- [Act 1] Forest cover & Tree Cover
- [Act 2] Mangroves and Bamboos
- [Act 3] Forest Growth factors
- [Act 4] Agroforestry
- [Act 5] Urban forestry
- [Act 6] Misc. factoids
- This summary is not for the faint hearted, because contains truckload of factoids and rankings.
- Only those who’ve finished static environment, geography and aptitude portion should proceed further.
- As such I was preparing economic survey summary but consider this report to be a “fork” of the Economic survey Ch12 on sustainable Development & climate change.
- Credit: B.N.S. Viswanath for majority of the compilation.
|Who?||Forest survey of India|
|Since when?||1987: using LANDSAT satellite. Since then report every two years.|
|latest report||2013: using IRS-Resourcesat Satellite|
|E-green watch||Online system to monitor CAMPA activities, doing social audits, tracking progress etc. (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority.)|
for sci-tech type MCQs
- ResourceSAT’s LISS-3 sensor cannot record forest cover less than 23.5m
- It analyses “colors”: therefore, it’ll not record young plantations, trees with less chlorophyll content or poor foliage
- clouds and shadows obscuring details
- Lantana and other large weeds also get recorded as forest cover.
- sugarcane, cotton etc. agriculture crops grown near forest areas. ResourceSAT cannot differentiate them from trees. Have to send men on field for crossverification.
Official definition of forest cover?
- All lands more than one hectare in area
- with a tree canopy of more than 10%,
- Both public and private land
- even orchards, bamboo and palm
|Classes||Tree Canopy||% of Total area|
|1.Very dense forest||70% or above||2.5|
|2.Moderately Dense Forest (MDF)||40% or above||9.5|
|3.Open Forest (OF)||10% or above||9|
|4.Scrub: degraded forest land||Less than 10%||1.5|
|5.Non-forest land||Area not in above classes||77.5|
- Out of them class 1, 2 and 3 = “Forest cover”.
- Therefore, total forest cover=(2.5+9.5+9)=21% of total geographical area. (Exact number is 21.23%)
- In absolute figure: forest cover is ~7lakh sq.km out of total ~33 lakh sqkm area.
|Area wise||% wise|
|Altitude zone||% of Forest cover found|
|Above 4000 m||0.14|
Numbers not important but interpretation is:
- Majority of India’s forest cover is witihin 500m above sea level.
- There is hardly any forest cover on altitude above 3000m.
- both Correct
- None correct
|Highest increase||Highest decrease|
Main reasons for declined forest cover
- biotic pressure
- shortening of Jhum cycle (Nagaland)
- open cast mining (Andhra Pradesh)
- Earthquake induced landslides (Sikkim)
overall, forest cover increased between 2011 to 2013.
|Type||Sq.km in 2013|
|1.Very dense forest||+31 increased|
|2.Moderately Dense Forest (MDF)||-2000 decreased|
|3.Open Forest (OF)||+8000 increased|
|pure forest||mixed forest|
|single tree species is dominant||Two or more tree species intermingled in the same canopy .|
Area wise, Forest type ranking: Mixed forest >> Sal >> Lowland hardwood >> Teak >> Teak with misc.
|wetlands, rivers, riverbeds, creeks in the mangroves, snow-covered areas, glaciers, alpine pastures, cold deserts, grasslands of sholas, etc||plantations on community lands, road side, railways and canals, Eucalyptus, rubber, tea and coffee plantations, etc|
- India’s National Forest Policy 1988 wants to have 33% of India under forest and tree cover.
- mind the words: forest cover + tree cover.
|Forest cover||Tree Cover|
|All lands more than one hectare in area, >10% tree canopy||below 1 ht. area under trees. (especially surrounding villages and woodlands)|
|satellite can easily measure it.||need satellite + manual field verification|
|~7lakh sq.km||~91,000 sq.km|
|21.23% of Indian land||2.78% of Indian land|
Therefore, total cover =21.23+2.78 = 24.01% of India under forest and tree cover.
Mind the words: “tree cover” and not “forest cover”
|Among 14 physiographic regions||Areawise||%wise|
Lowest tree cover in Eastern Himalayas
- Mangrove is a salt tolerant plant.
- grows in tropical and sub-tropical inter-tidal region
- rainfall between 1000-3000 mm
- Temperature ranging between 26-35oC.
|pneumatophores||Aerial roots above ground. Plant can breathe air in waterlogged soil|
|buttress roots||Root grows from directly stem, above ground, to support the tree.|
|stilt roots||below water/land.They uphold the mangrove against tides, strong winds and tropical storms.|
|Vivipary||Instead of germinating externally from a seed, Mangroves reproduce via buds (embryos). Refer to following chart:|
|Area wise rank||within that,largest in__.|
|South 24 Paragana|
Mangrove area: Misc. factoids
|Sundarban (WB)||50% of India’s mangrove forests|
|overall||decreased Mangrove cover (2013, compared to 2011)|
- Bamboo belongs to the grass family Poaceae ( Gramineae )
- Therefore, Bamboo is a “non wood” forest resource.
- India has 125 indigenous, 11 exotic species of bamboo.
- in terms of Bamboo diversity rank: (1) China, (2) India
- Bambo is fast growing, wide spread, renewable, versatile, low cost natural resource.
- Therefore, known as poor man’ s timber .
#1: Forest fire
Period: 3rd week of Feb to 1st week of May
|Most vulnerable||Least vulnerable|
|Dry deciduous forests|
- Forest survey divides districts into three categories: highly, moderately and low vulnerable districts
- Ranking: highest forest fire vulnerability: Madhya Pradesh (24 districts), Maharashtra (18), Andhra Pradesh (15)
Forest fire: why bad?
- Destroys humus, nitrogen and other nutrient elements= soil fertility declined= regeneration difficult.
- Destroys grass= less infiltration of water = more runoff of water=regeneration difficult.
- As such cattle grazing is considered a threat to forest cover, but “controlled grazing” reduces grass density and thereby reduces forest fire risk.
#2: Forest regeneration
- Process of replacing old crop/trees with younger ones.
- either via natural or artificial methods
|Assertion||Grazing reduction, lopping and plantation can help in forest regeneration.|
|Reason||These activities influences carbon storage through changes in tree biomas both above and below ground.|
|Correct Answer||both right, R explains A|
#3: Soil depth
|Assertion||Soil depth is an important factor for forest growth|
|Reason||Soil holds necessary space, nutrients and water required for plant growth and stability|
|Correct Answer||both right, R explains A|
Soil depth: more factoids
- climate and topography affect soil depth
- Hills have less soil depth than valleys.
- Black cotton soil= deepest sedentary soil
- Alluvial soil = deepest secondary soil.
- Rockiness is related to soil depth. Where rockiness is more, the soil depth is less.
- Therefore, in rocky soils, crop density is less and vegetation is sparse.
|Assertion||Humus is regarded as the life blood of soil mass.|
|Reason||Humus improves the physical and chemical properties of soil|
|Correct Answer||both right, R explains A|
- Humus=decomposed organic matter in soil.
- Includes both plant and animal litter, tissues.
- appearance: amorphous, brownish black
- Agroforestry = inclusion of perennial trees within farm.
- States with max. agroforestry area: Maharashtra > Gujarat > Rajasthan
Benefits of Agroforestry
- Bio-fertilizer trees enrich soil and helping in land regeneration.
- They provide nutrient recycling, increase organic matter.
- They provide fruits, fodder, medicines, non-timber forest produce and shelter.
Steps by Government
- Planning commission report: we can bring 3 crore people out of Poverty, by implementing Agroforestry in rainfed areas.
- Therefore, Government spends sizable fund on agroforestry- under MNREGA, watershed Management, Green India mission, horticulture mission etc.
|1952||National Forest Policy|
|1988||National Forest Policy|
|2000||National Agriculture Policy|
|2001||Task Force on Greening India|
|2002||National Bamboo Mission 2002|
|2007||National Policy on Farmers|
|2013: Top 5||2050: Top 5|
- By 2050: India will have the largest population of world.
- Ranking: states with maximum urban population- Maharashtra >UP > TN>…..>(lowest) Sikkim
Urban forestry benefits
- In India, Urbanization is synonymous with slums, transport congestion, poor sanitation and airpollution.
- Urban trees can directly meet basic needs including food, fuel, fodder and timber products for poor
- They improve air quality, energy savings, noise abettment, conversation of soil and water
- Ranking: states with max. urban trees: Taminadu > Maharashtra > Karnataka > Kerala
- It is the volume of all living trees in a given area, above than a certain diameter at breast height.
- Growing stock measured in m3.
Benefit of finding Growing stock?
- provides information on existing wood resources
- We can estimate the amount of carbon contained in the area.
- REDD+ mechanism requires India to keep this record under National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)
Ranking as per Growing stock
(cost benefit bad for MCQ, but putting it for public record)
- Total Growing Stock of wood in the country ~ 5600 m3
- Max GS within forest areas is found in Western Himalayas > East Deccan > Eastern Himalayas
- Highest GS in forest area Sal>Teak>Pine>Laurel
- Highest GS in Trees Outside Forests (TOF) : Mango, Neem, Coconut, Palm
- Highest GS among states, UTKHND > Arunanchal Pradesh > CHHTSGRH > HP
- Highest GS in TOF – J&K > MH > GJ > AP
India is divided into 14 physiographic zones based on altitude, location, soil, precipitation, temperature, etc