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Forest Types
  Home >> Forest at a Glance >> Forest Types  
 
Maharashtra has five forest types as per the Champion and Seth’s classification. Each forest type represents a unique Eco-system.
 
1. Southern Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forests
Forests of this type occur mostly on upper hill slope from 450 meters to 1050 metres above the m.s.l. in Western Ghats. The main species are Terminalia paniculata (Kinjal), Memocylon umbellatum (Anjani), Terminalia chebula (Hirda), Syzigium cumini (Jambul), Olea diocea (Parjamun) and Mangifera indica (mango), Actinodaphne hookeri (Pisa), etc.
 
2. Southern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests
Two main sub-types occur under this group.
i) Moist Teak bearing Forests
Important and valuable forests of the State from commercial view point, these are mainly confined to Project Tiger area in Melghat region of Amrawati district, Chandrapur, Gadhchiroli and Thane districts with Tectona grandis (Teak), the associates are Terminalia tomentosa (Ain), Delbergia latifolia (Shisham), Adina cardifolia (haldu), Madhuca indica (Moha), Pterocarpusmarsupium (Bija), Mitragyna parviflora (kalam), Salmalia malabaricum (Semal) and Dendrocalamus strictus(Bamboo) etc.
 
ii) Moist Mixed deciduous Forests:
Teak is present occasionally and the evergreen component of species is larger than in case of Teak bearing forests. The main species are Pterocarpus marsupium (Bija), Salmalia malabaricum (Semal), Terminalaia bellarica (Behada), Dalbergia latifolia (Shishum), Syzigium cumini (Jambul), Terminalia tomentosa (Ain), Lagerstremia parviflora (Bendara) etc.
 
3. Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests
Forests falling in this group occupy a major part of state. Main specie being Tectona grandis (Teak), these forests produce middle and small size timber. Following are the main forest sub-types.
i) Dry Teak Bearing Forests:
Principal species is Tectona grandis (Teak) and the associates are Ougeinia dalbergiaoides (Tiwas), Acacia catechu (Khair), Gmelania arborea (Shivan) and Anogeissus latifolia (Dhawada) etc.
 
ii) Dry Mixed Forests:
Teak is present occasionally and the evergreen component of species is larger than in case of Teak bearing forests. The main species are Pterocarpus marsupium (Bija), Salmalia malabaricum (Semal), Terminalaia bellarica (Behada), Dalbergia latifolia (Shishum), Syzigium cumini (Jambul), Terminalia tomentosa (Ain), Lagerstremia parviflora (Bendara) etc.
 
4. Southern Tropical Thorn Forests:
Under this forest type fall the forests of the low rainfall areas of Marathwada, Vidarbha, Khandesh and Western Maharashtra. Majorities of these forests are heavily degraded due to low fertility coupled with low rainfall. The main tree species found in these forests are Acacia arabica (Babul), Acacia leucophleca (Hiwar), Zizyphus jujuba (Bor), Butea monosperna (Palas), and Belanites rexburghii (Hinganbet) etc. These forests are full of Euphorbia and Cassia scrub.
 
5. Littoral and Swamp Forests:
The littoral and swamp forests occur along the creeks and littoral in Sindhudurg and Thane district. Although their comparative extent in the State is marginal, these forests are important for protection of seacoast and marine life. The typical mangrove species found in this area are Avicennia spp. and Rhizophora spp. etc.