Forest ecology is the scientific study of the interrelated patterns, processes, flora, fauna, and ecosystems in forests. A forest ecosystem comprises soil, trees, insects, animals, birds, and man as its interacting units. It is a large and complex ecosystem. It also plays a significant role in controlling the water cycle, stabilizing soils, leveling the climate, and providing a habitat for wildlife. The forest ecosystem is dominated by trees. Forests are natural plant communities. They are found in regions where there is moderate to high rainfall. They are the climax communities occupying 19% of the total land area in India. There are different types of forests depending upon the climate. They are as follows:
1. Tropical Rain Forests: They are evergreen forests found occurring near the equator. They get high temperatures, high humidity, and heavy rainfall. These forests are famous for the richest biodiversity. There are three layers, namely the topmost layer of tallest trees, (e.g., Lianes and orchids), Shrub layer(many shrubs), and ground layer (herbs) eg., The Silent Valley in Kerala.
2. Tropical Deciduous Forests: They are found a little away from the equator. There is a warm climate throughout the year. Monsoon rainfall occurs during the monsoon seasons. Since drought prevails in the forest during most of the year, the leaves fall during the dry season. In India, the tropical deciduous forests are found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and some parts of Maharashtra.
3. Tropical Scrub Forests: The tropical scrub forest is a biome that makes up the arid land. This type of biome consists of desert region and areas of low-lying regions, there are dense bushes which are growing over these places. … The plants and animals of the tropical scrub forest have to adapt and flourish in this type of harsh environment.The Deccan thorn scrub forests are a xeric shrubland ecoregion of south India and northern Sri Lanka.
4. Temperate Rain Forests: They occur in areas where there is adequate rainfall. Coniferous trees like firs, redwoods, and pines dominate these forests. There are also evergreen trees, with broad leaves. Temperate forests are mainly found in the regions of high altitudes and in maximum rainfall areas. They are found mostly in the north and northeastern states of India and consist of tall trees.
5. Temperate Deciduous Forests: Temperate deciduous or temperate broad-leaf forests are a variety of forests forests ‘dominated’ by trees that lose their leaves each year. They are found in areas with warm moist summers and cool winters. Temperate forests found between an altitude of 1,000 and 2,000 m. In the higher hill ranges of northeastern India; for example, hilly areas of West Bengal and Uttaranchal, evergreen broad leaf trees such as oak and chestnut are predominant.
6. Evergreen Coniferous Forests (or) Boreal Forests: A forest that grows in regions of the northern hemisphere with cold temperatures. Made up mostly of cold-tolerant coniferous species such as spruce and fir. The Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests in temperate coniferous forests ecoregion that is found in the middle and upper elevations of the eastern Middle Himalayas, in western Nepal, Bhutan, and northern Indian states including Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
Ayisha Shabana. M