Forest Types & Their Distribution

In delimiting forest types, emphasis is laid on the most emergent vegetation, the main tree 
layers and their important constituents from the economic point of view.



    1. Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest Found along the Western face of the Western Ghats and in a strip running South-West from upper Assam through Cachar, and in Andamans

    Lofty, very dense, multilayered forest with mesosphytic evergreens, 40m or more high, with a large number of species, numerous epiphytes, few climbers

    i) Ranni, Kerala 1000m:
    Mesua, white cedar, calophyllum, toon, dhup, palaquium, hopea, jamun, canes, etc.
    ii) Cachar, Assam:
    Gurjan, Chaplasha, jamun, mesua, agar, muli, bamboo, etc.
    2. Tropical Semi Evergreen Forest Occurs on the Western Coast, Assam, lower slopes of Western Himalayas, Orissa and in Andamans. A closed high forest with large trees dominant, sometimes deciduous, with tendency to gregariousness, many species,  buttressed trunks frequent, bark thicker and rougher and canopy less dense than in Tropical wet evergreen forest; climbers heavy, bamboos less prevalent, epiphytes abandunt. i) Palghat, Kerala:
    Aini, Semul, Gutel, Mundani, Hopea, Benteak, Kadam, Irul, Laurel, Rosewood, Mesua, Haldu, Kanju, Bijasal, Kusum, Throny bamboo, etc.
    ii) Kalimpong, West Bengal:
    Bonsum, White cedar, Indian Chestnut, Litsea, Hollock, Champa, Mango, etc.
    3.Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest Occurs throughout Andamans, moisture parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. Irregular top storey of predominantly deciduous species, 40 m or more high, heavily buttressed trees, definite second storey of many species with some evergreens, fairly complete shrubby undergrowth with patches of bamboos, climbers heavy including canes. i) In Andamans:
    Padauk, White Chuglam, Badam, Dhup, Chikrasi, Kokko.
    ii) Allapali, Maharashtra:
    Teak, Laurel, Haldu, Rosewood, Mahua, Bijasal, Lendi, Semul, Irul, Dhaman, Garari, Amla, Kusum, Common bamboo, etc.
    Dehradun, Uttaranchal:
    Sal, Lendi, Haldu, Paula, Litsea, Jamun, Mahua, etc.
    4. Littoral and Swamp Forest Found in Sunderbans, West Bengal Mainly evergreen species of varying density and height, always associated with wetness. Littoral forests are found all along the coast and swamp forests are found all along the coast and swamp forests in the deltas of bigger rivers. In Sunderbans, West Bengal:
    Species are Sundri, Bruguiera, Sonneratia, Agar, Bhendi, Keora, Nipa, etc.
    5. Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest Occurs in an irregular wide stip running north-south from the foot of the Himalayas to Kanyakumari except in Rajasthan, Western Ghats and Bengal. Upper canopy closed though rather uneven, composed of a mixture of a few species practically all deciduous during the dry season, some for several months; upto 20 m high, some species tend to predominate over selected areas but most non-gregarious, lower canopy almost deciduous, shrub present but enough light reaches the forest floor to permit growth of grass; bamboos present unless exterminated by overcutting but not luxuriant, climbers few but some large and woody, epiphytes and ferns inconspicuous.

    i) In Betul, Madhya Pradesh:
    Teak, Axlewood, Tendu, Bijasal, Rosewood, Amaltas, Plas, Haldu, Kasi, Bel, Lendi, Common bamboo etc.
    ii) Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh:
    Red Sanders, Axlewood, Anjan, Harra, Laurel, Satinwood, Papra, Achar, etc.
    iii) Ramnagar, Uttar Pradesh:
    Sal, Laurel, Axlewood, Bhilama, Achar, Khair, Ghont, Bel, etc.

    6. Tropical Thorn Forest This type grows in a large strip in South Punjab, Rajasthan, Upper Gangetic Plains, the Deccan plateau and the lower peninsular India. Open, low, pronouncedly xerophytic forest, thorny leguminous species predominate, trees with short boles and low branches, an ill-defined lower storey of smaller trees and shrubs, spiny and with xerophytic characteristics, climbers few.

    i) Sholapur, Maharashtra:
    Khair, Reunjha, Axlewood, Neem, Sandalwood, Nirmali, Dhaman, etc.
    ii) Jaipur, Rajasthan:
    Acacia senegal, Reunjha, Khejra, Kanju, Neem, Palas, Ak, etc.

    7. Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest Restricted to a small area of Karnataka coast which receives some summer rain also. A low forest, upto 12 m high with complete canopy, mostly of coriaceous leaved evergreen trees of short boles, no canopy layer differentiation, bamboos rare or absent, grass not conspicuous. i) Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh:
    Khirni, Jamun, Kokko, Ritha, Tamarind, Neem, Machkund, Toddypalm, Gamari, Canes, etc.
    8. Sub-Tropical Broad-Leaved Hill Forest It predominating limited to the lower slopes of the Himalayas in Bengal and Assam and other hill ranges such as Khasi, Nilgiri and Mahabaleshwar Luxuriant forest evergreen species. i) Trivandrum, Kerala:
    Jamun, Machilus, Meliosma, Elaeocarpus, Celtis, etc.
    9. Sub-Tropical Pine Forest Found throughout the whole length of the north-west Himalayas between 1000-1800 m. In Khasi, Manipur and Naga Hills, Khasi pine occurs at similar altitudes. But absent in Kashmir due to weakend south-west monsoon. Chir pine abandunt and few shrubs found. Pine
    10. Sub-Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest The Siwaliks and the western Himalayas upto about 1000m. Low, practically scrub forest, small evergreen stunted trees and shrubs including thorny species, herbs and grasses appear in monsoon. Olive, Acacia modesta, Pistacia, etc.
    11. Montane Wet Temperate Forest Found in the higher hills of Tamil Nadu from 150 m upwards and in eastern Himalayas on the higher hills of Bengal, Assam, Sikkim and Nagaland from 1800 to 3000 m. It is closed evergreen forest. Trees mostly short-boled and branchy attaining large girth, height rarely 6 m, crowns dense and rounded leaves coriaceous, red when young, branches clothed with mosses, ferns and other epiphytes, woody climbers common. In Kalimpong, West Bengal:
    Machilus, Cinnamomum, Litsea, Magnolia, Chilauni, Indian Chestnut, Birch, Plum
    12. Himalayan Moist Temperate Forest It extends along the entire length of the Himalayas between the pine and sub-alpine forest in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Darjeeling in West Bengal and Sikkim between 1500 and 3300 m. Coniferous forest, mostly pure, 30 to 50 m high with varying, underwood mostly evergreen, mosses and fern grow freely on trees. i) Chakrata, Uttaranchal:
    Oak, Fir, Spruce, Deodar, Celtis, Chestnut, Maple, etc.
    ii) Sutlej Valley, Himachal Pradesh:
    Spruce, Deodar, Fir, Kail, Oak, Yew, Maple, Birch, etc.
    13. Himalayan Dry Temperate Forest Found in the inner dry ranges of the Himalayas where south-west monsoon is very feeble, precipitation below 100 mm, mostly snow in Ladakh in Kashmir; Lahaul, Chamba, Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh, Garhwal in Uttaranchal and Sikkim. Predominantly coniferous forest with xerophytic shrubs, hardly any epiphytes and climber. Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh:
    Chilgoza, Deodar, Oak, Maple, Ash, Celtis, parrotia, Olive, etc.
    14. Sub-Alpine Forest Occurs at the upper limit of tree forest in the Himalayas adjoining alpine scrub and grasslands. Dense growth of small crooked trees or large shrubs with coniferous overwood, mostly Fir and Birch. Conifers 30 m high, broad-leaved trees 10 m high. In Kulu, Himachal Pradesh:
    Fir, Kail, Spruce, Rhododendron, Plum, Yew, etc.
    15. Moist Alpine Scrub Occurs along the entire length of the Himalayas above 3000 m and extends to snowline. Low evergreen dense growth of Rhododendron and Birch. Mosses and Ferns on the ground with alpine shrubs and flowering herbs. In Kumaun, Uttaranchal 3800 m:
    Birch, Rhododendron, Berberis, Honeysuckle, etc.
    16. Dry Alpine Scrub Found in the dry zone over about 3500 m. The uppermost limit of scrub xerophytic, dwarf shrubs. High Himalayas above 4000m:
    Juniper, Honeysuckle, Artemesia, Potentilla, etc.


Type of Forest Location Features Important Species
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