Tidal or mangrove forests:The tropical evergreen forests usually occur in areas receiving more than 200 cm of rainfall and having a temperature of 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. They occupy about seven per cent of the earth's land surface and habours more than half of the world’s plants and animals. They are found mostly near the equator.
These forests are dense and multi-layered. They harbour many types of plants and animals. The trees are evergreen as there is no period of drought. They are mostly tall and hardwood type. Leaves are broad and give out excess water through evapo-transpiration.
In India, evergreen forests are found in the western slopes of the Western Ghats in States such as Kerala and Karnataka. They are also found in hills of Jaintia and Khasi. Some of the trees found in Indian Tropical Forests are rosewood, mahagony and ebony. Bamboos and reeds are also common.
Tidal forests are found along the edges of deltas of rivers in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Such forests are salt tolerant and are flooded by seawater during high tide.
Some of these forests are dense and impenetrable. Only a limited number of plants are found in these evergreen forests.
In India, these forests are found in the deltas of Ganga, Godavari, Mahanadi, Yamuna and other rivers. Northern Andaman and Nicobar also harbour mangroves. They stabilise the shoreline and protect the coast from erosion.
Sunderbans along the Ganga delta is the largest tidal forest in the world. The name comes from the Sundari trees found in this muddy area. Gorjan and Lintal are also found in these forests.
Mangrove forests were abundant in Kerala about a century ago. Now, they are found in patches along the coastal districts of the State. Kumarakom in Kottayam district is perhaps the best known preserve of mangroves.