Forest in Tamil Nadu
In Tamilnadu, the forest into divided into three major groups as per the temperature. They are Tropical Forest, Montane Subtropical forest, and Montane Temperate Forest.
These are further divided based on moisture and physio-gnomic variations.
Tropical Evergreen Forest
The tropical evergreen forest is found in the regions which receive heavy rainfall. It is found in the upper slopes of Western Ghats of Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Nilgiris, and Coimbatore districts.
The major tree species of this forest are cinnamon, Malabar ironwood, panasa, java plum/Jamun, jack, kindal, ayani, and crape myrtle.
The semi-evergreen type of forest is found over the regions of sub-tropical climate over the Eastern Ghats.
The famous regions are Servarayan, Kollimalai, and Pachaimalai. Species of Indian mahogany, monkey teak, woolly cassia, jack, and mango trees are common in this region.
Montane Temperate Forest
Montane Temperate Forest is found in the sheltered valleys of Anaimalai, Nilgiris, and Palani Hills over a 1000 metres altitude.
These are known as ‘Sholas‘. The tree in these forests are evergreen and are usually short. Nilgiri Champa, wights litsea, and rose apple are the common trees found in this forest.
Tropical Deciduous Forest
This type of forest lies in the margin of semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. The trees in this forest shed their leaves during the dry season.
The trees reach up to a height of 30 metres. Some trees of this forest are silk cotton, kapok, kadamba, dog teak, woman’s tounge, axlewood, and siris.
Bamboos are also common in this type of forest. Some trees of this forest are economically important.
This type of forest is found in the coastal areas, river deltas, tails of islands, and overseas faces where accretion is in progress. The vegetation is typically evergreen, moderate in height, and has leathery leaves.
The vegetation of this forest is adapted to survive in tidal mud and saltwater. Asiatic mangrove, white mangrove, wild jasmine/Indian pivot, etc. are some of the notable trees of this forest.
Pichavaram, Vedaranyam, Muthupet, Chatram, and Thoothukudi are the places in Tamil Nadu where the mangrove forest is found to a considerable extent.
Role of Mangroves in Coastal Zone Management
Mangroves help in the prevention of coastal erosion from waves and storms. It also protects coral reefs and seagrass meadows from being smothered in sediments.
Pichavaram mangrove forest is located near Chidambaram, Cuddalore district. This is the second-largest mangrove forest in the world covering about 1,100 hectares (11 sq. km) of area.
It is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandbar and consists of species like Avicennia and Rhizophora.
It also supports the existence of rare varieties of shell and finishes.
Tropical Thorn Forest
Thorn forest in Tamil Nadu is found where there is little rainfall. These forests are found from plains up to 400 meters altitude.
The common trees of this forest are rusty acacia, wheel, neem, and palm. Shrubs are common vegetation in this type of forest.
This type of forest is found in the districts of Dharmapuri, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, and some parts of the interior districts.
Tamil Nadu has a wide variety of wild animals, birds, and reptiles. Its hills hold an ideal place for elephants, bison, tigers, deers, and monkeys.