South Indian Moist Deciduous Forests

General description

These forests are of more commercial value with the deciduous trees reaching up to a height of 30-35 m. When compared to the evergreen forests, the species richness and diversity are less. Buttressed trees are rare and fluting is common. Cauliflory is rare. Evergreen species are mostly confined to the under storey. Trees are mostly with cylindrical bole and the bark peels off in flakes. Bamboos are quite frequent in natural condition. Fires are almost an annual phenomenon thus inhibiting this forest from reaching the climax stage.

Ecologically this type thrives well in areas where rainfall is less than 2500 mm with a marked dry season lasting for 4 months.

Floristics

The principal species of this type of forest are: Albizia sp., Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia latifolia, Grewia tiliaefolia, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Schleichera oleosa, Terminalia bellerica, Tetrameles nudiflora and others. Giant lianas like Spatholobus roxburghii, Entada pursetha etc. are very common in this forest.

Frequent annual fires affect the natural regeneration of these forests leading to retrogression.