What is Thorn Forest – Definition, Types, and Features


This article will take you through the details relating to the Thorn forest. We have included information about Thorn forests such as, what are thorns, features, flora and fauna, temperature, climatic conditions, and more for you to understand well.

Get along the details and widen your knowledge horizon on the topic.

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Geography of India

Physical Features of India

Diversity in India

Latitude and Longitude of India

What are the important rives of India?

States and Capitals of India

What is Thorn Forest?

Thorn Forest is a type of desert formation which has scrub-like vegetation. They are mostly tropical and subtropical forests having trees and plants with armed thorns and spines.

Thorn forests experience very little rainfall and are prevalent in the arid regions.

The vegetation found here is often short and small with few tall trees set against the sparse ground where grass lacks.

What is the meaning of thorns?

Thorn forests

Thorns are sharp and pointed woody projections that protrude from the stem of a plant. They are often stiff and mostly found on plants that are leafless.

Synonyms for Thorn

Thorn is a spiky and stiff projection from a plant’s stem and its synonyms are as follows:-

  • Prickle
  • Spine
  • Paster
  • Irritant
  • Spur

Antonyms for Thorn

Generally, the meaning of thorn is a sharp and pointed projection from a plant. Categorically, the word ‘thorn’ does not have antonyms.

However, going with the general meaning it could be referred to in opposite meanings a smooth and non-pointed surface.

How do you say thorn in different languages?

The word ‘thorn’ is pronounced and written differently in different languages. Furnished below is the list of few languages and how do they pronounce and spell thorn.

LanguagesWays of Pronunciation/ spelling
Russianколючка (kolyuchka)
Greekαγκάθι (ankáthi)

Where are the Thorn Forests found?

In India, Thorn forests are found in arid regions which experiences less rainfall of less than 70 cm. The North-western part of India homes the Thorn forests.

They can be found in the semi-arid areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. 

Thorn forests span over a substantial part of North America, Africa and Australia. In the North American region, these are found in the southwestern part.

The African continent experiences Thorn forests in southwestern Africa, South Africa and smaller regions of the African land.

Features of the Thorn Forest

Each form of vegetation has its special attributes which help in distinguishing them.

Thorn forests can be characterized through several features which are as follows:-

  • Thorn forests are prevalent in areas which experience an annual rainfall of less than 70 cm
  • The trees found here are short, stunted and scattered
  • The leaves of the trees and shrubs found have thick and small leaves which helps in minimizing evaporation
  • Vegetation in thorn forests have long roots to penetrate deep into the soil to search and fetch water
  • It experiences very long and hot summer season
  • The plants are leafless for the majority part of the year and are scattered
  • Humidity conditions are less than 5 per cent
  • The general length of the trees ranges between 6 to 10 meters, which is low as compared to other forms of vegetations or forests

Temperature and Climate conditions of the Thorn Forest

The thorn forests experience very less rainfall throughout the year and are found in deserted, arid or semi-arid regions.

The average temperature around the year is 25 to 30 degrees Celsius which can exceed 40 degrees Celsius in summer months.

The climatic conditions are warm and dry and the vegetation and animals have adapted and moulded their habitat according to the climatic conditions.

What plants and trees are found in Thorn Forest?

The plants and trees found across the Thorn forests are adapted to the semi-arid and arid nature of the land. The vegetation is adapted to the hot temperatures and harsh climatic conditions.

The prominent vegetation found across Thorn forests are as follows:-

  • Palms
  • Acacias
  • Cacti
  • Euphorbias
  • Babool
  • Keekar
  • Khair

Which animals are found in Thorn Forest?

The main animals found in Thorn forests are as follows:-

  • Wolf
  • Rats and Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Fox
  • Tigers and Lions
  • Wild Ass
  • Horses
  • Camels
  • Spotted Dear
  • Tibetan Antelope
  • Wild Sheep

What are other names for Thorn Forest?

Thorn forests can be found in various arid regions across the world. They are known by different names in different regions.

The commonly prevalent name is the Thorn Forests which is the recognised one in India as well. In South America, the thorn forests are often referred to as Caatinga.

What is the current status of Thorn Forest in India?

The Punjab plains in Pakistan had an abundance of natural tropical thorn forests which formed the major vegetation cover of the area.

Prior to land reclamation followed by canal irrigation, the thorn forest was the major source of firewood supplies for a substantial part of the urban and rural population.

The widespread vegetation was home to rich flora and fauna and enriched the balance of the same.

According to the outcomes of several studies performed, a progressive deterioration has been tracked. The natural tropical thorn forest in Punjab and Rajasthan regions have significantly disappeared.

The remaining parts of the forests are subject to continuous decline attributing to the various factors.

Desertification, overgrazing, wind erosion, salinity, etc are leading to their dispersion.

What other types of forests are found in India?

The different geography of India divides it into several regions. Each region has a forest cover or vegetation particular to it.

Under broad classification, India has five categories of forests which are as follows:-

Tropical Rain Forests

Characterized by heavy rainfall, these are also known as equatorial rainforests. It experiences heavy rainfall of 1800 to 2000 mm per year.

Tropical Thorn Forests

Thorn forests are found in the semi-arid regions which experience rainfall of less than 70 cm. The trees and plants are characterized by thick and small leaves and scattered appearance.

Tropical Deciduous Forests

These forests are marked by heavy rainfall followed by a dry season. The forests have the characteristic of being dense and lush-green during the rainy season. During summers, these form a dry landscape.

Swamp Forests

The wetland forests of Rajasthan and Gujarat are full of mineral-rich freshwater and can be permanent, seasonal or irregular.

Montane Forests

Found in regions of higher altitudes, montane forests are found in the Nilgiri, Vindhyas or Himalayan region. These forests are dense in the northern region with vegetation such as fir, chilgoza, and deodar.

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2 thoughts on “What is Thorn Forest – Definition, Types, and Features”

  1. My name is Ameer Hamza I am from Pakiatan.now a days i am studing bs forestry i appreciate you becauce this website give me information about forestry Thanks A LOT.


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