Natural Vegetation of India - Himalayan or Alpine Forest




Himalayan or Alpine Forest:

  • As is evident by the name that these forests are primarily found in the Himalayan mountain range.

  • The decrease in temperature and increase in altitude result in a variety of vegetation types depending on factors such as mountain slope and sunrays receiving side.
  • This includes both coniferous and deciduous type of forests. 
  • The ecosystem is extremely fragile. In recent decades, the Himalayan forests have been exploited in numerous ways.
  • According to altitude, four types of forests can be found in the Indian Himalayas.

1) Tropical Forest: Dense vegetation covers areas with relatively low altitudes up to 1000 metres, a warm climate, and a good amount of rainfall. These areas have the appearance of a tropical forest. The most common species in these areas are sal and bamboo.

2) Sub Tropical Pine Forest: Evergreen broad leaf oak and chestnut are the most common species found in these forests at elevations ranging from 1000 to 2000 metres. Subtropical Pine forests occupy the same elevation in the eastern Himalayas. Chir is a common species in this area.  

3) Moist Temperate Forest: Moist temperate forests in the Himalayas can be found at elevations ranging from 1500 to 3500 metres, with annual rainfall ranging from 100 to 250 cm. The main species found in this part of the Himalayas are oak, laurel, chestnut, cedar, silver, fir, spruce, rhododendron, and deodar. They have been extensively exploited for their wood.

4) Alpine Forest: Alpine forest found in the Himalayas at elevations ranging from 3000 to 3800 metres, with extensive highland grassland and sparsely distributed pine, birch, sliver, fir, and rhododendron trees.




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