Skip to main content

Natural Vegetation: Forests and Grasslands of North-East India

Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Abstract

Of the total forest area of around 68 million hectares in India, the North-Eastern states account for over 17 million hectares, roughly one-fourth of the forest area of the country. All the states of North-East India, with the exception of Assam, have 50–80 % of their area under forests. High temperatures, combined with heavy to very heavy rains, have stimulated the growth of forests at lower levels. Even in the mountainous regions, there are heavy rains in summer, and lower temperatures during winter don’t cause excessive evapotranspiration and thus limit the possibility of any moisture stress in the soil. The forests in the hilly regions, despite the destruction of forests by slash and burn cultivation, have survived and are regenerated. These forests have enormous variation in their typology and floral characteristics, ranging from tropical evergreen at lower altitude in upper Brahmaputra valley to pine forests in the Himalayas and birch–rhododendron scrub at still higher levels. Dipterocarpus macrocarpus (Hollong in Assamese) and Mesua ferrea (Nahar in Assamese) are the principal type trees of Assam valley tropical evergreen forests. In the tropical moist deciduous forests, Shorea robusta is the principal species with several associates like Schima wallichii (Makna Sal). The subtropical wet hill forests, as in Meghalaya, have several varieties of oak (Quercus spp.). Richness of flora because of the wet hills presents a climate condition, which combines the characteristics of tropical as well as temperate climate. At higher altitudes, mixed coniferous and coniferous forests occur followed by sub-alpine pastures, rhododendrons and scrubs at still higher altitudes.

North-East India is known for its biodiversity. It is one of the two biodiversity hotspots of India. Half the total number of floral species, known in India, occurs here, and the region forms the richest reservoir of genetic variability. An important aspect of the forests of the region is the profusion of orchids. The North-East region has 876 orchid species, which constitute 70 % of the total orchid flora of India. To preserve the biodiversity of the region, a number of biospheres, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries (2004) are established in the region.

Keywords

  • Evergreen Forest
  • Dense Forest
  • Forest Department
  • Sacred Grove
  • Clouded Leopard

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7055-3_9
  • Chapter length: 43 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   179.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-007-7055-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   229.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 9.1
Fig. 9.2
Photo 9.1
Photo 9.2
Photo 9.3
Photo 9.4
Photo 9.5
Photo 9.6
Fig. 9.3

Notes

  1. 1.

    Tripathi (2005).

References

  • Bhagabati AK, Bhattacharya P (2009) Deforestation and human animal conflict in north bank landscape (Bhalukpong area of the Brahmaputra valley). In: Bhagabati AK (ed) Areas of concern: geographical status of selected problem areas of Assam. Geography Department, Gauhati University, Guwahati, pp 50–66

    Google Scholar 

  • Bor NL (1935) Conifers of Balipara Frontier Tract. Indian For 61(5):313–319

    Google Scholar 

  • Bor NL (1938) A sketch of the vegetation of Aka Hills, Assam: a syn-ecological study. Indian For Rec 1:103–107

    Google Scholar 

  • Bor NL (1942) Relict vegetation of Shillong Plateau, Assam. Indian For Rec, Botany 3:153–195

    Google Scholar 

  • Bora AK (2009) Forests of Barak valley: the case of Upper Jiri reserved forests. In: Bhagabati AK (ed) Areas of concern: geographical status of selected problem areas of Assam. Geography Department, Gauhati University, Guwahati, pp 23–35

    Google Scholar 

  • Brandis D (1906) (1990, reprint) Indian trees: an account of trees, shrubs, woody climbers, bamboos and palms in British Empire. Constable and Co, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Chakrabarti S (2009) Conservation of orchids by the people of North Eastern India. NeBIO, NECEER, Imphal, pp 48–52

    Google Scholar 

  • Champion HG (1936) A preliminary survey of the forest types of India and Burma. Indian Forest Records (New series), vol I:1–179. Manager of Publications, Delhi, p 173

    Google Scholar 

  • Champion HG, Seth SK (1968) A revised survey of forest types of India. Natraj Publishers, Dehra Dun, 404 p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davy BJ (1939) Review on the classification of tropical woody vegetation types. Indian For Rec 13:81–83

    Google Scholar 

  • Deb DB (1960) Forest types studies in Manipur. Indian For 86(29):94–111

    Google Scholar 

  • Forest Survey of India, Government of India (2005) State of the Forest Report. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Dehradun

    Google Scholar 

  • Gamble JS (1881) Manuel of Indian timber: a summary of 906 species of timber, their rate of growth and other matters, 2nd edn. Flora of British India, Dehradun (reprint 2002)

    Google Scholar 

  • Gazetteer of India (1999) Assam state, vol I. Government of Assam, Guwahati

    Google Scholar 

  • Ghosh AK, Tiwari KK (1984) Faunal resources of North-East India. In: Tripathi RS (ed) Resource potential of North-East India, vol II, Living resources. Meghalaya Science Society, Shillong

    Google Scholar 

  • Gupta AK (2008) Biodiversity and wildlife research in Northeast India. New Initiatives by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Chap. 18.2

    Google Scholar 

  • Hazarika R, Saikia A (2009) Land use and fragmentation in Karbi–Anglong, Assam. In: Bhagabati AK (ed) Areas of concern: geographical status of selected problem areas of Assam. Geography Department, Gauhati University, Guwahati, pp 73–79

    Google Scholar 

  • Hegde SN (1984) Orchids of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department, Itanagar, quoted from Chakrabarti, Syamali op.cit

    Google Scholar 

  • Jain SK (1985) Conservation of orchids in India. In: Chadha KL, Singh H (eds) Progress in orchid research. IIHR/UNDP, Bangalore

    Google Scholar 

  • Kingdon Ward F (1940) Botanical and geographical exploration in the Assam Himalayas. Geogr J 96(1):1–13

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kingdon Ward F (1941) Assam adventure. Jonathan Cape, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Kumar Y, Syiemlieh HJ, Singh S (2008) Vegetation cover and plant species of degraded landscape in the extremely wet Cherrapunji area. Trans Inst Indian Geogr 30(2):111–124

    Google Scholar 

  • Lalmunmawia F, Khawlhring N (2011) Cultivation of anthurium in Mizoram, India, present scenario and future prospect. Sci Vis 11(4):203–207

    Google Scholar 

  • Luna RK (2005) Plantation trees. International Book Publishers, Dehradun

    Google Scholar 

  • Medhi RP, Chakrabarti S (2009) Traditional knowledge of NE people on conservation of wild orchids. Indian J Tradit Knowl 8(1):11–16

    Google Scholar 

  • Murti SK, Joseph J (1984) Plant resources in Northeast India, vol II. Meghalaya Science Society, Shillong, pp 28–39

    Google Scholar 

  • National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries (2004) http://www.wii.gov.in/envis/envis_pa_network/page_states_ut_htm

  • Puri GS (1960) Indian forest ecology. Oxford Book & Stationary Co., New Delhi

    Google Scholar 

  • Rajkhowa S (1961a) Regeneration of Upper Assam Dipterocarpus-Mesua Forests. Indian For 87(1):406–425

    Google Scholar 

  • Rajkhowa S (1961b) Forest types of Assam with special reference to the evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Indian For 87(9):520–541

    Google Scholar 

  • Rowntree JB (1954) An introduction to the vegetation of Assam valley. Indian For Rec NS 9(1):1–87

    Google Scholar 

  • Seth SK, Yadav JSP (1960) Soils of the tropical moist evergreen forests of India. Indian For 86(7):401–413

    Google Scholar 

  • Singh B (1984) Conservation of genetic resources of eastern Himalayan region with special reference to citrus. In: Tripathi RS (ed) Resource potential of North-East India, vol II, Living resources. Meghalaya Science Soc, Shillong, pp 17–21

    Google Scholar 

  • Directorate of Economics & Statistics (2006) Statistical handbook of Assam. Government of Assam, Guwahati

    Google Scholar 

  • Stebbing EP (1962) In: Champion SH, Osmaton FC (eds) Forests of India, vol IV, Being the history from 1925 to 1947 of the forests now in Burma, India & Pakistan. OUP, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Strachey PD (1956) Development of forestry in Assam in the last fifty years. Indian For 82(2):619–623

    Google Scholar 

  • Tandon P, Kumaria S (2010) Forest resources of North East India and their sustainable utilization. In: Hasnain SE et al (eds) Biotechnology for sustainable development: achievements and challenges. McGraw Hill Education, New Delhi, pp 183–191

    Google Scholar 

  • Tripathi RS (2005) Sacred groves of Northeast India and their floristic richness and significance in biodiversity conservation. EnviroNews-Newslett ISEB India 11(3):1–2

    Google Scholar 

  • Troupe RS (1986, reprint) The silviculture of Indian trees, 3 vols. Originally published by International Book Publishers, Dehradun

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Appendices

Appendices

1.1 Appendix 9.1: National Parks in the North-East Region

No. Name of the park Location Area (km2) Date of establishment
1. Kanchendzonga NW Sikkim 1,784 1977
2. Murien N. P. Champhai (Mizoram) 200 1991
3. Phawngpui Blue Mountain N. P. Chhimtuipui (Mizoram) 50 1997
4. Balphakram N. P. South Garo Hills (Meghalaya) 220 1986
5. Nokrek N. P. Garo Hills (Meghalaya) 47.48 1986
6. Dibru Saikhowa N. P. Dibrugarh (Assam) 340 1999 an extended area is also biosphere R.
7. Kaziranga N. P. Golaghat and Nagaon (Assam) 471.71 1974
8. Manas N. P. Barpeta and Bongaigaon (Assam) 500 1990 It is also a biosphere R.
9. Nameri N. P. Sonitpur district (Assam) 200 1998
10. Orang N. P. Sonitpur and Darrang (Assam) 78.8 1999
11. Ntangki N. P. Dimapur (Nagaland) 202.2 1993
12. Mouling N. P. Upper Siang (Arunachal Pradesh) 483 1986
13. Namdapha N. P. Changlang (Arunachal Pradesh) 1985.23 1983
Total 13 National Parks   6562.4  

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Though most of the national parks have wildlife, they are not the sanctuaries like the wildlife sanctuaries whose primary function is to provide sanctuary to wildlife and to protect the endangered species. While national parks are important as preserves of plant, wildlife sanctuaries are the preserves for wildlife.

1.2 Appendix 9.2: Wildlife Sanctuaries in North-East India

No. Name of wildlife sanctuary Location Area (km2) Date of establishment
Mizoram
1. Dampa WLS Mamit district 500.0 1985
2. Khawnglung WLS Serchhip dist. 41.0 1991
3. Lengteng WLS Champhai dist. 120.0 1999
4. Ngengpui WLS Chhimtuipui (W) 110.0 1997
Tripura
1. Gumti WLS South Tripura 389.54 1988
2. Rowa WLS North Tripura 0.85 1988
3. Sepahijala WLS West Tripura 18.53 1987
4. Trishna WLS South Tripura 194.70 1987
Meghalaya
1. Baghmara Pitcher Plant WLS South Garo Hills 0.02 1984
2. Nongkhyllem WLS Ri Bhoi 29.00 1981
3. Siju South Garo Hills 5.18 1979
Assam
1. Bornadi WLS Darrang dist. 26.22 1980
2. Burachapori WLS Sonitpur dist. 44.06 1995
3. Chakrashila WLS Dhubri dist. 45.56 1994
4. Dipor Bil WLS Kamrup dist. 4.14 1989
5. Garampani WLS Karbi-Anglong 6.05 1952
6. Gibbon WLS Jorhat dist. 20.98 1997
7. Laokhowa WLS Nagaon dist. 70.13 1974
8. Panidihing WLS Sibsagar dist. 33.93 1999
9. Pobitora WLS Nagaon dist. 38.81 1999
10. Padumani–Bherjan–Borajan WLS Dibrugarh dist. 7.29 1999
11. Sonai Rupai WLS Darrang dist. 26.22 1998
Arunachal Pradesh
1. D’Ering Memorial (Lali) WLS East Siang 190.0 1978
2. Dibang WLS Dibang valley 4149.0 1991
3. Eagle Nest WLS West Kameng 217.0 1989
4. Itanagar WLS Papum Pare 140.3 1978
5. Kamlang WLS Lohit 783.0 1989
6. Kane WLS West Siang 55.0 1991
7. Mehao WLS Dibang valley 281.5 1980
8. Pakhui WLS East Kameng 861.95 1977
9. Sessa Orchid WLS West Kameng 100.0 1989
10. Tale valley WLS Lower Subansiri 337.0 1995
Nagaland
1. 1. Kohima dist. 9.23 1980
2. 2. Dimapur dist. 4.70 1986

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Dikshit, K.R., Dikshit, J.K. (2014). Natural Vegetation: Forests and Grasslands of North-East India. In: North-East India: Land, People and Economy. Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7055-3_9

Download citation