Vegetation Index and Biodiversity of Central and Southern India13.2N 77.3E
India, which lies within the Indomalaya ecozone, displays significant biodiversity. One of eighteen megadiverse countries, it is home to 6.0% of all flowering plant species. Many ecoregions, such as the shola forests, exhibit extremely high rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic.
India’s forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and North-East India to the coniferous forest of the Himalayas. Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; the teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.
However, according to the latest reports, less than 12% of India’s landmass is covered by dense forests. The Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980 to help preserve forest areas. This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of central to southern India; coastal zones show higher photosynthetic activity (green) than areas further inland.