South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests

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Bandipur, a south Indian dry deciduous forest

The South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests is a dry broadleaf forest ecoregion of southern India. The ecoregion lies in the southern Deccan Plateau, within the Western Ghats' rain shadow. It receives 900 to 1,500 mm (35 to 59 in) of rain annually, much less than the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests and South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests that lie to the west.[1] The ecoregion covers the southern portion of Karnataka's Malenadu region, extending south into the Kongu Nadu region of eastern Tamil Nadu.

The South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests receive most of their rainfall with the June–September southwest monsoon, and are characterized by tall trees that drop their leaves during the dry winter and spring months. Much of the forest has been degraded through over-use, and thorn forests and shrub thickets are common. To the north and east, the dry deciduous forests transition to the Deccan thorn scrub forests.

The ecoregion includes the cities of Bangalore and Mysore in Karnataka, and Coimbatore, Karur, Erode and Salem in Tamil Nadu.


These forests have three stories, with an upper canopy at 15–25 m (49–82 ft), an understory at 10–15 m (33–49 ft), and undergrowth at 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft). Trees are draped in lianas in denser, mature forests. The vegetation is characterized by Acacia catechu, Albizia amara, Anogeissus latifolia, Boswellia serrata, Cassia fistula, Chloroxylon swietenia, Dalbergia latifolia, Diospyros montana, Hardwickia binata, Pterocarpus marsupium, Shorea talura, Sterospermum personatum, Terminalia belirica, Terminalia paniculata, and Terminalia tomentosa. Sandalwood (Santalum album) was an important species of the forests at one time, but has been selectively removed.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2011-04-22.