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 Land | Climate | Environmental DegradationNatural Vegetation | Districts


Natural Vegetation

Forests are largely controlled by rainfall and temperature conditions of the region. Forests cover nearly 37 percent of the total area of the state. Mal-distribution poses a serious problem in the case of forest resources of Orissa. The fertile coastal plains with a dense population lack forest cover. Then again, remoteness of the forests from the consumption centres and the bulky nature of their products need cheap haulage. Orissa is very much lacking in this respect. The presence of a large tribal population practicing shifting cultivation on an extensive scale engenders direct loss of valuable forest cover.

Geographical Classification of Forests

The Northern Tropical Semi-Evergreen Region

This area is composed of a dense tree growth 24-36 meters high. The most striking feature of this region is the absence of bamboo growth. The tropical semi-evergreen are concentrated around Bonai between the Champaharam Pass and the Kurapadi stream of Bhagat Pass. They are also seen in the Redhakhol region because of its elevation ands precipitation.

The Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Region

This region accounts for almost 80 percent of the total forest cover in Orissa. The Sal, dominates region north and north-east of the Brahmani. It is also found to the east of Tel river and in the Sabari basin. (Sal is the most valuable timber of Orissa). The Dendrocalamus stricts (Salia baunse) and Bamboosa arundinacea (Kanta baunsa) are the two dominant species which are found in the forests of the Eastern Ghats. They are confined to the Mahanadi and Rushikulya basins. The hetrogeneous deciduous zone is the meeting ground of the Sal and other species like Adina Cardifolia (Kusum), the Xylia Xylocarpa, the Anogeissus Iatifolia (Dhau) and the Machilusvilloso.

The Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Region

The dry deciduous type is confined to the upper Tel, upper Nagavali and upper Sabari basins in the Western and South-Western parts of Orissa. Here Sal and Bamboo thin out and teak pre-dominates.

The Coastal Forests

The dense growth of palm and coconut with long thin stems, deep roots and a thin crown, has adapted itself nicely to the severe cyclones from the Bay of Bengal during the pre and post-monsoon periods. Creepers of varied species and canes and other minor types of trees have led to the description of the tidal forests of the Mahanadi mouth as the 'Little Sunderbans'. On the Puri coast, Casuarina plantation has met the town's demand for fuel. In between the mangrove forest and the cultivated zone a narrow strip of grassland extends from Chilka lake to the mouth of the Mahanadi and beyond.

The Main Forest Types in The Eastern Ghats

A. (a) South Indian Moist Deciduous

     (b) Southern Moist Mixed Deciduous

     (c) Southern Secondary Moist Mixed Deciduous

B.  (a)  Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous

      (b) Southern Tropical Dry Mixed Deciduous

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