- The southern slopes of the Himalayas carry a thicker vegetation cover because of relatively higher precipitation than the drier north-facing slopes.
Enrich Your Learning:
About Montane Forests:
- The Himalayan ranges show a succession of vegetation from the tropical to the tundra, which change in with the altitude. Deciduous forests are found in the foothills of the Himalayas.
- It is succeeded by the wet temperate type of forests between an altitudes of 1,000-2,000 m.
- In the higher hill ranges of northeastern India, hilly areas of West Bengal and Uttaranchal, evergreen broad leaf trees such as oak and chestnut are predominant.
- Between 1,500-1,750 m, pine forests are also well-developed in this zone, with Chir Pine as a very useful commercial tree.
- Deodar, a highly valued endemic species grows mainly in the western part of the Himalayan range. Deodar is a durable wood mainly used in construction activity.
- Similarly, the chinar and the walnut, which sustain the famous Kashmir handicrafts, belong to this zone.
- Blue pine and spruce appear at altitudes of 2,225-3,048 m. At many places in this zone, temperate grasslands are also found.
But in the higher reaches there is a transition to Alpine forests and pastures. Silver firs, junipers, pines, birch and rhododendrons, etc. occur between 3,000- 4,000 m. However, these pastures are used extensively for transhumance by tribes like the Gujjars, the Bakarwals, the Bhotiyas and the Gaddis.