“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

VEGETATION OF INDIA

Introduction

    • Tropical Evergreen:
      • They are located in North-East India, parts of Western Ghats, the Andaman and Nicobar, upper Assam, lower slopes of Eastern Himalayas, Odisha, along the foot-hills of Himalayas, Bhabhar and Tarai regions.
      • The forests are dense; composed of tall trees (45 m) epiphytes, parasites, lianas, and rattans so as to look like a green carpet when viewed from above.
      • Trees have multi-storeyed structures with good canopies. These trees do not shed their leaves annually and are hence evergreen. The floor lacks grasses because of the deep shade.
      • There are, however, canes, palms, bamboos, ferns, and climbers which make passage difficult. The important species of these forests are white cedar, toon, dhup, palaquinum, mesua, collophyllurn, hopea, and canes, gmjan, chaplas, agor, muli, and bamboo. Due to poor accessibility, these forests have not been properly exploited.
    • The Tropical Moist Deciduous:
      • The typical landscape consists of tall teak trees with sal, bamboos, and shrubs growling fairly close together to form thickets.
      • Both teak and sal are economically important and so are the Sandalwood, Shisham , Hurra , and Khair .
    • The Tropical Thorny Forests:
      • The tropical thorny forest is a degraded version of the moist deciduous forest.
    • The Subtropical Montane Forests:
      • Chir (pine) is the main tree but broad-leaved trees are also found in these areas. Oak, Jamun, and rhododendron are the other varieties in these forests.
    • The Dry Deciduous Forests:
      • These forests are characterized by closed and rather uneven canopies. Enough light reaches the ground to permit the growth of grasses and climbers.
      • Acacia, jamun, modesta, and pistaciaare the main trees. Grasses and shrubs appear during the season of general rains.
    • Montane Wet Temperate Forests: These forests are found in the entire Himalayas from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh between the altitudes of 1500 m to 3500 m where the temperature varies between 12°C to 15°C, and the mean annual rainfall is between 100 to 250 cm.
    • Desert Vegetation: The desert vegetation is confined to the west of Aravallis in the states of Rajasthan and northern Gujarat
    • Tidal (Mangrove): The mangrove which attains a height up to 30 meters is the most important tree. It is utilized for fuel. The famous delta of Sundarban is covered by the Sundri trees which supply hard durable timber for construction and boat making. Here, higher grounds support screw-pines, Palms occupy creeks, and epiphytes are predominant all over the region

IMPORTANT SPECIES OF TREES AND THEIR UTILITY

    • Rosewood: (Evergreen)The wood from these forests is hard and fine-grained, dark purple in colour, and widely used in the manufacture of furniture, floorboards, and ornamental plyboards.
    • Gurjan: (Evergreen)The wood is dull reddish to brown in colour. It is extensively used for internal construction work of houses. It is also used for packing cases, tea boxes, flooring, and wagons.
    • Ebony: (Evergreen)The wood has a metallic luster when smoothed. It is one of the most valuable woods as it is resistant to attack by insects. It is used for ornamental carving and decoration.
    • Sal : (Monsoon)Its wood is very heavy, hard, and durable. It is much in demand for piles, doors, beams, planking, and railway sleepers. Sal forests occupy 1l.6 lakh hectares, accounting for about 16 percent of the total forest area of the country.
    • Teak : (Monsoon)Its wood is moderately hard, durable, easy to work, and takes a good polish. It is an expensive timber used for doors, cupboards, and furniture. Teale forests cover about 9 million hectares of the total forest area of the country.
    • Jamun: Its timber is moderately strong and used for the construction of houses and furniture. Its fruits are highly beneficial in controlling diabetes and high blood pressure.

FOREST PRODUCTS AND THEIR UTILITY

    • Bamboo: It is used for a variety of purposes- basket making, roofing, thatching, construction, paper, and pulp making. Even ornaments are made of bamboo in states like Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Tripura. Bamboo also finds a place in cultural activities of the Mizo people, i.e. Cherraw (bamboo) dance.
    • Tendu: Tendu leaves are used for bidi-making.
    • Grasses: KhusKhus grass is used for making cooling screens during the summer season. Raska, lemon, and ginger grasses yield medicinal and perfumed oils.

SOCIAL FORESTRY

    • The main objective of social forestry is to reduce pressure on traditional forests by plantation of fuel-wood, fodder, timber, and grasses.
    • To release cow dung as manure for increasing agricultural production,
    • To provide gainful employment opportunities to the rural population, To develop cottage industries, to provide efficient soil and water conservation
    • To improve the aesthetic value of an area and to meet the recreational needs of the population.

Community Forestry

    • It involves the raising of trees on community lands with the set objective to provide benefits to the community as a whole. Although the plants and seedlings are provided by the forest departments, the protection of planted trees is primarily the responsibility of the community as a whole.

Agro-Forestry

    • Agroforestry is the sustainable management of land that increases overall production, combines agricultural crops, tree crops, forest plants, and animals simultaneously, and applies management practices that are compatible with the cultural patterns of the local population.
    • Agro-forestry is a type of social forestry in which an individual farmer undertakes tree-farming and grows fodder plants, grasses, and legumes on his own land.

The three types of forests seen in India are:

  1. Tropical forest
  2. Montane forests
  3. Alpine forests

Tropical forests:

The types are:

  •  Moist
  • Wet evergreen – areas with more than 250 cm rainfall viz. Western ghats, A&N, NE states. Dense forests and dense undergrowth.
  • Semi-evergreen – border areas of wet evergreen forests.
  • Moist deciduous – rainfall 100-200cm. Located on western and eastern ghats.
  •  Dry
  • Dry evergreen – winter rainfall and monsoon rainfall. Rainfall -100 cm. TN coast.
  • Dry deciduous – a transition between moist deciduous and tropical thorn. Sheds leave in the dry season. 100-75 cm rainfall.
  • Tropical thorn – northwest part of India. >75cm rainfall.

Montane forest:

Types:

  •  Subtropical forests – 1000 -2000 m altitude
  • Broad leaves: evergreen and dense. 75-125 cm rainfall.
  • Moist pine: 100cm rainfall. Chir tree is an example
  • Dry evergreen: stunted trees and shrubs. Found in the western Himalayas.
  •  Temperate forests – 1800 – 3000 m altitude.
  • Wet temperate: evergreen and short trees. Western ghats and the eastern Himalayas. 150 – 300 cm rainfall. E.g. Deodhar.
  • Moist temperate: 150 – 250 cm rainfall. Found in the entire length of the Himalayas. E.g. Deodhar.
  • Dry temperate: rainfall >100 cm. Present in the dry part of the Himalayas. Coniferous forests e.g. Ash, maple, oak.

Alpine forest:

It has an altitude of 2900 – 3800 m. It is a mixture of coniferous trees, large shrubs, and broad-leaved trees. E.g.  Fir, spruce, birch.

                     TABLE 1: FOREST COMPOSITION OF INDIA

Forest type Area
Tropical moist deciduous 37%
Tropical dry deciduous 28%
Tropical wet evergreen 8%
Montane subtropical pine 6.6%
Tropical semi evergreen 4%

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KAUSIK CHAKRABORTY

KAUSIK CHAKRABORTY

Founder Director

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