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FOREST TYPES OF PAKISTAN

The total area of forests in Pakistan is 4.224 million ha which is 4.8% of the total land
area. However, it may be mentioned here that the farmland trees and linear planting along
roadsides, canal sides and railway sides covering an estimated area of 466,000 ha and
16,000 ha respectively do not constitute forests within the context of legal, ecological or
silvicultural/management definition of forests. The situation is also similar, but to a lesser
extent, in the case of miscellaneous plantations over an area of 155,000 ha. If the area of
these three categories of plantations is excluded from total forest area of 4.224 million ha,
then the latter is reduced to 3.587 million ha which is approximately 4.1 % of the total
area.
As recognition of the multiple values of forests has grown, so have concerns for their
disappearance. In Pakistan, subtropical, temperate, riverain and mangrove forests are
being lost because of questionable land use practices and the ever-increasing demand for
timber and firewood. As a result, more responsible management approaches are being
demanded that can accommodate complex economic and ecological needs. Designation
of selected forestlands as national parks, area for agro-forestry practices and the
development of plantations and a forestation practices are needs of the hour.
Total Forest Area under the control of the Forest Departments (including Azad Kashmir
and the Northern Areas) is 4.26 million hectares. The per capita forest area is only 0.037
ha compared to the world average of ONE ha. Main reason for this is that more than 70%
land area of Pakistan is Arid and semi-Arid with annual rainfall of 250-500 mm: too low
and erratic to sustain natural vegetation and to plan a forestation/regeneration
programmer.

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Himalayan dry temperate forests 8.FOREST TYPES OF PAKISTAN 1. Tropical dry deciduous forests 3. Sub-tropical pine forests 6. Sub-alpine forests 9. Alpine scrub 2|Page . Sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests 5. Himalayan moist temperate forests 7. Tropical thorn forests 4. Littoral and Swamp forests 2.

The root produce aerial outgrowths from the soil which protrude from the wet ground like fingers. This phenomenon is called vivipary. these are called pneumatophores.000 ha. many guest birds from north also come to breed here.also present. birds. These are more or less gregarious forests of low height which occur in the Arabian Sea around the coast of Karachi and Pasni in Balochistan and along the coast of Gawader.Ceriops tagal. shrimp and crabs. During winters. Other species like Rhizophora have disappeared over a period of time due to heavy cutting. DISTRIBUTION: These forests occur at elevation 0-20 ft. 3|Page . these forests cover an area of 207. It also protects the coast against tidal erosion. They are natural habitat to a large number of insects. FLORISTIC: The main species is Avicennia marina (timer) (99%). Mangrove forests are teeming with life. The seed germinate on the mother plant before shedding and fall on wet ground in the form of small seedling. Forest is evergreen. micro organisms.(1) Littoral and Swamp forests. Mangrove areas act as physical breeding grounds and nurseries for fish. different mammals as well as snakes. This forest is not important from the point of view of timber production. The world Littoral and Swamp forests cover at least 14 millions hectors and 257500 hectors of these are found in Pakistan which is 7 th largest Littoral and Swamp forests in world. According to latest estimates.

DISTRIBUTION: these forests occur at elevation 1200 ft. In open low forests in which thorny usually hard wood species predominant. (Ber). Acaca nilotica(kikar) Zizyphus mauratiana.(2) Tropical thorn forests In upper Indus plains these forests are known as Rakh forest while in lower Indus plains as Desert forests. They are most widespread in the Punjab plains but also occupy small areas in southern Sindh and western Balochistan. FLORISTIC.Haloxylan. Locality factor. They are primarily used as firewood. wan). The types of forest naturally growing over the whole of Indus plain except for the driest parts and area covered by annual inundation. These trees have short bole and low branching crowns. Regeneration occurs by root sucker. prosopis cmeraria (Jand). Means annual temperature varies from 75F TO 80F while mean annual rainfall is 30 inch down to 5 inch with variation from year to year. Tamarix aphylla (Farash) and Salvadora oleoides (Pilu. 4|Page .

all much adversely affected by close proximity to habitation or cultivation. Kangu). FLORISTIC: The chief tree species are Lannea (Kamlai. Commonly 5|Page . Gymnosporia (Putaki) and Indigofera (Kathi. LOCALITY FACTORS: The spring is hot and dry but there is much rain in late summer up to 37 inches in the year. Basuti. Kembal) Bombax ceiba (Semal). Raiuni) and Acacia catechu (Kath). Bansha). The forests occur at elevation 1200-2000 ft. DISTRIBUTION: This type does not occur extensively in Pakistan but there are limited areas in the Rawalpindi foothills carrying this vegetation type. (4) SUB-TROPICAL BROAD-LEAVED EVERGREEN FORESTS: These are xerophytes forests of thorny and small-leafed evergreen species. Flacourtia (Kakoh. Kainthi). Their canopy is typically light though it may appear fairly dense and complete during the short rainy season.(3) Tropical dry deciduous forests These are forests of low or moderate height consisting almost entirely of deciduous species. Common shrubs are Adhatoda (Bankar. Mallotus (Kamila. Sterculia. dalbergia sissio (shisham).

Margalla Hills. but some . Distribution. Dodonaea viscose (snatha). These trees and shrubs are mostly thorny and evergreen.like olive and pomegranate are not thorny.Pistacia integerrima. Generally known as Chir pine forests. These scrub forest occurs at height of 1500-5000 feet. Acacia modesta (phulai). There are heavy needle falling May and forests are in 6|Page .theses are known as scrub forests. Attock and Malakand. Olea cuspidata (Kau) and Acacia modesta (Phulai). these forests occur throughout the country at suitable elevation merging downwards with the sub-tropical pine forest. FLORISTIC. Actully broadly speaking. having canopy which may be up to 120ft. LOCALITY FACTORS. high with trees up to 7-8ft girth. Temperature runs high in summer and long dry seasons. (5) Sub-tropical pine forests. These forests found in Gujrat. These forest consist of branchy trees forming a canopy if complete closure or scattered trees with a shrub growth.

variously burnt unless special protection measures are taken. quercus incana. Manshera. Dir. Locally with some admixture of oak and 7|Page . Abbotabad. (6) HIMALAYAN MOIST TEMPERATE FORESTS: These are the evergreen forests of conifers. pistacia integerrima. (white oak) Pyrus pashia. Kashmir. swat. Distribution. elevations. Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii). Chir forests found between 3500-5500 ft. a dry evergreen shrub layer and little or no Underwood. FLORISTIC. but often without. These are open inflammable pine forests sometimes with. They also extend into dry temperature forest and to small extent into sub alpine forest. Mean annual temperature lies between 60F0 to 72F0 and monsoon rainfall is usually 30-50 inches. LOCALITY FACTORS.

diar). FLORISTIC. diar). In the upper zone Abies pindrow and Q. Cedrus deodara (Deodar. These forests occur between 4500 feet to 10. AJK. Their undergrowth is rarely dense. with Quercus incana (rin. in both the zones. mainly edaphically conditioned. semecarpifolia are the dominant tree species.000 feet elevation. in each of which definite species of conifers and/or oaks dominate. Abies pindrow(fir) Picea smithiana(spruce) These forests are divided into a lower and an upper zone. rinj) at lower altitudes and Q. Pinus wallichiana. Rainfall is permanent feature of monsoon and rain is quite inpredictable. dilatata above 2130 m. Distribution. In the lower zone. There may be pockets of deciduous broad-leaved trees. (7) Himalayan dry temperate forests 8|Page . Pinus wallichiana. Mainly these are found in Murry.Shogran. and consists of both evergreen and deciduous species. Kaghan. Cedrus deodara (Deodar. LOCALITY FACTORS. and Nathiagali. Picea smithiana and Abies pindrow (Partal) are the main conifer species in order of increasing altitude.deciduous broad-leaved trees fall in this category.

DISTRIBUTION: generally occur at elevation of 5000-11000 ft extending to 12000 ft on southern aspects. Shupa. Kaghan vally. Areas. lower story 9|Page . in Gilgit) are found locally. where these are growing include Northern Areas Chitral. blue pine communities occur and in the driest inner tracts. In the inner mountain ranges which are beyond the effective reach of the South-West monsoon. Pinus gerardiana (Chalghoza) and/or Quercus ilex are the main species. Both coniferous and broad-leaved species are present. Shur) and some Picea smithiana (e. LOCALITY FACTORS: The annual total rainfall is less than 30 inches and this type of forest it confined to hilly country and most it on steep rocky slopes. Higher up. FLORISTIC: Dry zone Cedrus deodara (deodar). Neelam.g.These are open evergreen forest with open scrub undergrowth. (8) SUB-ALPINE FORESTS: In sub alpine forests Abis pindrow and pinus wallichina stand singly and in groups over in irregular and sometimes dense. hogher parts of Suleiman range Ziarat and Shingarh. Juniperus macropoda (Abhal. This type occurs on the inner ranges throughout their length and are mainly represented in the north-west. forests of blue pine.

} in early days the barks of Betula utilus was used as writing material because at that time paper was not invented. These areas receive appreciable amount of snow and rainfall. The stems are generally flexible and adapted to snow pressure. LOCALITY FACTORS: mean annual temperature is 50 F0 or less. upper dir.is of broad leaved trees in which Betula utilus is typically dominated at higher elevation. 10 | P a g e . of species exists. DISTRIBUTION: Sub-alpine forests zone is topmost tree formation in Himalaya being developed between 11000 to 12000 ft on northern aspects. Juniperus communis and primula. swat. (Betula utilus {(birch). Under this type are included shrub formations 1 m to 2 m high extending 150 m or more above the sub-alpine forests. (9) ALPINE SCRUB: At this zone quite a limited no. Chitral and Hazar. FLORISTIC: Abies pindrow (fir). It is found Kashmir. batula utilizes(birch). Good herbaceous flora is also present.

Hazara. FLORISTIC: The characteristic genera are Salix. Berberis (Sumbul. Altitude and above. Alpine are present in Kashmir. Upper DIR. Cotoneaster with Juniperus and occasionally Rhododendron or Ephedra (Asmania).DISTRIBUTION: Generally about 1100 ft. Sumblue). 11 | P a g e . Lonicera (Phut).

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