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Topics: India, Evergreen, Deciduous Pages: 14 (2960 words) Published: August 24, 2014
Environment of Earth
March 11, 2008
NATURAL VEGETATION OF INDIA
Filed under: terrestrial vegetation — gargpk @ 1:45 pm
Tags: India, Vegetation
805 Votes

India is situated at tropical latitudes and has diverse temperature and rainfall regimes. The overall climate of India is suitable for the growth of forests. The climax formations of Indian subcontinent have been altered much due to human activities in the last few thousand years. However, the remaining vegetation shows that the natural vegetation of India primarily consists of forests. The grasslands found in the region are not natural plant formations but have originated secondarily due to destruction of natural forests in some places. Therefore, these represent various stages of seral (successional) development due to the influence of a variety of biotic influences.

Source : Forest Survey of India, Dehradun. State of forest report 2001. Dehradun, FSI, 2002. 12p.

FORESTS OF INDIA

The most important factors influencing the physiognomy, species composition, phenology etc. of Indian forests are temperature, rainfall, local edaphic and biotic factors. These factors have been used in the classification of Indian forests. Most detailed classification of Indian forests is by Champion and Seth (1967) in which 16 major types of forests have been recognized. These 16 major types can be grouped into 5 major categories viz. moist tropical, dry tropical, montane sub-tropical, temperate and alpine forests.

Natural Vegetations in India

See also: http://www.envfor.nic.in/fsi/sfr99/misc/ifcmap.html

(A) MOIST TROPICAL FORESTS

These forests are found in the areas of quite high temperature and rainfall. The forests are dense, multi-layered and have many types of trees, shrubs and lians. These forests are further categorized into 4 types depending on the degree of wetness in the area and the dominant life form in the forest.

(1) Tropical moist evergreen forests

These are climatic climax forests found commonly in areas having annual rainfall above 250 cm and temperature 25-30oC. These forests are chiefly distributed on the western face of Western Ghats, Assam, Cachar, parts of West Bengal, northern Canara, Annamalai Hills and Coorg in Meysore and Andman Islands.

The characteristic feature of these forests is dense growth of very tall trees having height of more than 45 m. Climbers, lians, epiphytes and shrubs are abundant but herbs and grasses are rare in these forests. The carpet layer of herbs and grasses can not grow because very dense layer of leaf canopy of trees does not allow enough light to reach to the ground.

Dominant trees in forests of west coast are Dipterocarpus indica, Palaquim and Cellenia while in forests of Assam Diptercarpus macrocarpus, D. turbinatus, Shorea assamica, Mesua ferrea and Kayea are the dominant trees.

Common subdominants in these forests are Mangifera, Eugenia, Myristica, Pterospermum, Polyalthia, Elaeocarpus, Schlechera, Artocarpus, Memeocylon, Poeciloneuron, Cinnamomum, Diospyros, Sapindus, Vitex, Holigarna, Alstonia, Hardwickia, Spondias, Dendrocalamus, Calamus, Bombax, Veteria, Calophyllum, Pandanus, Cedrela, Tetrameles, Strobilanthes, Emblica, Michelia, Ixora, Hopea, Lagerstroemia, several species of ferns and orchids.

See also: http://www.indianetzone.com/2/forests.htm

(2) Tropical moist semi-evergreen forests

These are also climatic climax forests found commonly in areas of annual rainfall 200-250 cm and temperature 25-32oC.These forests are chiefly distributed along the Western Ghats, in upper parts of Assam and Orissa and in Andman Islands. These forests are more developed in the northern India than in southern India.

Characteristic feature of these forests is dense growth of evergreen trees intermixed with deciduous trees that shed their leaves for very brief period of relative dryness. Average height of trees in these forests is 25-35 m and shrubs are common. Forests have rich carpet...
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