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Forests: Functions & Types


The forest is a complex ecosystem consisting mainly of trees that have formed a buffer for the earth to protect life forms. The trees which make up the main area of the forest create a special environment which, in turn, affects the kinds of animals and plants that can exist in the forest.

Forests can develop wherever there is an average temperature greater than about 10° C in the warmest month and an annual rainfall in excess of about 200 mm annually. In any area having conditions above this range there exists an infinite variety of tree species grouped into a number of stable forest types that are determined by the specific conditions of the environment there. Forests can be broadly classified into many types, some of which are the Taiga type (consisting of pines, spruce, etc.) the mixed temperate forests with both coniferous and deciduous trees, the temperate forests, the sub tropical forests, the tropical forests, and the equatorial rainforests.

Functions & Types of Forest in India

Function of forests:

Sr. No.





They provide timer, fuel, charcoal, beedi , leaves, was and resins, fruits, tanning, materials, manure leaves, grass, bamboo, gums, lac etc.



Forests protect water sheds, catchments of rivers and streams against erosion.



Forests add good appearance, landscaping and a thrilling atmosphere to the locality.



Forest provides picnic resorts and opportunities for sport like hiking, trekking, wild life watching, bird watching.



Study of ecological process can be made



Forests improve climate and reduce pollution 



Forests improve the environment and help in reduction of noise, purify the air and give out oxygen to the atmosphere.


Industrial developments

Forest meet the need for raw material for industrial development such as Paper pups, rayon grade pulp, saw milk ply wood, hard board etc.

Forest types of Indian

  1. Tropical wt ever green forest
  2. Tropical semi evergreen forest
  3. Tropical moist deciduous forests (Southern and northern types)
  4. Littoral and Swamp forests
  5. Tropical dry deciduous forest
  6. Tropical thorn forest
  7. Tropical dry ever green forest
  8. Sub tropical broad leaved hill forest
  9. Sub tropical dry evergreen forest
  10. Mountain wet temperate forest
  11. Himalayan moist temperature forest
  12. Sub alpine forest
  13. Himalayan dry temperate forest
  14. Sub alpine forest
  15. Most alpine scrub
  16. Dry alpine

The above types are called natural ecosystems. Ecosystems are the natural climax forests, resulting from a long process of ecological succession of plants and associated animals life, undisturbed by man.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.