By Prof N H Ravindranath
Associate Faculty,Centre for Sustainable Technologies and Centre for Ecological Studies, Indian Institute of Science
An assessment of the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems in India has been attempted with the forest vulnerability index for India - worked out on the basis of forest canopy density, biodiversity and projected impact of climate change.
Climate is one of the most important determinant of vegetation patterns globally and has a significant influence over distribution, structure and ecology of forests. Several climate-vegetation studies have shown that climatic regimes are associated with particular plant communities or functional types. It is therefore logical to assume that changes in climate would alter the distribution of forest ecosystems. Based on a range of vegetation modelling studies, United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 suggested potential forest dieback towards...