Types of Natural Vegetation in Karnataka

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Natural vegetation of Karnataka

Karnataka has a rich diversity of plant species. The plant species play an important role in preserving the ecological balance. The trees provide timber, firewood, raw material for industries, medicinal herbs, honey, bamboo, cane etc. The forests being the habitat of wild animals, we can see tiger, lion, cheetahs, wild buffaloes, elephants, deer and peacocks in the forests of Karnataka. Sandalwood is a special tree grown in forests of Karnataka. Perfume, objects with intricate carvings soap and medicines are manufactured from sandalwood.

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Types of vegetation in Karnataka

Types of Vegetation: Natural Vegetation of Karnataka has been classified on the basis of rainfall, relief features and type of soil. They are : 1) Evergreen forests, 2) Deciduous forests, 3) Mixed Forests, and 4) Grasslands and Shrubs.

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Evergreen forests of Karnataka

Evergreen forests : Areas receiving more than 250 cms rainfall annually have this kind of forests. On account of heavy rain and high temperature, the trees grow tall and dense. These forests, being dense, are impenetrable. Different types of tall trees like rosewood, mahogany, kino, teak, dhupa, and hebbalasu grow in these forests. Different types of spices - cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and medicinal herbs grow in abundance. This kind of forests can be seen in parts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada,Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Chamarajnagar and Kodagu districts.

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Deciduous forests of Karnataka

Deciduous forests : After winter, due to lack of moisture in the soil the trees shed their leaves. These are called deciduous forests. This kind of forests can be seen in areas receiving 60 to 120 cms of rainfall annually. For example, Chikkamagaluru, Mysuru, Chamrajnagar, eastern parts of Hassan, Tumakuru, Chikballapur, southern part of Kolar, Mandya, Ramanagar and Bengaluru Rural district. Teak, kino, mahogany, neem, mango, jack, flame, kokko, banyan, sandal and bamboo grow in plenty.

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Mixed forests of Karnataka

Mixed forests : The growing of evergreen and deciduous trees together form the mixed forests. Areas receiving 120 to 150 cms annual rainfall have this kind of forests. For example,Udupi, some parts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, eastern parts of Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Mysuru districts. Teak, kino, mahogany, axle, sandal, jack and bamboo grow in abundance. These trees have commercial value.

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Grasslands and shrubs of Karnataka

Grasslands and Shrubs: Areas receiving less than 60 cm annual rainfall have this kind of vegetation. Due to scanty rain and dry weather there is short grass, thorny shrubs and scrub vegetation, for example; cactus, acacias, babul, bela, palm trees, hanchi, kunti grass etc. Occasionally banyan, neem, peepul tree, palas trees grow here and there. This type of vegetation is seen in Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapura, Ballari, Chitradurga and other areas.

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Distribution of forests in Karnataka

The recorded forest area in Karnataka state is 43.4 lakh sq. kms. This forms 22.6 % of the total geographical area. Karnataka occupies the seventh place in forest resources in the country. Uttara Kannada district has the maximum forest area. Next to it are Shivamogga and Chamarajnagar districts. Vijayapura district has the least forest area.

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Important forest areas of Karnataka

The important forest areas of Karnataka having wildlife are: Coastal region comprising of Uttara Kannada and Belagavi, Sahyadris-Malnad range eg.: Bababudangiri range, B.R. hills, Malemahadeswara hills, Gopalaswamy hills etc., in the southern maidan.