LIST OF IMPORTANT FORESTS IN INDIA
We depend on the forests for our survival, from the air we breathe to the wood we use. Besides providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans, forests also provide watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change. Yet, despite our dependence on the forests, we are still allowing them to disappear.
What are the different types of forests in India?
India has a diverse range of forests: from the rainforest of Kerala in the south to the alpine pastures of Ladakh in the north, from the deserts of Rajasthan in the west to the evergreen forests in the north-east. Climate, soil type, topography, and elevation are the main factors that determine the type of forest. Forests are classified according to their nature and composition, the type of climate in which they thrive, and their relationship with the surrounding environment.
Forest Types in India:
a) Coniferous Forests grow in the Himalayan mountain region, where the temperatures are low. These forests have tall stately trees with needlelike leaves and downward sloping branches so that the snow can slip off the branches. They have cones instead of seeds and are called Gymnosperms.
b) Broadleaved Forests have several types, such as evergreen forests, deciduous forests, thorn forests, and mangrove forests. Broadleaved forests have large leaves of various shapes.
c) Evergreen Forests grow in the high rainfall areas of the Western Ghats, North-Eastern India, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These forests grow in areas where the monsoon lasts for several months.
The trees overlap with each other to form a continuous canopy. Thus very little light penetrates down to the forest floor. Only a few shade-loving plants can grow in the ground layer in areas where some light filters down from the closed canopy.
The forest is rich in orchids and ferns. The barks of the trees are covered in moss. The forest abounds in animal life and is most rich in insect life.
d) Wet Evergreen
Wet evergreen forests are found in the south along the Western Ghats and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands and all along the north-eastern region. It is characterized by tall, straight evergreen trees that have a buttressed trunk or root on three sides like a tripod that helps to keep a tree upright during a storm. These trees often rise to a great height before they open out like a cauliflower.
The more common trees that are found here are the jackfruit, betel nut palm, Jamun, Mango, and Hollock. The trees in this forest form a tiered pattern: shrubs cover the layer closer to the ground, followed by the short structured trees and then the tall variety. Beautiful ferns of various colours and different varieties of orchids grow on the trunks of the trees.