18 July 2010

Montane Rain Forests


The Sri Lankan variety of montane rain forests are found in few places within central highlands like Horton Plains, Knuckles Range and Sri Pada Range (Peak Wilderness). Usually these forests can be seen in mountain tops above 4500 feet from sea level. Below that level we find another type known as sub-montane forests.

Montane rain forests have thick undergrowth and it is extremely difficult to walk across a forest patch. Due to the cold weather and high winds the trees in these forests are not that tall compared to the rain forests in lowlands. Trees are usually around 20-30 feet tall and there is a low canopy. Sub-montane rain forests are a transitional stage between the lowland and highland vegetation. Both these forest types are high in biodiversity. Another interesting feature is cloud forests, which I have experienced quite a lot while hiking in these forests.

Above picture, taken from Sri Pada Range shows part of the montane rain forest there. More photos in this link show both high montane as well as sub-montane rain forests.

22 comments:

rainfield61 said...

Though it is difficult to walk across, somehow you have hiked from Malaysia back to SL.

Naquillity said...

the rain forest definitely looks thick and walking on paths would be difficult. but, if one could walk in there i'd imagine a lot of different wildlife and plants we've never seen. hope all is well.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Rainfield,
He he.. forests in both SL and MY both looks similar
Thanks a lot for your comments :)

Naquillity,
Yes you will be amaze by number of unknown species you see here.
Many thanks for your comments. :)

Loshini said...

Nice splash of colour in the centre there.

Never knew about cloud forests before this!

Amila Kanchana said...

I have an inexplicable liking for highlands and forests. When both put together,OMG! Walking in a highland forest area through a thick mist is like walking through an enchanted wood,the kinda thing you see in fairytale movies.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Loshini,
Thanks. I also got to know the exact name much later although I have walked through many cloud forests in the central highlands. :)
Thanks for you comments as always.

Amila,
Yep I know your feeling. It is really an enchanting feeling when you walk across a mist filled montane forest. Only thing I have not seen is mystical creatures like in fantasy stories :)
Thanks a lot for your comments.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi K, That is so interesting to know the difference in the high montane and the sub-montane rain forests... I enjoyed this post so much...
Betsy

George said...

I enjoyed all of your pictures in your gallery. The hiking may have been difficult, but you got some wonderful views.

betchai said...

the canopy is so beautiful, walking inside a rain forest is enchanting.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shot of the forest and very informative.

Frieda said...

That was so interesting to read! I like forests very much...
and such a beautiful picture!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Betsy,
I’m glad you enjoyed it. The US version of montane trees may significantly differ form these tropical variety.

George,
Yes, hiking is quite difficult sometimes you have to go on your knees :) But as you said all that is worth when you get to see the sceneries.

Betchai,
Yep, the best is in a cloud forest when you walk in to a forest full of mist.

Rajesh,
I’m glad you like this post.

Frieda,
Yep, out of all the forests in Sri Lanka, these are my favourite type.


Thanks all for your comments.

Ratty said...

Many of the places I walk have very thick forests where you can't move from the path. There are not many twisted trees like these though. I like these tress and the place feels like my own.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Ratty,
Great to hear your experiences of forest walks! Usually we see those twisted trees in montane rain forests above 4500 feet from sealevel.
Thanks a lot for your comments!

Harumi said...

Wow.. they're like giant bonsai trees. Natural tree arts are everywhere.

Thanks for sharing all that knowledge too.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Harumi,
Yes they look exactly like that with twisted branches.
You are welcome n thanks for the comments :)

sumedha Obeysekera said...

Very beautiful picture. I too just love walking through these heavenly forests. Cheers!

NicoleB, Kuwait said...

Gorgeous.
I have no other words for that!

eileeninmd said...

Interesting post on the sof Sri Lanka. I'm sure it is even more beautiful there in person.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Sumedha,
Yes they are heavenly forests.

Nicole,
Glad you like them.

Eileen,
Yes, agree. You have to feel it in person. :)

Thanks all for your wonderful comments!

Chavie said...

Montane rainforests are my favourite type. Those ferns and dwarf trees look like they belong during the age of the dinosaurs, and perhaps they're leftovers from that era! :D Lovely picture K!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Chavie,
Yes ferns can be seen in these forests quite regularly and they were on the earth since dinosaur time.
Thanks for your comments :)