included here is all Peninsula India east of the Malabar coastal zone and south of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The upland areas include the Kaimur Range, the Rajmahal Hills and the Vindhya Range.  However, the exact boundaries are difficult to define. Several seasonal forests are recognised.

Deccan Shorea robusta (sal) Forest

The sal zone stretches over much of the northeastern parts of Decca extending into the Eastern Ghats. It is largely deciduous or semi-deciduous, sub-tropical forest dominated by the dipterocarp Shorea robusta. Other associated species include Adina cordifolia, Anogeissus latifolia, Chloroxylon swietenia, Dillenia pontagyna, Diospyros exsculpta, Schleichera oleosa, Sterculia urens, Syzigium cumini and Terminalia bellerica. Endemic or near endemic species found in the sal zone include trees such as Wendlandia gamblei (Rubiaceae), shrubs such as Phlebophyllum jeyporense (Acanthaceae), Senecio candicans (Asteraceae) and Tephrosia roxburghiana (Fabaceae) and the herbs Anaphalis lawii (Asteraceae) and Osbeckia hispidissima (Melastomataceae).

Deccan Hardwickia binata Forest

Much of southeast Decca is dominated by dry deciduous forest characterized by the dominance of the endemic Hardwickia binata (Fabaceae) together with several other species such as Anogeissus latifolia and the endemic Pterocarpus santalinus (Fabaceae). Other assocated endemic trees may include Shorea roxburghii and S. tumbaggaia (Dipterocarpaceae). In places these trees are festooned with epiphytic orchids such as as Dendrobium aquem, Diplocentrum recurvum, Luisia tenuifolia, Saccolobium pulchellum and Vanda testacea. Common climbers include Acacia pennata, Jacquemontia paniculata, Merrimia heberacea, Pterolobium hexapetalum, Rivea hypocrateriformis and Ventilago calycinus, while herb layer includes the ground orchid Acanthophippium bicolor and a variety of ferns.

Deccan Albizia amara Dry Evergreen Forest

These typically dry evergreen forests characterized by Albizia amara are confined to the dry eastern coastal plains of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnada, and parts of the Deccan plateau of southern India. Other characteristic or preferential species include Cissus quadrangularis, Euphorbia antiquorum, Gmelina asiatica, Maba buxifolius and the endemic or near endemic Acacia latronum (Fabaceae), Atalantia racemosa (Rubiaceae), Canthium parviflorum (Rubiaceae), Capparis divaricata (Capparaceae), Diospyros chloroxylon (Ebenaceae), Erthroxylon monogynum (Erthroxylaceae), Hugonia mystax (Linaceae), Justicia prostrata (Acanthaceae), Mollugo disticha (Molluginaceae), Pterolobium hexapetalum (Fabaceae) and Stenosiphonium russelianum (Acanthaceae). Several species including Carmona microphylla, Garcinia spicata, Manilkara hexandra, Memecylon umbellatum and the endemic or near endemic Drypetes sepiaria (Putranjivaceae) and Pterospermum suberifolium (Malvaceae) appear to be confined to these coastal zone forests.

Deccan Tectonia grandis (teak) Forest

These are the southern tropical dry or very dry deciduous ‘teak bearing’ forests with a climax community dominated by teak (Tectonia grandis) together with species of Anogeissus and Terminalia. Upper canopy species include the endemic Hardwickia binata (Fabaceae) while examples of undergrowth endemics are Dolichandrone atrovirens (Bignoniaceae) and Petalidium barlerioides (Acanthaceae). It represents the largest of Deccan’s climax forests although much has now been cleared for agriculture and today it is mainly confined to nature reserves such as Bandipur, Gir, Kutru, Mudumalai and Taroba. Several types are recognised. In Saurashtra teak is largely confined to the Girnar and Gir forests near Junagardh on the Deccan trap. Here Tectonia grandis is the main canopy tree with species such as Acacia catechu, Anona squamosa, Manilkara hexandra and Syzygium cumini found occasionally. The main second story trees are Holarrhena antidysenterica, Wrightia tinctoria and species Grewia. Typical climbers include Clitoria ternatea and Stephania hernandifolia. At ground level herbs and grasses dominate. In central India the magnificent teak forests of the Bheru ghats and the Manpur ghats near Indone have a rich upper canopy, which in addition to Tectonia grandis commonly include Aegle marmelos, Bombax ceiba, Boswellia serrata, Dalbergia paniculata, Emblica officinalis, Lannea coromandelica, Ougeinia oojeinensis, Sterculia urens and Terminalia tomentosa. Chief amongst second storey trees are Dendrocalamus strictus, Holarrhena antidysenterica, Nyctanthes arbor-tristis and Wrightia tintoria. Climbers are largely dominated by the genera Cardiospermum, Dioscorea and Vitis. The main ground flora components include Cassia tora, balsams and grasses. Around Pune there is another major change in species composition. Here the main canopy species apart from Tectonia grandis include Acacia catechu, Anogeissus latifolia, Garuga pinnata, Santalum album and Schrebera swietenioides, while typical second story species are Carissa congesta, Euphorbia nerriifolia, Lantana camara and Maytenus emarginata. These forests also have a clear third storey with species like Cassia auriculata, Lasiosiphon oriocephalus, Lavendula burmanni and Woodfordia fruticosa. Common climbers include Clematis triloba, Cryptolepis buchanani and Dioscorea bulbifera. The ground flora commonly consists of forbs and grasses such as Andropogon pumilus, Apluda varia, Arundinella tenella, Cymbopogon martinii and Heteropogon cuntortus.


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