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Littoral and Swamp Forests

Littoral and Swamp forests are also called wetland forests. India has a rich variety of these types of forests. They are mainly found...

Littoral and Swamp forests are also called wetland forests. India has a rich variety of these types of forests. They are mainly found in reservoirs of Deccan Plateau, saline coast of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Gulf of Kutch, Eastern Coast Deltas, lakes and Rivers of Kashmir and Ladakh, Swamps in North East India

  • They can survive and grow both in fresh as well as brackish water (The mixture of seawater and fresh water in estuaries is called brackish water and its salinity can range from 0.5 to 35 ppt).
  • Occur in and around the deltas, estuaries and creeks prone to tidal influences (delta or tidal forests).
  • Littoral (relating to or on the shore of the sea or a lake) forests occur at several places along the coast.
  • Swamp forests are confined to the deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery.
  • Dense mangroves occur all along the coastline in sheltered estuaries, tidal creeks, backwaters, salt marshes and mudflats. It provides useful fuel wood.
  • The most pronounced and the densest is the Sunderban in the Ganges delta where the predominant species is Sundri (Heriteera).

Littoral and Swamp Forests- Classification

Littoral Forest
Beach Forests
  • Depending on the location, rainfall ranges from 75 cm to 500 cm in the Beach forests.
  • These forests have pleasant temperatures.
  • Manilkara Littoralis, Thespesia, Spinifex Littoreus, Casuarina Equisetifolia, Pandanus, Borassus, Cocos Nucifera, Phoenix, Callophyllum Littoralis, Barringtonia, and Pongamia are some of the common autotrophs found in these forests.
  • A number of twiners and climbers are also present.
Tidal Forests
  • Tidal forests are sometimes known as mangrove forests.
  • Mangrove forests occur in salt marshes, tidal creeks, and estuaries along the coast.
  • It is home to a great number of different types of birds.
  • The following are the four sub-types of tidal forests.
    • Tree mangrove forests
    • Low mangrove forests
    • Saltwater forests and
    • Brackish water forests.
Mangrove Forest
Freshwater Swamp Forests
  • Freshwater swamp forests are forests that are permanently or seasonally inundated with freshwater.
  • They are also known as flooded forests.
  • They are most commonly seen in the lower parts of rivers and near freshwater lakes.
  • Salix Tetrasperma, Acer, Putranjiva, Holoptelia, Cephalanthus, Barringtonia, Olea, Phoebe, Ficus, Murraya, Adhatoda, Canna, and a variety of autotrophic green plants are all found in freshwater swamp forests.
Swamp Forest
  • It provides hard and durable timber which is used for construction, building purposes and making boats.
  • The important species found in these forests are Sundri, agar, rhizophora, screw pines, canes and palms, etc.

Also Read : Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest

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