Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests

 

Distribution

  • Along the coasts of Tamil Nadu.

 

Climatic Conditions

  • Annual rainfall of 100 cm [mostly from the north-east monsoon winds in October – December].
  • Mean annual temperature is about 28°C.
  • The mean humidity is about 75 per cent.
  • The growth of evergreen forests in areas of such low rainfall is a bit strange.

 

Characteristics

  • Short statured trees, up to 12 m high, with complete canopy.
  • Bamboos and grasses are not conspicuous.
  • The important species are jamun, tamarind, neem, etc.
  • Most of the land under these forests has been cleared for agriculture or casuarina plantations.
Casuarina plantation
  • It resembles feathery conifer in general appearance.
  • They are rapid-growing, carefree species for sites and climates as varied as coastal sand dunes, high mountain slopes, hot humid tropics, and semi-arid regions.
  • They have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. It grows 15 to 25 metres in height on average.

Distribution

  • Casuarina is the most popular farm forestry in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka.

Benefits

  • Reduces damage in the event of natural calamities.
  • Line planting in the coastal areas helps in controlling the wind force.
  • It is also used for tourism promotion in view of its ornamental appearance.
  • It provides top quality firewood.
  • The wood is suitable for paper pulp and useful raw material for the manufacture of paper for writing, printing, and wrapping.
  • It has some serious medicinal values as well.

Wasteland development

  • The characteristics which make it a suitable species for wasteland development include adaptability to a wide range of habitats, fast growth, salt tolerant, drought resistant, ability to reclaim land and stabilize sand dunes.
  • Intercrops such as groundnut, cucumber, watermelons, sesamum, and pulses can also be raised along with the plantation.