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Tropical Deciduous Forests: Natural Vegetation & Wildlife

Tropical Deciduous Forest 

Tropical Deciduous Forests in India
» Tropical Deciduous forests also known as monsoon forests are found in the belt along the equator between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as well as in the humid subtropics
» Deciduous forests are found in Africa, India, South America, Central America and small islands in the Pacific.
» In India Tropical Deciduous Forests are found in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and parts of Maharastra.
» Tropical deciduous forests experience 80 to 90% humidity throughout the year and the average temperature is around 30 degree Celsius year around.
» The tropical deciduous forest is found in tropical areas with a dry season that still has enough moisture for tree growth. 
» One of the most defining characteristics of monsoon forest is their seasonality.
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and it is typically used in order to refer to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally (most commonly during autumn) and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe.
The tropics are a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at 23°26′13.2″ (or 23.43701°) N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at 23°26′13.2″ (or 23.43701°) S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth.
The Tropics comprise 40% of the Earth's surface area and contain 36% of the Earth's landmass. As of 2014, the region is home to 40% of the world population, and this figure is projected to reach 50% by the late 2030s.
» Deciduous forest is a beautiful biome (a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g. forest or tundra.) famous for season and trees that lose their leaves in winter.
» In the Tropical Deciduous forests, the majority of species of trees and other vegetation that make up the forest drop and shed their leaves during the cold (winter) and regrow new leaves in the next spring season (Monsoon Season).
Forests where a majority of the trees lose their foliage at the end of the typical growing season are called deciduous forests. These forests are found in many areas worldwide and have distinctive ecosystems, understory growth, and soil dynamics.

Features of Tropical Deciduous Forests in India

1.  These forests are lesser in density.
2. These are the most widespread forest in India.
3. They are also called the Monsoon.
4. Spread over the region receiving rainfall between 200cm & 70cm.
5. Trees of this forest types shed their leaves for about six to eight week in dry summer.
6. These forests exist therefore mostly in the eastern part of the country.

Tropical Deciduous Forest Animals

A wide variety of mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles can be found in a deciduous forest biome. Mammals that are commonly found in a deciduous forest include bears, racoons, squirrels, skunks, wood mice, and, in the U.S., deer can be found in these forests.
In India, Lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant are some of the animals that make these forests their habitat.

Location of the Tropical Deciduous Forests in India

Classification of Deciduous Forests

The Deciduous Forests are divided into two categories.
1.       Moist Deciduous Forests
2.      Dry Deciduous Forests

Moist Deciduous Forests:

» Moist deciduous forests are the mixture of trees and grasses.
» These forests are found in areas of moderate rainfall of 100 to 200 cm per annum, mean annual temperature of about 27°C and the average annual relative humidity of 60 to 75 per cent.
» Moist Deciduous Forests grow abundantly on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, Chhotanagpur Plateau (east M.P., south Bihar, west Orissa), and on the Shivaliks.
» They are found in the north eastern states of Jharkhand, West Orissa and Chhattisgarh, parts of West Bengal and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
» The main species found in these forests are teak, sal, padauk, laurel, white chuglam, badam, dhup, chikrosi, kokko, haldu, rosewood, mahua, bijasal, lendi, semul, irul, dhaman, amla, kusum, tendu, paula, jamun, bamboo, etc.
» It is comparatively easy to exploit these forests due to their high degree of gregariousness.
» Open grass patches are found in moist decicuous forest.

Dry Deciduous Forests:

» The Indian dry deciduous forests are actually a type of the Indian deciduous or monsoon forests and they are mainly found in both Northern India and in the south Deccan plateau in India.
» These are found where rainfall is 100 – 200 cm.
» These are found on peninsular plateau and plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
» Teak Sal, Peepal, and Neem are the dominant species found in the dry deciduous forest.
» Lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant are some of the animals that make these forests their habitat.

Frequently asked questions and answers on Tropical Deciduous Forests

What is Natural Vegetation?
Plants which grow naturally without any human interference, covering a large area is known as the natural vegetation.

What is the climate of the tropical deciduous forest?
The average temperature of the forest is about 50 degrees F. The average amount of rainfall in the forest is 30 to 60 inches a year. As the seasons change, so do the colours of the leaves of the deciduous. During the winter months, water is generally not available to keep the leaves of some plants alive.

Where is a tropical deciduous forest in India?
The Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of east-central India. The ecoregion covers an area of 341,100 square kilometres (131,700 sq mi), extending across portions of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Telangana states.

Why are tropical deciduous forests also called monsoon forests?
Monsoon forest also called dry forest or tropical deciduous forest, open woodland in tropical areas that have a long dry season followed by a season of heavy rainfall. The trees in a monsoon forest usually shed their leaves during the dry season and come into leaf at the start of the rainy season.

What kind of animals live in the tropical deciduous forest?
In North America, birds like broad-winged hawks, cardinals, snowy owls, and pileated woodpeckers are found in this biome. Mammals in North American temperate deciduous forests include white-tailed deer, racoons, opossums, porcupines and red foxes.

What type of soil is found in the deciduous forest?
As the leaves decompose, the nutrients contained in the leaves are absorbed by the soil. For this reason, the soils of this biome tend to be very fertile. Because this biome has fertile soil and a long, 5 to 6 month, growing season, many deciduous forests have been converted into agricultural regions.

Regions such as southeastern Brazil, southwestern Africa, Myanmar and Bangladesh consists of
A. tropical monsoon forests
B. tropical rainforests
C. coniferous rainforests
D. temperate deciduous forests
Answer: Tropical Monsoon Forests

Which one of the following state does not have the Tropical deciduous forests?
A. Jharkhand
B. Western Orissa
C. Chhattisgarh
D. Rajasthan.

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