Physical geography (also known as geosystems or physiography) is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.
Within the body of physical geography, the Earth is often split either into several spheres or environments, the main spheres being the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and pedosphere. Research in physical geography is often interdisciplinary and uses the systems approach.
The tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest biome, also known as tropical dry forest, is located at tropical and subtropical latitudes. Though these forests occur in climates that are warm year-round, and may receive several hundred centimeters of rain per year, they have long dry seasons which last several months and vary with geographic location. These seasonal droughts have great impact on all living things in the forest.
Deciduous trees predominate in most of these forests, and during the drought a leafless period occurs, which varies with species type. Because trees lose moisture through their leaves, the shedding of leaves allows trees such as teak and mountain ebony to conserve water during dry periods. The newly bare trees open up the canopy layer, enabling sunlight to reach ground level and facilitate the growth of thick underbrush. Trees on moister sites and those with access to ground water tend to be evergreen. Infertile sites also tend to support evergreen trees. Three tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregions, the East Deccan dry evergreen forests, the Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests, and the Southeastern Indochina dry evergreen forests, are characterized by evergreen trees.
Forest ecology is the scientific study of the interrelated patterns, processes, flora, fauna and ecosystems in forests. The management of forests is known as forestry, silviculture, and forest management. A forest ecosystem is a natural woodland unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms (Biotic components) in that area functioning together with all of the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment.
Forest ecology is one branch of a biotically-oriented classification of types of ecological study (as opposed to a classification based on organizational level or complexity, for example population or community ecology). Thus, forests are studied at a number of organizational levels, from the individual organism to the ecosystem. However, as the term forest connotes an area inhabited by more than one organism, forest ecology most often concentrates on the level of the population, community or ecosystem. Logically, trees are an important component of forest research, but the wide variety of other life forms and abiotic components in most forests means that other elements, such as wildlife or soil nutrients, are often the focal point. Thus, forest ecology is a highly diverse and important branch of ecological study.
The Narmada Valley dry deciduous forests are a tropical dry forest ecoregion of central India. The ecoregion lies mostly in Madhya Pradesh state, but extends into portions of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh states.
The Narmada Valley dry deciduous forests cover an area of 169,900 km2 (65,600 sq mi) of the lower Narmada River Valley and the surrounding uplands of the Vindhya Range to the north and the western end of the Satpura Range to the south. The Narmada Valley is an east-west flat-bottomed valley, or graben, that separates the two plateaus. The Vindhya Range separates the valley from the Malwa plateau and Bundelkhand upland to the north. The Satpura Range reaches a height of 1,300m and encloses the valley on the south separating it from the Deccan plateau. The ecoregion includes the western portion of the Satpuras, and also extends to the southeast along the eastern flank of the Western Ghats range. The uplands of this ecoregion are the northern limits of the Indian peninsula.
Mixed forests are a temperate and humid biome. The typical structure of these forests includes four layers. The uppermost layer is the canopy composed of tall mature trees ranging from 33 to 66 m (100 to 200 feet) high. Below the canopy is the three-layered, shade-tolerant understory that is roughly 9 to 15 m (30 to 50 feet) shorter than the canopy. The top layer of the understory is the sub-canopy which is composed of smaller mature trees, saplings, and suppressed juvenile canopy layer trees awaiting an opening in the canopy. Below the sub-canopy is the shrub layer, composed of low growing woody plants. Typically the lowest growing (and most diverse) layer is the ground cover or herbaceous layer.