(Last Updated on : 26/02/2013)
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 (needle-leaved) 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
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
, Andhra Pradesh
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 serve as a home to many species. Deforestation is the reason of global warming. To prevent that problem Government of India
has taken many necessary steps for the plantation of trees.