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Types of Forests in India


A forest is a complex ecosystem. Forests are home to a wide range of living forms, including plants, animals, birds, insects, and reptiles. In addition, the woodlands are rich in bacteria and fungus, which play a vital role in decomposing decaying organic matter and nourishing the soil. Forests supply a wide range of natural services and goods. Many forest products are utilised on a daily basis. Aside from this, trees play an essential function in preserving ecological balance and contributing to the economy.

Evergreen Tropical Forests

Moist Evergreen Forests

Moist Evergreen Forests are found in southern India around the Western Ghats, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the north-eastern area.

Climate: Found in warm and humid places with an average precipitation of more than 200 cm and a mean annual temperature of more than 22°C.

Trees: Trees in these woods may grow to heights of 60 metres or more. There is no set period for trees to lose their leaves, blossom, or fruit; these forests are green all year.

Rosewood, Mahogany, Aini, Ebony, and more species may be found in these woodlands. The jackfruit, betel nut palm, Jamun, mango, and hollock are the most prevalent trees found here.

Semi-evergreen Forests

They are found in less rainy parts of moist evergreen forest regions such as the Western Ghats, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Eastern Himalayas.

Trees: These woods are made up of a combination of wet evergreen and moist deciduous trees. The undergrowth climbers give these woodlands an evergreen appearance. White cedar, hollock, and kail are the most common species.

Dry evergreen

Found in the Shivalik Hills and Himalayan foothills up to a height of 1000 metres in the north. Dry evergreens may be found along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu along the coastal strip. It has mainly hard leaved evergreen trees with fragrant flowers, along with a few deciduous trees.

Climate: Typically, there is a lengthy hot and dry season followed by a chilly winter.

Trees: The majority of the trees are hard-leaved evergreens with aromatic blooms. Pomegranate, olive, and oleander are among the most frequent ones.

Tropical Deciduous Forests (Monsoon Forests)

Moist Deciduous Forests-Most abundant in India

These forests are located in the north-eastern states along the Himalayan foothills, the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, and Odisha. They are found in areas with rainfall ranging from 100 to 200 cm.

Trees: Tall trees with broad, branched trunks.

During the dry season, some of the taller trees drop their leaves. The primary species of these forests are teak, sal, shisham, hurra, mahua, amla, semul, Kusum, and sandalwood, among others.

Dry Deciduous Forests

They are found across the northern half of the nation, with the exception of the north-east. Also found in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Covers large portions of the nation, with rainfall ranging from 70 to 100 cm.

On the wetter margins, it has a transition to the moist deciduous, while on the drier margins to thorn forests.

Trees: As the dry season approaches, the trees drop their leaves completely, transforming the forest into a huge meadow with bare trees all around.

Tendu, palas, amaltas, bel, Khair, axle wood, and other trees are prevalent in these woodlands.

Thorn Forests

These Forests grow in locations where the yearly rainfall is less than 50cm. This kind is found in locations with black soil, including North, West, Central, and South India.

Semi-arid regions of south-west Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh are included.

Trees: The trees do not grow beyond 10 metres and consist of a variety of grasses and shrubs. This area is known for its spurge, caper, and cactus. For the most portion of the year, the plants are leafless. Babul, Acacia, Kokko, Khair, Khajuri, Ber, Neem, Khejri, Palas, and other common forest species 

Montane Forests

Montane Wet Temperate Forests

These forests may be found in northern and southern India. It is located in the north at a height of 1800–3000 metres in the area east of Nepal into Arunachal Pradesh, with a minimum rainfall of 200 cm. It can be found in areas of the Nilgiri Hills, Kerala's upper elevations, in the south.

Trees: The forests in the northern region are denser than the ones in the South. This is because the original trees have been replaced over time by fast-growing types such as eucalyptus. Rhododendrons, Champa, and other ground plants may be found here. 

Subtropical Montane Forests

Found in an area where the average rainfall is 100-200 cm and the temperature ranges from 15°C to 22°C.

Region: The northwestern Himalayas (excluding Ladakh and Kashmir), Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh are home to this species.

Trees: The predominant tree is chir (pine), although oak, Jamun, and rhododendron may also be found in these woodlands. 

Himalayan Forests

Himalayan Moist Forests are found in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and the northern hilly areas of Bengal.

Elevation: Found throughout the belt at altitudes ranging from 1000 to 2000 metres.

Oak, chestnut, chir, sal, shrubs, and nourishing grasses are examples of trees.

Himalayan Dry Temperate: J&K, Chamba, Lahaul and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), and Sikkim. Deodar, oak, chilgoza, maple, olive, mulberry, and willow are the most common trees. 

Alpine and Subalpine Forests

In the higher reaches, there is a transition to Alpine forests and pastures occurring at altitudes of 2,500-4,000 m. Between 2900 and 3500 metres, subalpine woods stretch from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

Trees: Juniper, rhododendron, willow, and black currant dominate the vegetation of the Western Himalayas. Red fir, black juniper, birch, and larch are abundant trees in the eastern portions. 

Littoral/Swamp Forests

Found along the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as the Ganga and Brahmaputra deltas. Other significant locations are the Mahanadi, Godavari, and Krishna deltas. Some of these woodlands are thick and difficult to navigate. They have soft tissue roots that allow the plant to breathe in the water. It is mostly composed of whistling pines, mangrove dates, palms, and bullet wood. The forests stabilise the shoreline and protect the coastal areas from erosion. The Sunderbans, located in the Ganges delta, is the world's biggest tidal forest.


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