Included here are the upper plains of the Ganges extending from the Aravalli Hills and the Yumana River eastwards to the Kosi River where the river bends close to the Rajmahal Hills.

Upper Gangetic Plains Tropical Deciduous Riverine Forest

These forests occur on recent alluvium plains throughout much of the moist part of the Gangetic Plain but are particularly prevalent in the sub-Himalayan zones of Uttar Pradesh and Bidar. These riverine areas are usually well drained but liable to erosion and flooding and much of the well-established forest occurs on the higher more stable alluvial terraces. The upper story typically includes Adina cordifolia, Bombax ceiba, Garuga pinnata, Gmelina arborea, Hymenodictyon excelsum, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Lannea coromandelica and Terminalia belerica. A few climbers and bamboos occur locally. Common second storey species are Cassia fistula, Dendrocalamus strictus, Ehretia acuminata, Emblica officinalis, Holarrhena anti-dysenterica, Mallotus philippensis, Randia longispina and Zizyphus mauritiana. However, the trees in these forests rarely form extensive stands and many of the constituent species develop in small gregarious groups, but there is usually a well-developed shrub layer. Typical shrubs include Adhatoda vasica, Callicarpa macropylla, Glycosmis cochinchinensis, Helicteres isora, Murraya koenigii and Podostemon plectranthoides. In places the shrub layer is so dense that few ground layer species can exist and grasses are often sparse or absent. Ground layer species that may be present include Oryptolepis buchanani and Vallaris heynei.

Upper Gangetic Plains Phragmites-Saccharum-Imperata Wet Grassland

These grasslands extend throughout the Gangetic Plain and also on to the plains of Punjab and into the Brahmaputra Valley. They are characteristic of low-lying, poorly drained land with high water tables. The typical perennial grasses are Imperata cylindrica, Phragmites karka and species of Saccharum (including S. arundinaceum, S. bengalense and S. spontaneum), but other perennial grasses represented throughout the distribution of this formation include Bothriochloa intermedia, B. odorata, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Cynodon dactylon, Desmostachya bipinnata, Hymenachne pseudointerrupta, Ischaemum timorense, Narenga porphyrocoma, Neyraudia reynaudiana, Panicum notatum, Paspalum conjugatum, Sclerostachya fusca, Sporobolus indicus and Vetiveria zizanoides. Typical annual species are Aluda mutica, Chionachne koenigii, Dactyloctenium aegyptium, Echinochloa colonum, Eragrostis viscosa, Ischaemum rugosum, Microstegium ciliatum, Paspalum scrobiculatum and Schizachyrium brevifolium. In addition to grasses well over 50 species of herbaceous forbs have also been recorded. These include Alysicarpus monilifer, Blumea membranacea, Euphorbia hirta, Hyptis brevipes, Killinga brevifolia, Leucas aspera, Lindernia crustacea, Lochnera rosea and Mikania scandens. However, in very swampy areas the reed Phragmites karka can become almost monodominant covering up to 90% of the areas.


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