Important facts about Mountain Forests

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1. Since with the increase in height the temperature and rainfall changes there is a corresponding change in natural vegetation.

(i) Belts of deciduous forests are found at the foothills of the Himalayas at a height of 1000 m to 2000 m. These cover a major part of the hill ranges of North-East India and the Himalayan regions of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttarachal.

The main trees are oaks, chestnuts and sal. Pine trees are found between 1500 m and 1750 m.

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(ii) Temperate forests

are found between 2000 m to 3000 m height along the southern slopes of the Himalayas Broad leaved evergreen trees of oak, laurels and chestnuts are found here. Higher up pines, firs, spruce and cedar grow in plenty.

(iii) Alpine forests

are found above 3000 m in height. Fairly dense forests of silver firs, pines, birches and rhododendrons are found between 3000 m and 4000 m in altitude. There is however no vegetation above the snowline.

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Uses of Important Trees

Chir:

resin, turpentine (Kashmir, U.P)

Deodar:

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railway sleepers, construction purposes (Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir)

Fir: making of paper, matches, packing cases.

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