They are classified as (1) Moist and (2) Dry.

Moist Tropical Deciduous:

The Moist Tropical] Deciduous forests cover nearly the entire country. Here annual rainfall varies from 100 to 200 cms. The Sahyadris, the north-east plateau of the Peninsula, the Himalayan foothills (the Shivaliks), the Bhabars and the Terai are the major regions of these forests.

They grow abundantly on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, Chhotanagpur Plateau (east M.P., south Bihar, west Orissa), and on the Shivaliks. Owing to dry season they shed their leaves once a year. Major characteristics of these forests are as under:


1. They are the typical monsoon forests.

2. These forests have numerous commercially important species.

3. Teak is the dominant species.

4. Major species of trees are Teak, Bamboos, Sandalwood (in Karnataka),


Shisham, Hurra and Khair. Shrubs grow fairly close to them and form thickets.

5. Open grass patches are found here and there.

6. Most of the trees lose their leaves of 6 to 8 weeks in the hot weather but at different times. Hence the forest is not absolutely leafless any time of the year.

7. Large scale cutting of timber has depleted these forests very rapidly.


Dry Tropical Deciduous: The Tropical Dry Deciduous forests grow well where annual rainfall varies between 10 and 100 cms. They occupy vast areas between the Thar Desert, the Himalayas and the Sahyadris.

These forests have a more open and dwarfish composition, the trees being more stunted and widely spaced though the species are mostly the same as in the moist deciduous forests. In the dry season trees shed their leaves and the forest gives the appearance of a vast grassland with naked trees, dispersed all over the region. Major characteristics of this vegetation are:

8. These forests are a mixture of trees and grasses.

9. Sal is a dominant tree of this vegetation.


10. Summer heat is very intense. It burns the dry grass and kills seeds of weeds.

11. Vegetal cover in river valleys does not shed leaves during summer.