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Temperate Forests

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Temperate Forests

Mediterranean Forest

(ii) Monsoonal deciduous forest. Such forests consisting of deciduous hardwood trees are found in the areas experiencing monsoon type of climate. The usual species include sal, teak, ebony, sandalwood, jarul, sishu and bamboo. In the central and northeastern parts of India, Bangladesh, Burma and Indochina, such forests are found.

Bamboo, palm, rubber, mahogany and ebony are found in areas with rainfall of more than 80 inches per year. Sal, teak, laurel and mulberry tress are common in areas receiving 102 cm-204 cm of rainfall per year. Lac, gum, sandalwood, spices, camphor, cinchona, myrobalan and indigo are important forest products.



Temperate Hardwood Forests: The temperate hardwood forest are found between 30° and 50°N and 5°S, where temperature and rainfall are moderate, but where the seasonality of the climate, though marked, is not as extreme as in the coniferous forest belt. The trees are mostly deciduous, shedding their leaves in autumn and remaining leafless throughout the winter. They yield a wide variety of hardwoods. Like the tropical forests, the temperate deciduous forests have variety of species scattered irregularly through the forests, including many shrubs and small plants, but neither the tall trees nor the undergrowth are as luxuriant as those in the tropics. The hardwood, while being very durable and strong, is not usually as heavy or as difficult to work.



On the other hand it is more difficult to extract than softwoods. The chief commercial species are oak, ash, beech, elm and polar. The temperate hardwood forest has suffered great destruction at the hands of man than any other forests. Because of the favorable mid-latitude climate and the rapid expansion of population in these areas, the forests have been extensively cleared to make way for agriculture and industry. They now occupy only those areas found unsuitable for agriculture or remote from centres of settlement.

The chief areas of occurrence of temperate hardwood forests are in northern China and Japan, West, South and Central Europe. Some temperate hardwoods are also found in southern Australia, especially in Tasmania and Swanland and Western Australia. About 20% of the total broad-leaved deciduous forests are located in the temperate zone and 80% is in the tropics.

Mediterranean forests. In the areas of dry summer with average temperature of 20°C to 26°C and with 25 cm to 102 cm rainfall such forests of broad-leaved trees with long roots and thick barks are found. They are usually limited to rugged locations. Oak, chestnut, cedar, walnut, laurel, olive and maple are the important hardwood trees in the Mediterranean region.

The leaves of the trees are covered with a wax like substance in order to prevent large evaporation. The important forest products are corks obtained from the barks of Oak trees, nuts, olive oil and various fruits. The hardwood timbers are used for furniture making, for constructing masts of ships and for house building purposes. Walnut wood is used for making bats and rackets. Spain, Portugal, Algeria and Tunis export corks to the world mark 15.

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