Natural Vegetation of India - Tropical Deciduous Forest

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Tropical Deciduous Forest:

  • These forests are also known as the monsoon forests.
  • They are the most common forests in India.
  • These forests are further classified into two types based on water availability:
    (i) Moist deciduous forests and
    (ii) Dry deciduous forests.

(i) Moist Deciduous Forests:

(a) Climatic Conditions: Such forests are found in areas with moderate or low annual rainfall of 100 cm to 200 cm, mean annual temperatures of 24°C and 27°C, and humidity percentages of 50 to 80.

(b) Distribution: These forests can be found in the northeastern part of the Peninsula, along the Himalayan foothills and the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. They cover a larger area than the Evergreen forests in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

(c) Characteristic Features: During the spring and early summer, when water storage is acute, the trees in these forests shed their leaves every six to eight weeks. Furthermore, the subsoil water is insufficient for the trees to retain their leaves all year. A specific species can be found all over the place. They are the most commercially exploited forests in India. Sal, teak, arjun, shisham, mahua, mulberry, palas, semul, and sandalwood are common trees in such forests.

(d) Economical Value: Tropical deciduous forests are the most commercially exploited. They provide a variety of other products in addition to valuable timber. Sandalwood from these forests is in high demand both in India and abroad.

(ii) Dry Deciduous Forests:

(a) Climatic Conditions: These forests are found in areas with a mean annual temperature of 23°C to 27°C, annual rainfall of 70 cm to 100 cm, and humidity of 51 to 58%.

(b) Distribution: These forests can be found in the rainier regions of the Pennisular Plateau as well as the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

(c) Characteristic Features: These forests grow vigorously between moist deciduous forests (in the east) and tropical thorn forests (in the west).  These forests adapt into moist deciduous forests along the wetter margins, but degrade into thorn forests along the drier margins. These forests have open stretches of teak and other trees interspersed with patches of grass in the northern Indian plains and higher rainfall areas of the Peninsular Plateau. During the dry season, the trees in these forests shed all of their leaves, giving the forests the appearance of a vast grassland with naked trees. The common trees of these forests are teak, tendu, sal, rosewood, amaltas, bel, khair, axlewood, etc. 

(d) Economical Value: The trees in these forests provide timber, fruits, and other useful products. Large areas of these forests have been cleared for agricultural activities.




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