high in numbers of endemic species. The forests in this region extend across the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and their vegetation is highly influenced by climate. As the tall Western Ghats Mountain Range intercepts the moisture from the southwest monsoon. Cassia fistula.surrounded by the Eastern Highlands Moist Deciduous Forests. The vegetation in the Indian dry deciduous forests is made up of associations of Anogeissus latifolia. Chloroxylon swietenia. the eastern slopes and the Deccan Plateau receive very little rainfall. and may receive several hundred centimeters or rain per year. and grizzled giant squirrel INDIAN TIDAL OR MANGROVE FORESTS Indian tidal or mangrove forests are mainly situated on the Gangetic Delta and in Coastal Plains in West Bengal. with an upper canopy at 15-25 meters. as they are less resistant to fire. wild dog. or they are not exceptionally rich in biodiversity.1. Butea monosperma.500 mm and every species in these forests has its own time of leaf casting. sloth bear and Chousingha. The Sunderban have recently been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List and been named as Sundarban National Park. and ground dwelling birds. The Indian tidal or mangrove forests are generally submerged. They can also be found in the rain shadow of the Eastern Ghats Mountain Range. where annual rainfall ranges from 500 . Some of the other important species include the Asian elephant. Stereospermum suaveolens. which include the largest and most charismatic carnivore of Asia. the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests are not exceptionally outstanding for biological richness or endemism. Acacia lenticularis. etc. sloth bear. The seasonal droughts in these forests have a great impact on all the living beings. Pterocarpus marsupium. various rodents. etc. and chousingha. as well. The dry deciduous forests are mainly situated in the areas. as the trees lose moisture through their leaves. Dalbergia latifolia. Boswellia serrata. Its programme in the deciduous forests has mainly focused on understanding the interface between people and wildlife. gaur. The forests are also home to several important populations of India`s large threatened vertebrates. The vegetation in these forests is characterised by Boswellia serrata. the Indian dry deciduous forests are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The region is not too rich in biodiversity. wild dog. parrots. chousingha. The NCF is also conducting research programmes into the ecology of threatened large mammal species and assemblages INDIAN DRY DECIDUOUS FORESTS The Indian dry deciduous forests are actually a type of the Indian deciduous or monsoon forests and they are mainly found in both Northern India and in south Deccan plateau in India. the tiger (Panthera tigris). Spondias pinnata. The South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests are located on the lee side of the Western Ghats Mountain Range. Some of the most notable animals include monkeys. the threatened species include the tiger. Albizzia amara. However. Terminalia paniculata. The northern Indian dry deciduous forests are mainly located across the Indian states of Bihar. One of the most important among them is the elephant population that ranges from the Nilgiri Hills to the Eastern Ghats. The known mammal fauna in these forests consists of sixty-eight species and there are no eco-regional endemic species. Orissa. In spite of being less biologically diverse than rainforests. year-round. . and undergrowth at 3-5 meters. an understory at 10-15 meters. The healthy mangrove forests are considered as key to a healthy marine ecology. large cats. However. Sal is the most significant tree found in the dry deciduous forests. The Indian deciduous or monsoon forests are pretty substantial and cost-effective. Dalbergia latifolia. particularly on river deltas on the east coast and they are considered as the largest mangrove forest in the world. which in Bengali. Acacia catechu. Among the Indian dry deciduous forests. The dry forests do not harbor large numbers of endemic species. Cleistanthus collinus. Terminalia tomentosa. Terminalia belirica.

ferns and palms and these plants are mainly found in the tropics and sub-tropics on riverbanks and along coastlines. small fishes and a range of crabs like hermit and fiddler and other forms of crustaceans which feed and reside in the twisted accumulation of roots. mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests. since 1997. All these plants have nicely adapted to the muddy. Pangolin. The two most important commercial mangrove species found in Sunderbans. Spotted Deer. The Indian tidal or mangrove forests are indeed an integral part of the entire ecosystem in India IndoMalayan IndoMalayan IndoMalayan IndoMalayan IndoMalayan IndoMalayan Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Andaman Islands Rain Forests Brahmaputra valley semi evergreen forests Eastern Highlands Moist deciduous forests Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests Malabar Coast Moist forests Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Arcipelago tropical moist forests Meghalaya subtropical forests Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rain forests Nicobar Islands rain forests Northwestern Ghats moist deciduous forests Northwestern Ghats montane rain forests Orissa semievergreen forests South western Ghats semi deciduous forests South western Ghats montane rain forests . Crocodiles and Snakes found in the Sunderban. Keora and Phragmites Karka are widely available. shifting. The Mangrove Forests of Sunderbans offer ideal habitat to a range of marine and aquatic life such as shrimps. The main part of the Indian tidal or mangrove forests. Fishing Cat. The ecosystem of the Indian tidal or mangrove forests is a complex one. Palms. where annual rainfall is fairly high. is the Royal Bengal Tiger. The plants are unusually adapted to anaerobic conditions of both salt and fresh water environments. Other than these. The Sunderbans comprises one of the three largest single tracts of mangrove forests of the world. Nypa Fruticans. It presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes and is world famous for its wide range of fauna. the Sunderbans contrasts the other large mangrove forests in terms of biodiversity. Other notable animals that take shelter in this Indian tidal or mangrove forest are Grey Mongoose. Myriostachya Eightiana. Fox. the Sunderban. The Indian tidal or mangrove forests fix more carbon dioxide per unit area than phytoplankton in tropical oceans. Poresia coaractata. Jungle Cat. The most renowned amongst the wildlife present in the Sunderban. It has also been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For its extraordinarily diverse wildlife. There are also many other species of Birds. since 2001. saline conditions and they mainly produce stilt roots that project above the mud and water in order to absorb oxygen. The forest also has immense protective and productive functions. is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways. Wild Boar. the forest has been designated as a UNESCO`s World Network of International Biosphere Reserves. The plants in these forests include trees. shrubs. The mangrove plants also form communities that help them to stabilise banks and coastlines and also to provide natural habitat to many types of animals. Flying Fox. are Sundari (Heritiera fomes) and Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha). Macaque etc. Imperata cylindrica.The Indian tidal or mangrove forests are most luxuriant around the mouths of large rivers and in sheltered bays and are found mainly in areas. called Pneumatophores. It is for this reason.

Sunderbans freshwater swamp forests Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests .