This section provides information on each of the identified additional variables. It contains
relevant definitions, source and source data, temporal trends and its assessment.
18.104.22.168 Status of Natural Regeneration
Natural regeneration indicates the capacity of ecosystem to sustain the “forests” in perpetuity.
The information was collected by FSI while conducting forest inventories. FAI follows a
systematic sampling method for its forest inventories where it overlays a 2 ½’x 2 ½’ grid of
latitudes and longitudes divides on a 1:50,000 scale topographic sheet to divide it into 36 grid
cells and selects two sample points within each such grid for collecting inventory data from a
square plot of 0.1 ha at each of these sample points. The FSI lays a 4 m x 4 m plot at each of two
sample points to collect supplementary data on natural regeneration.
No standard national definition is available
Terms Definition Natural Regeneration
Natural succession of forest trees on temporarily unstocked forest lands
Transformation There is no need for transformation of the variable.
Data and Temporal Changes
The information on assessment of regeneration is only available for only 1982 and 1992.
Trend in Percentage of Forest Lands with Natural Regeneration 61.5
Year Pe rc e n ta ge of N a tu ra l R e ge ne ra ti o n
Assessment of Variable
The negative trend indicated during 1982 to 1992 is not good for the sustenance of forest
resources in the country.
22.214.171.124 Incidence of Insect and Pests
Insect pests are normally present all the time in forest areas and it is only when they cross certain
threshold the condition is called “out break”. Majority of insect pests are localized and general
feeders but some are quite specific and confine to a particular hosts only. There is lack of
systematically recorded data on incidence and damage by forest insects.
Table: Major Insect Pest Problems in Forests, Plantations and Nurseries Insect pest species Common name Order/family Year of Epidemics/ Mortality Cryptothelia cramerii Westwood Chir pine
First epidemic reported in 1885 from Tons Valley, Uttranchal.
Subsequently recorded from H.P. (1928), Kahhula, Pakistan
(1934). Recently reported from Rajouri (J&K) in 1989 – 1990.
5% mortality in 2000 ha. area, with 0.3 million trees in J&K;
net loss 22.5 million rupees.
Hoplocerambyx spinicornis Newman Sal heart
- do -
Epidemic dates back to 1899 in Singhbhoom, Bihar. Reported
from Assam (1906, 1961), H.P. (1‘948 – 1952), M.P. (1905,
1927 – 28, 1948-52, 1959-63), Uttranchal (1916-24, 1934-37,
1958-60, 1961, 1965), West Bengal (1931-34). Recently a very
heavy epidemic occurred in M.P. in 1998, affected some million
Hypsipyla robusta Moore Toon shoot
- do -
A serious pest of toon and mahogony, capable of causing
100% mortality in seedlings and young plantations. In India,
some of the seriously infested toon plantations were destroyed,
causing loss of R.15-30 per acre. Also reported to cause
damage in Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangla Desh, Pakistan,
Nigeria and West Indies).
Ectropis deodarae Prout Deodar
Large areas of deodar forests in the outer ranges of north -
western and western Himalaya are often defoliated completely
by Ectropis deodarae, causing heavy mortality. Recently, an
epidemic of deodar defoliator was reported from Lolab Valley,
J&K. Mortality has been as high as 30%. Epidemics have
occurred at intervals of about 10 year and may last for 2 or 3
Eutectona machaeralis Walker Teak
Major pests of teak, occurring throughout south Asia and some
parts of South-East Asia. Complete defoliation by the pests
results in more or less leaflessness during most of the growing
period. The damage varies from almost negligible to as much
as half of the total annual increment. The studies carried out in
the past estimate the loss to about 0.051 millions/ha/year.
Plecoptera reflexa Guenee Shisham
Serious epidemic in Changa Manga and Khanewal forest
divisions (now in Pakistan) in 1899. Serious epidemics have
been recorded from Chichawatni and Khanewal in 1927, 1928,
1932 and in Ambala forest division in 1974 and 1975.
Dioryctria abietella Devis & Schiffer
The insect causes, damage to cones and seeds of coniferous
species, covering major zoogeographical regions of the world
(North-West and Western Himalaya, Afghanistan and Europe
and North America). Reported 32.7% damage to Pinus taeda in 1973-74, 1.5-=5.4% in Abies pindrow in Pakistan in 1980
and almost 100% loss in seeds in fully developed cones of
Pinus wallichiana in 1986 in Chakrata, Uttranchal.
Celosterna scabrator Fabr. Babul
A most notorious pest of Acacia nilotica reported from Bera
(M.P.) in 1890. Incidence of borer attack upto 80% has been
reported from the babul planted in unsuitable sites. Reported to
be injurious to Acacia catechu, Cassia siamea, Casuarina
equisetifolia, Eucalyptus spp., Prosopis juliflora, P.spocigera,
Eligma narcissus Rothschild Ailanthus
Defoliates seedlings and young plants (upto 5 years old) in
plantations of Ailanthus excelsa and A.triphysa in pennisulan
India. During heavy infestation, about 20-40% larvae are found
in each leaf, causing heavy damage whereas in nurseries
complete defoliation (100%) may occur. A widely distributed
species in South – East Asia, east of Phillipines in the Oriental
(follows from previous)
Insect pest species Common name Order/family Year of Epidemics/ Mortality Eterusia pulchela Khasi pine
A large scale epidemic occurred in 1975 in 7500 ha. of Jaintia
hills and 2500 ha. in Khasi hills. Affected stands of 5-30 years;
heavy mortality (50%). Heavy defoliation occurred again in
1978. Two or more complete defoliations are sufficient to kill
Apriona cinerea Cheverolet Poplar
A serious problem in cultivation of exotic poplars in India.
Mostly 1-3 years old plants are more prone to borer attack.
Very common in North-West Himalaya and the adjoining
Atteva fabriciella Swedrus Ailanthus
A major pest in young plantations of Ailanthus excelsa and
A.grandis is greater part of India and Pakistan. Repeated
defoliations result in increment loss, particularly in plantations
growing and hostile soil conditions. Also reported from
Eucosoma hypsidrves Meyrick
A major primary cause of mortality of Picea spp. in the
Himalayas. Trees of all ages are attacked. Heavy and repeated
infestation results in weakening of the host.
Calopepla leayana Latreille Gamha
A serious pest of gamhar plantations in Assam, Trefru. Heavy
infestation leads to drying up of shoots of young trees and the
trees remain leafless for about 4 months of the growing season
leading to ultimate death.
Melosoma populi Linn. Poplar
A serious pest of Poplars and Willows in the temperate
Himalayas from J&K to Arunachal Pradesh.
Clostera cupreata Butler
& C. fulgurita (Walker)
A major problem in poplar plantation in tarai region of Uttar
Pradesh since 1966 and in Punjab since 1986. Develop into
epidemic form after 3
year of plantation of Poplars.
Dichomeris eridantis Meyrick Shisham
A major problem in Shisham plantations.
Lebeda nobilis Walker Chir pine
Large scale epidemic defoliation in Sankosh Valley chir forest
in Bhutan from 1984 to 1986, led to large scale drying of chir.
All age classes of pines are attacked.
Lymantria obfuscate Walker Kashmir
Most destructive pest of Willows, results in loss of increment:
trees may be killed if they are severely defoliated for more
than one year.
Malacosoma indica Walker Forest tent
Widespread defoliation epidemics occur in North-West
Tonica niviferana Walker Semul
An important pest in Semul nurseries and young plantations.
The attacked shoots of the young plants die in due course. The
same plant may be attacked again and again. If the attack is
repeated consequently for some years, the young plants are
Hyblea puera Gram Teak
Pest epidemics reported from time to time.
The frequency and extent of incidence is increasing and it is not a good sign for sustenance of
forest resources in India.
126.96.36.199 Incidence Weeds Infestation
Invasion of forest lands by alien species or incidence of weeds is the most urgent problem faced
by forest resource managers. The forest weeds compete with native and desired forest flora for
light, moisture, nutrients and space. They include herbs, shrubs, vines and tree species. Table
gives a list of main weeds in forests of India. Survival and growth of selected trees is an
important aspect of forest management. Weeds compete with these trees for light, moisture,
nutrients and space
Definition No national definition is available.
Not much data is available on this important variable; therefore development of temporal trend is
Table: Main Weeds in Forests of India Species Distribution Eupatorium odoratum Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Western
Lantana camara Throughout India, in hilly regions up to 8000 ft. height.
Mallotus philippensis Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Sub-himalayan tract from
Punjab eastward ascending up to 4500 ft. West Bengal,
Clerodendron viscoscum Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Nagaland up to 4500 ft.
Moghania chapper In Sal forests of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Ageratum conyzoides Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar,
Desmodium cylindrica Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar,
Erienthus munja Tall grass in plantations throughout India
Sacharum spontaneum Tall grass in plantations throughout India
Dendrophthoe falcate Parasites in commercial forests of India
Scurulla parasitica Parasites in commercial forests of India
Cuscuta reflexa Parasites in commercial forests of India
Viscum monoicum Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Western Peninsula
Macrosolen cochinensis Parasites in commercial forests of India
Mikania Throughout India
Parthenium Throughout India
Carthamus oxycantha Throughout India
Argemone maxicana Throughout India
Assessment There is perception among experts that there is an increasing trend of weed infestation in forest
areas. Non availability of data makes the situation worse.
188.8.131.52 Incidence of Grazing in different Forest Types
In most of the forests in India, the level and nature of grazing, in general, exceeds the capacity of
the forests and thus is one of the most important factor for degradation of forests. One gues
estimates that about 100 million cattle graze in forest area against its capacity of about 28 million
livestock. This problem gets worse because, neither public not private grazing lands or range
lands are scientifically managed in India.
Definition No national definition is available
Transformation It is not necessary
Data and Temporal trends
The FSI also conducts a supplementary assessment of the extent of grazing when it is conducting
forest inventory in a forest area. The FSI has already covered about 80% of the forest area of the
country under ground inventories. It estimates that about 77.6 per cent of forest area of the
country is affected by grazing. Of this 17.9% of forest area is affected by high incidences of
grazing, 30.7% by medium and 29% by light grazing incidences. Following figure indicates the
extent of grazing in different forest types.
Incidence of Grazing in differnt Forest Types 28.2
W et and Semi-
Forest Types P e rc ent G raz in g No Grazing
The forests are under very high incidence of grazing pressure that is more than their capacities.
Therefore, it may endanger their long-term sustainability.
184.108.40.206 Incidence of Fire
Frequent and unplanned fires adversely affect forest stock as well as flow of its goods and
services. About 54.7% of India’s forests are fire prone and of this about 9.2% forest areas are
affected by frequent forest fires and 45.5% forest areas by occasional fires (FSI, 1997). Further,
most of such forest fires are caused by man.
Definition There is no national definition for fire
Transformation Not necessary
Data and Temporal Trend
FSI conducted a study to estimate extent of fire in 1995 through 139 scenes on 1:1 million scale
with three lasses (i) fire affected, (ii) smoke and (iii) fire unaffected. An intensive ground
verification was done on related 349 toposheets at 1:50,000. The study revealed that during 1995
at national level about 2.31 percent of forest cover was affected by fire.
There is no other study at the national level to indicate the trend. Assessment
No national level assessment is possible due to lack of data.
220.127.116.11 Incidence of Pollutants
The pollutants affect development of plant through their impact on photosynthesis and respiration
leading to modified distribution and sustenance of species and their foliar diseases. The
sustainability of the any forest relating to the impact of pollutants may be judged either looking
their absorbing and mitigation potential or looking the damages due to pollutants.
Definition Term Definition Pollutant
Any substance, which causes pollution, is called a pollutant.
A pollutant may include any chemical or geo-chemical substance, biotic component or its
product, or physical factor that is released intentionally by man into the environment in such a
concentration that may have adverse, harmful or unpleasant effects.
Transformation Not needed
Data and Temporal Trends No Data is available
The variable is important but lack of data limits any assessment.
18.104.22.168 Presence of Indicator Species
Certain indicator species help to judge the health and vitality of a forest. For example, the
presence of palms, orchids, ferns, arboreal mammals, owls, honey bees and butterflies may
reflect the stable and healthy forests. It is considered important that India identifies “keystone
species” and documents the presence, absence or abundance of such key indicator taxa within the
representative forest types.
No standard national definition is available
Term Definition Indicator Species
A species whose status provides information on the overall condition of the
ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem.
It flags changes in biotic or abiotic conditions.
They reflect the quality and changes in environmental conditions as well as aspects
of community composition.
Transformation: No data is available hence no question of transformation.
Data and Temporal trend
Necessary information is not available. Recently, few Protected Areas have started systematic
monitoring of vegetation structures, rare plants and animals in the country but no assessment has
been done for various species as indicators of forest health.
The variable is very useful but lack of data limits its utility.
22.214.171.124 Density of Forest Canopy
This variable is very important because it expresses the distribution of canopy defines the
composition, rates of growth and regeneration of forest stands as canopy controls distribution of
sunlight to plants. Any significant change in the forest canopy may have effect on forest
succession, growth and composition.
Term Definition Canopy Density
Percent area of land covered by canopy of the trees
Transformation Not needed
Data and Temporal Trend
Following figures present the information on the percent of dense and open canopy forest in
Trend on Dense and Open Canopy Density 61.70
Year P e rcent Dense
Assessment The trend indicates the density of closed forest is increasing. This is a good sign for sustenance of
forest resources in India.
126.96.36.199 Status of Forest Fragmentation
The forest fragmentation directly affects the local ecological processes processes both in the short
as well as in the long-run and may endanger sustainability of resulting smaller patches of forests.
The loss of connectivity between too patches may threaten existence of certain floral and faunal
species and may also reduce adaptation resiliency of forest system to climate change. It may also
lead to forest and land degradation, soil erosion and depeletion of water storage and flow.
Therefore, the “forest fragmentation” is one of key factors for monitoring of sustainability of
Definition (CBD’s definition)
No national standard definition is available
Term Definition Forest Fragmentation
Any process that results in the conversion of formerly continuous forest into patches
of forest separated by non-forest (lands).
Transformation Not considered necessary
Data and Temporal trend
The following presents information on the percentage of fragmented forest in 1980, 1990 and
2000 based on the independent remote sensing implemented by FAO, Rome.