Indian Forests

India provides about 8% of the world's hardwood and ranks third after Brazil and Indonesia.
State having maximum geographical area under dense forest cover — Arunachal Pradesh.
State having lowest area under forest cover — Haryana
State having largest area of forest cover in India — Madhya Pradesh.

Types of Forest:

(i) Tropical Evergreen forests:

They are dense luxuriant in growth, look evergreen, but sheds leaves at different part of the year. The are prevalent in areas where the rainfall is over 200 cm. 77% or more humidity, and 25°C to 27°C of annual temperature found in the north-east, eastern regions of sub-tropical Himalayas(Tarai), western portion of western ghats, Andhaman and Nicobar islands.They provide hardwood like teak, rosewood, ebony and bamboo etc. These are coniferous forests with needle shaped leaves.

(ii) Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests:

Found in the areas where rainfall is 250 cm or above These forests occure in North-eastern states, Andaman and Nicobar islands and western part of western ghats.

(iii) Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forests:

Found in the areas where the annual rainfall is below 200 cm. They are evergreen with mixed deciduous. The temperature ranges from 24°C to 27°C with 80% humidity. Heavy barks, climbers and buttersed trunks are found. They occur in Upper Assam. lower eastern Himalayas, Orissa and Andaman and Nichobar Islands.

(iv) Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests (Monsoon Forests):

They occur where the annual rainfall is 150 to 200 cm, with mean annual temperature about 26° to 27°C and humidity varies with 60 to 80 percent found in the interior of the Indian Plateau and the Siwalik, east of river Yamuna. Sal, Teak, Tendu, Sissoo, Mahua, Sandal and Shisam are the important trees. Trees shed their leaves during spring and early summer.

(v) Littoral and Swamp Forests:

They known as tidal forests or mangrove forests. They occur around the tidal creeks and along the delta of river Ganga, Mahanadi, Krishna and Godavari. These trees are mainly evergreen have profuse growth and stilt like roots. The densest trees are found in the great Sunderban delta where the Sundari tree in abundance is found. Rhizophora and Nipa fruitous also grow in these forests.

(vi) Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests:

These forests found from foothills of Himalayas to Kanyakumari and comprise important trees like Teak, Tendu, Amaltas, Khari, Palas, Rosewood and Axlewood. The tracks of these forests has a low canopy of grasses and shrubs in some places which has been cleared for agriculture and casuarina plantations.

(vii) Riparian Forests:

Common in wet places particularly along the river banks and other wet lands where rainfall is less than 50 cm. Neem, Shisham, Babool, Pipal are common in such places.

(viii) Alpine Forests:

Cover the alpine areas in Himalayas i.e., at the height of 2880 m to 3700 m. Dwarf shrubs of Juniper, Fir, Pine, Birch and Rhododendron are the main trees on southern Himalayan slopes.

(ix) Grass lands:

They are found in (a) low land or grass land (b) upland or hilly grass land (c) riverine grass land. Low land grass land occur in the regions where the rainfall is 30 to 200 cm. with high temperature in summer. found in Punjab, Uttar Pradcsh, Haryana, Bihar and North-west Assam. Upland Grasses are found at a height of 1000 m in Himalayas and in the clear forest areas of western ghats (Karnataka). Riverine grasses are found in northern part of India.


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