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Classification of Forest- Geography Guide for Class 8

Classification of Forest- Geography Guide for Class 8

Information about Classification of Forest

Title

Classification of Forest

Class

Class 8

Subject

Class 8 Geography

Topics Covered

  • Classification of Forest
  • Tropical Hardwood Forests
  • Mediterranean Forests
  • Temperate Softwood Forests
  • Advantages of Forests


Classification of Forest

On the basis of the location and the type of climatic conditions, forests can be divided into the three broad types:
  1. Tropical Hardwood Forests
  2. Mediterranean Forests
  3. Temperate Softwood Forests

Let us discuss them in detail one by one. 

1. Tropical Hardwood Forests

On the basis of temperature and rainfall, tropical hardwood forests are further sub-divided into two groups:
  1. Tropical Evergreen Forests
  2. Tropical Deciduous Forests

1. Tropical Evergreen Forests

These forests are also known as Tropical Rain Forests because they are confined to tropical regions where heavy rainfall occurs throughout the year.
  • All the trees of these forests do not shed their leaves at the same time. Hence, the forests always appear green. That is why, such forests are known as evergreen forests.
  • They are spread in the areas of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon in Africa.
  • In India, they are common in the Western Ghats, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala and the North-Eastern parts of the country.
  • The favourable climatic conditions for these forests are heavy and well-distributed rainfall (200 cm) and hot climate throughout the year.
The hardwood trees of these forests are very tall, sometimes reach up to 60 metres. Several species of trees are found within a single area. These forests are characterised by dense growth of vegetation. The trees have broad leaves to permit transpiration of surplus moisture.
Some of the typical trees are mahogany, ebony, rosewood, rubber and palm. The animals found in rain forests are elephant, lemur, monkey and deer.

2. Tropical Deciduous Forests

These forests are also known as Monsoon Forests because they are common in the Monsoon areas of the world.
  • These forests are commonly found in India, Myanmar, South China, East Brazil and Central parts of America.
  • These forests thrive in regions where the climate is warm, with distinct wet and dry seasons.
  • Deciduous Forests receive summer rainfall in the months of June, July, August and September ranging between 100-200 cm.
  • The vegetation in these forests is not as dense as that in the Tropical Evergreen Forests.
  • The Deciduous Forests have predominantly broad-leafed trees and medium size leaves and they shed their leaves during the dry season to conserve moisture.
  • Trees are medium in height (30-40 metres).
Common trees are sal, teak, sandalwood, bamboo and shisham. Eucalyptus is common in Australia. The animals found in Deciduous forests are lion, tiger, elephant and numerous kinds of reptiles.

2. Mediterranean Forests

These forests are mainly located in regions around the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The main areas are the shores of Europe, Asia, North Africa and South-Western parts of South Africa. 
  • These forests are usually found in the areas which have dry summer and moderate rainfall during winter.
  • Trees of these forests are widely scattered and have spiny, waxy, small and leathery-textured leaves. They also have long roots and thick bark.
Due to the above features, these trees are able to retain moisture in the dry summer season.
The important trees of these forests are cork, olive and citrus fruit trees. The popular animal species found in Mediterranean forests are Mediterranean monk seal, Barbary macaque, Greek tortoise, Iberian lynx, Great busted, etc. 

3. Temperate Softwood Forests

These Forests are commonly known as Coniferous Forests as the shape of the trees looks conical. 
  • Such forests are common in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere and high mountains in Europe, Asia, North Canada and USA.
  • In India, the Temperate Softwood Forests are found in southern slopes of the Himalayas and are commonly known as Mountain Forests.
  • These forests are found in the colder regions of the world.
  • Here, the precipitation is received in the form of snow in winter.
  • Most of the trees are tall and conical in shape. Due to their shape, the snow cannot accumulate on them. 
  • These trees do not shed their thick needle-shaped leaves and hence, look evergreen. 
Pine, fur, spruce, cedar, deodar, sliver fir, chestnut and walnut are some of the common trees in these forests. These trees have commercial importance and are used for various purposes, such as making of pulp, plywood, etc.
The animals commonly found in Softwood Forests are Kashmir stag, spotted deer, Tibetan antelope, snow leopard, tiger and golden eagle.

Advantages of Forests

Forests are the breathing lungs of the civilisation and therefore, are very important for the survival of life on earth. Forests help us to breathe by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. They provide safe habitat to the wild animals. Many people depend on forests for their livelihood. Trees also help in keeping the earth cool. Large forest cover helps in causing rainfall. Roots of the trees bind soil particles, help to raise the ground water level and prevent floods.

Deforestation in a rampant manner has depleted this important resource and led to the loss of habitat for wildlife, ecological imbalances and soil erosion. It is a matter of grave concern and therefore, government has taken several stringent measures to protect our forest cover.

Some of these measures are: 
  • Afforestation or large scale plantation of trees.
  • 'Each one plant one' policy.
  • Efficient utilisation of forest products and usage of substitutes of wood.
  • Enforcement of a number of laws/guidelines to protect forests and prohibit deforestation.
  • Discouraging shifting cultivation which causes forest loss. 
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