Tropical Thorn Forests in Indian Subcontinent

Tropical Thorn Forests in Indian Subcontinent

Tropical Thorn Forests in Indian Subcontinent

Tropical thorn forests occur in the areas which receive rainfall less than 50 cm. These forests occur in the areas where annual rainfall is between 20 to 70 cm, the dry season is hot and very long. They are found in South Punjab, most of Rajasthan and part of Gujarat. These consist of a variety of grasses and shrubs. It includes semi-arid areas of south-west Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. In these forests, plants remain leafless for the most part of the year and give an expression of scrub vegetation. Acacias, palms, euphorbias, and cacti are the main plant species. Important species found are babool, ber, and wild date palm, khair, neem, kheiri, palm, etc. Tussocky grass grows up to a height of 2 m as the undergrowth. The forests remain leafless for the most part of the year and are sometimes called thorn scrub or scrub jungles. Trees are scattered and have long roots penetrating deep into the soil in order to get moisture.

Climatic Conditions

  • Annual rainfall less than 75 cm.
  • Humidity is less than 50 percent.
  • The mean temperature is 25°-30°C.

Characteristics

  • The trees are low (6 to 10 meters maximum) and widely scattered.
  • Acacias and Euphorbias are very prominent.
  • The Indian wild date is common. Some grasses also grow in the rainy season.

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