What are the different types of forest biomes?
There are Four general types of forest that Experts estimate that these forests cover approximately one-third of Earth’s surface.
(i)Tropical Rain Forest biome
- They are distributed along the Western Ghats and in North Eastern Himalayas.
- They are evergreen tropical rain forests with 30m-40m tall canopy structure.
- The most common tree species are Hopea and Dipterocarpus.
- Woody climbers (lianas) and epiphytes grow profusely.
- The soil is low in nutrient content due to high degree of leaching
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests biome
- They are distributed widely in the northern and southern parts of India.
- They shed their leaves during summer but a dense foliage is present during rainy season.
- Many trees have thick barks as a protection against fires.
- The soil is rich in nutrients.
- The most common tree species. are Shorea robusta and Tectona grandis.
- Other tree species include Acacia catechu. Diospyros melanoxylon and Buchanania lanzan.
(iii) Temperate Broad-leaf Forests biome
- they occur mainly in western Himalayas at an altitude between 1500 and 2400 m.
- The tree canopy is dense, but herbaceous layer is least developed where grasses are generally absent.
- The forest is dominated by several species of Oak.
- These forest have a rich epiphytic flora.
(iv) Temperate Coniferous forests biome
- They are distributed in the Himalaya, at an altitude between 1200 and 3000m.
- The forests are tall (30-35m) and possess an evergreen conical canopy of 3000m.needle-like foliage.
- The important trees are mostly the valuable gymnosperms like Pinus wallichiana, Cedrus deodara, and Picea smithiana.
Characterised of Forest Biomes
Forests are characterised by densely growing trees and a great biodiversity. About 19% of the land area in India is covered with forest. Important forest types are- (I) Tropical rain forests, (II) Tropical deciduous forests, (III)) Temperate broad leaf forests and Temperate needle leaf forests (Coniferous forests).
(I) What is Tropical Rain Forests?
these are found in the equatorial regions (Central America along the Amazon South America, Congo River basin of Africa, Malagasy and Orinoco rivers, South America republic and south east Asia).
In India these forests are discontinuously distributed mainly along the Western Ghats and in North-eastern Himalayas.
These forests are usually called Jungles. They cover about 1/12 of our earth surface and contain half to earth’s flora and fauna. Therefore, these are rich in biodiversity.
The annual rainfall is high and exceeds 140 cm. The climate is warm and humid
The average temperature is very high and ranges from 25 to 45°C
The rate of leaching is very high, so upper soil layer is not very rich in nutrients.
Flora: The characteristic warm and humid climate supports broad leaved evergreen plants. Trees are very high unto 50 meters (representing highest standing crop biomass). Trees are very dense and therefore light does not reach up to the earth surface in many areas. Besides trees, lianas (wood climbers), tree dwellers and ground dwellers are common. Dipterocarpus and Hopea are the most common tree species in Indian forests.
Fauna: The animals include, Monkeys, snakes, an Teaters, tropical birds, bats, large carnivores and variety of fishes in rivers and ponds. A huge insect variety is also found in this region.
(ii) What is Tropical Deciduous Forests?
These forests are found in northern and southern parts of India, in plains and low hilly areas.
The annual rainfall ranges between 75 to 150 cm.
Average temperature of the region is 10 to 35°C.
Flora: The main vegetation includes broad leaved, hard wood trees. Most common species in Indian forests are Sal (Shorea robusta) and Teak (Tectona grandis). Besides,Tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), Chiranji (Buchananialanzan) and Khair (Acacia catechu) etc. are also common. Elm, Birch, Maple, Hickory, etc. are other varieties in these forests. In autumn, trees shed their leaves. But in rainy season, the forest is lush green.
(iii) What is Temperate Broad Leaf Forests?
These forests are found mainly in western Himalayas at an altitude between 1500 m to 2400 m.
Climate is cold and humid with temperature ranging between 10-20°C.
These forests have thick vegetation, with plants reaching up to 25-30 m height.
Trees show peak leaf fall but never become completely leaf less.
Flora: Oak (Quercus) is the most common plant. Its many species are present in
(iv) What is Temperate Needle Leaf Forests? (Coniferous Forests)
These forests are found in a large part of Himalayas at an altitude between 1700 to 3000 m.
The region is characterised by humid climate.
The average temperature of this ecosystem is 5-6°C in winter upto 20°C in summer.
Due to variable environmental conditions, the organisms are resistant to these environmental changes.
Flora: These forests contain many important species of Gymnosperms, such as Pine (Pnus wallchiana), Silver fir (Abies pimdrow), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Spruce (picea Smithiana), etc.