Tropical Deciduous Forests of India - Distribution & Characteristics [UPSC Geography Notes]

Forests are one of the major types of natural vegetation. There are various kinds of forests depending upon the topography and climate. Tropical Deciduous Forests are one of the kinds. In India, these forests are most widespread. Natural Vegetation is an important topic for the IAS Exam, Geography Syllabus of Mains GS-I.

This article will provide you with important facts about Deciduous Forests in India.

Major Characteristics of Deciduous Forests

The table below mentions the main features of Deciduous Forests which IAS Exam aspirants should know to differentiate these with other forests:

Characteristics of Tropical Deciduous Forests in India
They are called Monsoon Forests
Rainfall is in the range of 70-200 cms in Deciduous Forests
A long dry season followed by heavy rainfall season is a feature of the regions where these forests are found
There are two types of Deciduous Forests:

  1. Moist Deciduous Forests – Mixture of Trees and Grasses
  2. Dry Deciduous Forests
As the name goes, tropical deciduous forests are found along the Equator belt between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn.
Major states where tropical deciduous forests are found:

  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Chattisgarh
  • Odisha
  • Maharashtra (Some Parts)
The humidity in these forests lie in the range of 80-90 per cent
30 degree Celsius is the average temperature of tropical deciduous forests
Seasonality is the prime feature of these forests as trees shed their leaves in the dry season and grow back leaf in rainy seasons

Note: In the Northern Hemisphere, these forests shed their leaves in winter.

These forests are comparatively less dense than evergreen forests.

Types of Deciduous Forests – Moist Deciduous and Dry Deciduous Forests

The table below mentions the features of moist deciduous forests and dry deciduous forests:

Features Moist Deciduous Forests Dry Deciduous Forests
Rainfall 100-200 cms

Mean Annual Temperature –

27-degree celsius

Annual Relative Humidity – 60-75 per cent

70-100 cms
Region
  • The northeastern states along the Himalayan foothills
  • Eastern Slopes of Western Ghats
  • Odisha
  • Rainy areas of Peninsular India
  • Plains of Uttar Pradesh
  • Plain of Bihar

Note: In the western and southern part of Rajasthan, vegetation cover is very scanty due to low rainfall

Species
  • Teak
  • Sal
  • Shisham
  • Hurra
  • Mahua
  • Amla
  • Semul
  • Kusum
  • Sandalwood
  • Tendu
  • Palas
  • Amaltas
  • Bel
  • Khair
  • Axlewood
Other Features Open grass patches are found in these forests
  • The wetter margins of these forests transition into Moist deciduous forests while the direr margins make a transition into thorn forests
  • These forests have a parkland landscape with open stretches in higher rainfall regions of Peninsula; in which teak and other trees interspersed with patches of grass are common.
  • In the dry season, the trees of these forests shed their leaves completely turn the forest into a vast grassland with naked trees all around

Distribution of Tropical Deciduous Forests/Monsoon Forests – World

The tropical deciduous forests are majorly found in:

  • Coastal regions of southwest India
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Myanmar
  • Southwestern Africa
  • French Guiana, and
  • Northeast and south-eastern Brazil

Tropical Deciduous Forests in India – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Candidates can read about other important Geography topics in the articles linked below:

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