W.B.C.S. Examination Notes On – Tropical Rain Forests Of India – Geography Notes.
This Sub-region consists of heavy rainfall zones. This consists the entire North-Eastern India (Khasi-jaintia hills and the lower Himalayan slopes as well as embracing areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura) and the Western Ghats region in the south including the Malabar Coast.Continue Reading W.B.C.S. Examination Notes On – Tropical Rain Forests Of India – Geography Notes.
The Nilgiri, and off-shoot of the Western Ghats, rise precipitously to form densely forested evergreen- vegetation known as Sholas. Sholas, similar to those of the Nilgiri, occur in the Annamalai and Palni hills also and other South Indian regions. The rain forests of Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas consist of very dense and lofty trees with multiple of species occurring in the same area.
Giant trees stretch up towards the sun. Buttress roots, mosses, ferns, epiphytes, orchids, lianas and vines, herbs, shrubs and fungi make up this region as the most diverse habitat. Dipterocarpus spp. predominates in these forests and this type of vegetation is often called as Dipterocarp Forests.
The rain forests can be divided into three horizontal layers. The emergent trees in the upper-storey constitute the top canopy which receives most of the sunlight. Below this is the middle-storey of trees of slightly lower height composed of species which are tolerant of shade and the young saplings of the taller dominants.
The lower-storey is almost bear with only a few seedlings of palms, cardamom, and ginger plants. On the ground, there is carpet of fallen leaves and decaying wood with occasional tangles of canes forming impenetrable cane-brakes.
The rain forests of India are so rich in its flora and fauna that these are considered as the richest gene-pool available to us. Though destroyed a lot, Silent Valley of Kerala and the rich orchid-belt of North-eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are famous for protecting them as virgin.
Within this rich environment, animals of all kinds live. On the ground, only big herbivores such as Elephants and solitary deer like Barking Deer can survive. But most of the species in this region are tree-dwellers. Among, those, the most prominent are the group of non- human primates.
The North-East region of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam is inhabited by the Hoolock Gibbon (which is the only ape found in India at present), the Golden Langur (an animal discovered in 1950 by the late E.P. Gee in the forests of Manas Reserve), the Capped Langur or Leaf Monkey, the Assam Macaque and the Pig-tailed Macaque.
In the south, the most prominent primate of evergreen forests is the Lion- tailed Macaque. The other primates of this region are Nilgiri Langur and Slender Loris while the Slow Loris inhabits in the forests of North- Eastern India in Assam.
Nilgiri (Shola forest) provides also the main shelter to Elephant, Gaur and other large animals. The high level forests o f the Nilgiri also have affinities with the high altitude forest of Assam ranges. Many trees and animals found in these high shoals are common to both areas. Characteristically, Himalayan animals such as Tahr (called Nilgiri Tahr), Pine Marten and European Otter occur in Nilgiri.
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