Facts about Natural Vegetation of India (Forests)

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Natural vegetation in the country varies from state to state due to variations in weather, soil and relief features. Some major types of vegetation found in India are Evergreen forests, Deciduous forests, Dry forests, Thorn and Scrub forests, Tidal forests and Himalayan Vegetation.

Tropical Evergreen forests

These are dense forests of luxuriant growth found in areas where rain fall ranges between 200 and 300cm. They are tall and broad leaves. The trees do not shed their leaves annually so they are evergreen. The average temperature is 25°C to 27°C. Forests are very dense and trees are of tall and medium size. Rosewood, ebony, mahogany are some of the trees in these forests.

Tropical deciduous Forest (Monsoon Forests)

There are two types they are moist deciduous and dry deciduous.

Moist deciduous forest are found in areas where the rainfall in between 100cm and 200 cm. Moist deciduous are found on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, in the north eastern part of Peninsula (around Chotanagpur Plateau) and alone the Siwaliks. The trees shed their leaves during winter and summer. Major trees of these forests are Sal, Teak, Bam-boo, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Deodar, Ebony Mahua etc. This is the important vegetation of Kerala.

Dry deciduous forest are found on the drier margins of the tropical wet deciduous forests, where rainfall decreases to 100-150 cm and dry weather prevails for longer period. Dry deciduous forests are found in the Peninsular Plateau region. Dwarf deciduous trees and long grasses grow up in these forests. Most of the areas are used for agriculture.

Thorn and Scrub Forests

These forests are found in areas receiving a rainfall of less than 70 cm. Such forests exist in the north western part of the country from Saurashtra to the Punjab plains, North Madhya Pradesh and South West Uttar Pradesh. Kikar, Babul, wild palm and coarse grass are some forms of vegetation here.

Tidal Forests

Tidal forests grow up all along the sea shores and on the edges of the deltas. In West Bengal a well known variety of man-grove tree called Sundari are found here. So the Ganga Brahmaputra delta is called Sunderban after this tree. The other notable trees of these forests are pasur, gewa golpala etc. These forests supply timber and fire wood to market.

Himalayan Vegetation

The Siwalik ranges are the abode of tropical deciduous flora including the sal and the bamboo. Trees such as oak chestnut and apple are common at about 1000 to 2000 metres height in the Himalayan region. Coniferous trees like pine and cedar thrive at altitudes between 1600m and 3300 m. Trees of the Alpine variety like silver -fir, birch and Juniper grow at an altitude of about 3600m. The Alpine grasses and shrubs are seen at still higher elevation unitl the snow -line is reached.