Forest Cover

The vegetation types found in Sathyamangalam are classified into the following types .

a) Southern tropical dry thorn forest (6 A /C1)

b) Southern tropical dry mixed deciduous forest (5A/C3)

c) Southern sub tropical hill forests (8 A/C1)

d) Southern tropical semi evergreen forest (2A/C2)

e) Riparian Forest.

 

Deciduous Forest and thorn forest occupy most of the forest area in the region.

Southern Tropical dry thorn forest

Tropical dry thorn forest is occurs along the plateau and valley in the sanctuary. This region receives an average annual rainfall of 600mm. Trees are stunted in growth with following tree species predominantly distributed in this forest type. Acacia catechu, A. chundra, A.suma, A. leucophloea, Anogeissus latifolia, Ziziphus xylopyrus, Randia spp., Ziziphus jujuba, Sapindus emarginatus, Phyllanthus emblica, Erythroxylon monogynum, Canthium parviflorum, etc  

Southern Tropical Dry Mixed Deciduous Forest

This type of forest occurs in hill slopes of Bhavanisagar, and Sathyamangalam Ranges where the rainfall is between 800-850 mm. Anogeissus latifolia and Terminalia crenulata are commonly distributed in this forest region.

Themeda triandra, T. Cymbaria, Heteropogon and Digitaria spp. are the commonly seen grasses in the under storey. Canopy is open in many places with poor regeneration of tree saplings. This area is prone to fire during dry season. The other tree species found in this habitat includes; Grewia tilifolia, T. tomentosa, and Kydiya calycina, Sapindus emarginatus is found in many places.

Southern sub Tropical hill Forest

This type of forest is confined to hill slopes of Bhavanisagar and Sathyamangalam Ranges. Common tree species found here are; Acacia torta, Acacia Planiferons, Albizia amara, Bauhinia racemosa, Hardwickia binata, Dichrostachys cinerea, Cassia fistula, Mesua ferrea, Pterocarpus marsupium, Scheleichera oleosa, Ziziphus mauritiana and other stunted tree species. Weed cover also dominated in some places with reference to drainage and topography. Prosopis juliflora and Lantana camera are heavily invaded into the cover.

Southern Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forest 

This forest type occurs in a transition zone at an elevation of 1200 m between the dry deciduous forests and sub tropical hill forests or as an edaphic sub-climax in few favourable moist pockets. This type is met within Malliamman durgam. As this type is an intermediary between tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, the dominance of both are usually found mixed. Soil is generally an argillaceous loam with plenty of humus. The vegetation is dense and tends to be semi ever green.

Some of the important tree species found are Anogeissus latifolia, Bischofia javanica, Celtis tetrandra, Chukrasia tabularis, Dalbergia latifolia, Machilus macrantha, Mangifera indica, Santalum album Syzigium cuminii, Terminalia chebula, Toona ciliate, Trema orientalis, Cinnamomum wightii, Ixora arborea, Kydia calycina, Litsea wightiana,Mallotus philippensis, Michelia champaga, Neolitsea zeylanica, Phoebe lanceolata, Plectronia didyma, Radermachera xylocarpa, Viburnum acuminatum, Vitex altissima, Wendlandia thysoidea.

Riparian Forest along the Moyar River

Riparian forest is found all along the Moyar river. This type of forest can be seen in Bhavanisagar Range. The canopy is closed in this forest and the trees are tall. The common tree species includes Terminalia arjuna, Spondias mangifera, Pongamia pinnata, Lagerstromia microcarpa, Ficus spp., The ground floor vegetation includes several species of herbs and shrubs. Bamboo thickets are also found amidst the riparian forests. Both species of bamboos namely, Bambusa arundinacea and Dendrocalamus strictus are found here. Elephants and Gaur eat both species of bamboo.

In all habitat types of forest if one looks from a vantage point a green strip of riparian forest could be seen along the Moyar River in Bhavanisagar Range. The plant species found in riparian forest includes; Mangifera indica, Pongamia glabra, Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini, Dalbergia latifolia, Bambusa arundinaecia, Dentrocalamus srictus.