Jungles, the forest in India have always been an issue of controversies and a great worry. Due to uncontrolled cutting, mining and poaching, Indian forests cover is shrinking and so the wildlife. According to the Indian State of Forest Report, 2011, released by the Forest Survey of India on February 7, the total forest cover in the country is now at 6,92,027 sq Km. This accounts for 21.05 per cent of the total geographical area of India which was 23.02 per cent of total geographical area in 2010. India has lost 367 sq km of forest cover in the past two years.
India has a diverse range of forests and geographical conditions. From the rainforest of the Kerala to the alpines of the ladakh and from the desert of Rajasthan to the evergreen forests of the north east, diversity of forests can be seen. Soil profile, climate, topographical conditions and elevation are main factors to determine the types of forests. Forests can be classified according to their nature, composition, types of plant they contain, environment they thrive in and the relationship with the surrounding environment.
There are six major types of forest in India :
Tropical moist of forest in india
Tropic moist forests can be further classified into evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and littoral and swamp.
- Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests are found in the south along the Western Ghats and the Nicobar and Andaman islands and all along the north-eastern region and Littoral and swamp forests are found along the Andaman and Nicobar Island and the delta area of Ganga and Brahmaputra while moist deciduous forests are present throughout India. Some of the common evergreen and semi-evergreen are jackfruit, betel nut, palm, jamun, mango. Examples of littoral and swamps are whistling pines, mangrove dates, palms, and bulletwood while moist deciduous are sal and teak, along with mango, bamboo, and rosewood.
Tropical dry forests
Tropical dry forests can be further categorized into dry deciduous, thorny forests and dry evergreen.
- Dry deciduous forests are present in entire northern region with sal, acacia and bamboo etc. Comment trees are. Thorny forests are found in the black soil of north, west, south and east India with the main flora sal, acacia and bamboo. Dry evergreens are found in foothills of Himalaya and shivalik hills with pomegranate, olive and oleander as the major type of tree.
Montane subtropical forests
They are further sub divided into broad leaved forests and pine.
- Broad leaved forests are present in eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats while Pine forests are present at the hills of Shivalik Hills, Western and Central Himalayas, Khasi, Naga, and Manipur Hills. Poonspar, cinnamon, rhododendron, and fragrant grass are the major types of plants of broad leaved forests and Chir, oak, rhododendron, and pine are the major plants of pine forests.
Mountain temperate of forest in india
These types of forests are sub-divided into dry, moist and wet forests.
- Wet Mountain temperate forests are present on to the east of Nepal into Arunachal Pradesh and the Niligiri Hills, the higher reaches of Kerala with eucalyptus and rhododendron is the major flora while moist Mountain temperate forests are present from western to the eastern Himalayan with broad-leaved oak, brown oak, walnut, rhododendron and various ferns and bamboos.
Sub Alpine forests
These forests extend from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Most predominant flora is juniper, rhododendron, willow, black currant, red fir, black juniper, birch, and larch.
Alpine can also be categorized into moist and dry.
- Moist type of alpine is present along the entire Himalayan region and the higher hills of Myanmar border and the major flora includes low scrub, dense evergreen forest, consisting mainly of rhododendron, birch and mosses and ferns. Dry types of alpine are present at high altitude from 3000 m to 4500 m. Dwarf plants predominate, mainly the black juniper, the drooping juniper, honeysuckle, and willow are the predominant flora of this region.
People of India are exploiting forests and harming the natural habitat of animals. People are deforestation the forests and poaching the animals for their skin and bones. The national forest policy of India, 1952 aimed at bringing one third of landmass of the country under forest cover. But the question is has it been enforced?
“Doing things at individual level may lead to great efforts in protecting our environment. Now this is the time to wake up and do something to protect us, our future and our earth!”