9 Stunning Forest Types Found in Pakistan


Kumrat Valley Pakistan
Kumrat Valley Pakistan

Forests are both breathtakingly beautiful and highly beneficial. In addition to providing for the local community's needs, they foster a rich ecosystem that benefits all living things. We must not take forests' value as a national resource for granted. The forests of Pakistan are a testament to this fact.


An Overview of Forests in Pakistan

Pakistan has 37,259 square kilometres of forest, accounting for 4.8% of its total land area. It is believed to be a forest-deficient nation. The country depends on forests for its fuel, shelter, and medicinal needs.


Some initiatives have been launched to address the rising deforestation and climate change concerns. Most notably, the 'Ten Billion Tree Tsunami' tree-planting program was launched in 2015.


Pakistan contains a variety of forest types as a result of its distinctive topography and diverse geographical landscapes.


1. Littoral and Swamp forests

  • Common Names: Mangrove Forest, Wetland Forest, Flooded Forest and Tidal Forest

  • Location: Areas near the coastal region of Sindh and Balochistan (like Coast of Gwadar and Pasni)

  • Popular Tree Species: Avicennia marina, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops Tagal

Littoral and swamp forests refer to forests found in salt marshes, tidal creeks, or coastal wetland habitats. These kinds of Pakistani forests frequently feature low-growing evergreen trees. The flora in these forests is tolerant of saline conditions.


Pakistan is home to the world's largest arid mangrove forest. As the first line of defence against cyclones, these mangrove forests are essential for the environment. Naturally, they are primarily located in coastal regions of Balochistan and Sindh.


Brahminy kite sea eagle in Pakistan mangroves
Brahminy kite sea eagle in Pakistan mangroves

2. Tropical dry deciduous forests

  • Common Names: Tropical drywoods

  • Location: Rawalpindi

  • Popular Tree Species: Lannea, Bombax ceiba, Sterculia, Flacourtia, Mallotus, Acacia catechu

While they are undoubtedly rare, tropical dry deciduous forests can be found in Pakistan. These are forests that become dormant after maturation. While they typically range from low to moderate heights, they almost always have a light but fairly dense canopy.

Deforestation linked to urbanisation is blamed for Pakistan's lack of large-scale tropical drywood trees. Small pockets of this forest type can be found near Rawalpindi Hills.


3. Tropical thorn forests

  • Location: Cholistan Desert, Nara Desert, Tharparkar, Thal and Kharan desert

  • Popular Tree Species: Salvadora oleoides, Capparis decidua, Tamarix aphylla, Prosopis cineraria

The urbanisation of Pakistan has put the country's tropical thorn forests under constant threat. Low-growing and open tree species make up tropical thorn forests. These species have adapted to live without much water, which allows them to flourish in arid areas of the nation.

You can find a tropical thorn forest throughout the Indus plain, except in areas too dry for the species to survive. Typically, these forests can be found in semi-arid to desert-like climates.


4. Sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests

  • Location: Margalla Hills, the Salt Range, Kalachitta, the Sulaiman Range

  • Popular Tree Species: Olea cuspidata and Acacia modesta

Pakistan also contains sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen species like Olea cuspidata. According to estimates, the country possesses almost 1.2 million hectares of this forest type. This type of forest has also adapted to survive with little water and can be found near the Himalayan foothills.


The trees in this region can grow over 75 feet tall within five years. Moreover, this type of forest is home to various invertebrate species.


Pine Forest Kumrat Pakistant
Pine Forest Kumrat Pakistan

5. Sub-tropical pine forests

  • Common Name: Himalayan Subtropical Pine Forests

  • Location: Kahuta Tehsil, Kallar Syedan and Kotli Satan

  • Popular Tree Species: Pinus roxburghii

The Himalayan subtropical pine forests are vast stretches of pine forests that cover parts of India, Nepal, and Pakistan. They can be found at elevations as high as 1700 meters above sea level within Pakistan itself. These forests are prone to catching fire because pine trees shed highly flammable needles.


6. Himalayan moist temperate forests

  • Location: Kashmir

  • Popular Tree Species: Cedrus deodara, Pinus wallichiana, Picea smithiana, Abies pindrow, Quercus incana, Q. dilatata

The Himalayan moist temperate forests of Pakistan are adorned with diverse types of trees. They contain oak trees as well as other coniferous species. They are characterised by a rich undergrowth that features evergreen and deciduous species. This type of forest is found at high altitudes ranging between 1500 and 3000 metres above sea level. They are threatened by heavy grazing, which causes forest degradation.


The Himalayan moist temperate forests of Pakistan are quite remarkable because they are home to the national tree of Pakistan, the Deodar (also known as Himalayan Cedar).


7. Himalayan dry temperate forests

  • Location: Gilgit

  • Popular Tree Species: Pinus gerardiana, Quercus ilex, Juniperus macropods, Picea smithiana



The Himalayan dry temperate forests are known for being evergreen and featuring open scrub undergrowth. Located in the middle altitudes of the Himalayas, they feature both coniferous and broad-leaved species.


8. Sub-alpine forests

  • Location: Eastern Himalaya

  • Popular Tree Species: Abies spectabilis, Betula utilis


Pakistan's sub-alpine forests have priceless evergreen conifers and stunning evergreen broad-leaved trees. This forest type is distinguished by its relatively low open canopy and deciduous shrubby undergrowth. Blue pine trees and dwarf junipers are also laced in pockets of this forest.


Kashmire
Kashmir

Photo Source


9. Alpine scrub

  • Location: Kashmir

  • Popular Tree Species: Salix, Lonicera , Berberis , Cotoneaster with Juniperus, Rhododendron or Ephedra

The Alpine scrub forest is another type of forest in Pakistan. Their unique shrub formation reaches up to 1 to 2 metres high. Their low evergreen dense growth often features stunted Rhododendron and Juniper trees.


 

Priya R. Monver is a poet, writer, and lifelong learner. She is a business graduate who is fascinated by nature and mental health. Her love of writing and knack for branding help her grow as a professional content writer. Follow Priya on Twitter.