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Thorn Forests: Meaning, Characteristics and FAQs

Last Updated : 17 Oct, 2023
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India consists of about 7,12,249 sq. km. of the area which is covered with forests, of which about 16,491 sq km consist of tropical thorn forests. Tropical thorn forests of India are situated in the areas of southwest Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and also in parts of Uttar Pradesh. Tropical Thorn forest trees include the ber tree, wild date palm, Babool tree, neem, Khejri, etc. are some important.

Tropical Thorn Forests

Tropical Thorn Forests

Meaning of Thorn Forest

The characteristic features of thorn forests include dense, scrubland with vegetation, as well as dry subtropical and consist of warm temperate areas. The seasonal rainfall in these areas averages between 250 to 500 mm. Most of the areas in North America and southwestern Africa are under the thorn forests, also in areas of Africa, South America, and Australia. The thorn forests mix with the savanna woodlands with an increase in rainfall and turn into deserts when the climate becomes drier. Tidal forests consist of thorny plants and some common examples include rats, rabbits, and tigers.

Tropical Thorn Forest

Thorn forests are a type of desert formation that consists of scrub-like vegetation and are mostly characterized by tropical and subtropical forests with trees and plants which consist of thorns as well as spines. Vegetation in these areas is very scarce and tall trees are laid against each other where there is a lack of grass.

Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs are the forests that found in North – Western part of the country including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, UttarPradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh and in this areas annual rainfall is less than 70 cm. Thorn Forest is a scrub-like desert structure. They’re typically tropical and subtropical woodlands with thorny and spiny trees and shrubs. The vegetation is scant, with big trees planted against barren terrain lacking in grass. 

Characteristics of Thorn Forests

  • Thorn Forests and Scrubs are prevalent in areas with less than 70cm of rainfall. The humidity level is less than 50%.
  • The average temperature is between 25° and 30° C.
  • Thorn woods, which are common in dry places, receive relatively little rainfall.
  • The trees are short (6 to 10 meters tall at most) and widely dispersed.
  • These woodlands are covered in prickly trees and plants. Acacias and Euphorbias are abundant.
  • The Indian wild date is widely available. Some grasses grow during the wet season as well.
  • The thick and tiny leaves of the trees and bushes discovered serve to minimize evaporation.
  • For the most portion of the year, the plants are leafless and dispersed.
  • The average length of the trees runs from 6 to 10 meters, which is short when compared to other types of vegetation or woods. 

Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs

One of the most dominant types of forests is tropical thorn forests, which experience an average rainfall of less than 70 cm these types of vegetation are mostly found in semi-arid regions of India like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Deccan plateau in drier areas.

Features of Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs

Some of the important features of Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs are as follows:

  1. Most commonly they include stunted trees which have thorny bushes.
  2. Majorly the forests are covered with trees like Babul, Kikar, Khair, Plums, and so forth.
  3.  Due to scarcity and lack of rainfall, leaves are tiny because of which they evaporate even less.
  4. They also consist of short thorny shrubs and also thorny bushes.
  5. The roots of such trees are spread widely underground to find nutrients in the soil.
  6. Humidity is about less than 50 percent and temperature is high at about 25-30 degrees.

Trees found in Thorn Forest

Trees Found in Thorn Forest

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FAQs on Thorn Forests

What do you mean by thorn forest?

Thorn forests and scrubs are found mostly in regions that have less than 70 cm of rainfall and have trees that are scattered and have long roots and stem that are succulent for conserving soil.

Which forest is known as thorn forest?

In south America, thorn forest are known as caatinga, while in southern India and Sri Lanka it is known as Deccan thorn scurb forest.

Where are thorn forests?

Thorn forests are found in semi-arid areas like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Which is the largest thorn forest in the world?

Deccan thorn scrub forest is the largest thorn forest in the world.

Write the characteristic features of thorn forests and scrubs.

The characteristic features of thorn forests and scrubs include:

  1. The main plants of thorn forests include cacti, acacias, and palms.
  2. Trees are mostly scattered and have long roots which penetrate deep into the soil.
  3. The stems are succulent for absorbing water.

In which parts of India thorn forests are found?

In the semi-arid areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana etc.

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