Tropical Montane Grasslands

Tropical Montane Grasslands (TMG) are the grasslands found at high elevations. It forms only 2% of the entire grasslands of the world. They are found in tropical, sub-tropical as well as in temperate climatic regions of the globe. TMG is a biome (community of plants and animals) defined by the World Wildlife Fund.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • Plants and grasses in these regions have some common features like rosette structures, waxy surfaces, and abundant pilosity. The Tropical Montane Grasslands are very prone to plowing, overgrazing, and excessive burning of flora.
  • Some important Tropical Montane Grasslands are Puna and Paramo in South America, subalpine heath in New Guinea, steppes of the Tibetan plateaus, etc.
  • In India, the TMGs are classified as wastelands in forest management, since no revenue generation is seen from these areas.

Restoration of Western Ghats Grasslands

The researchers have recently identified areas for the restoration of grasslands of the Western Ghats and its conservation.  As per a study, the researchers focus to use satellite images with a high spatial resolution (RapidEye) to identify sites for grassland restoration.

In the Western Ghats, 23% of montane grasslands have been converted into invasive exotic tree cover in the last 44 years.

The study has identified an area of 254 square km for grassland restoration, 606 square km of mature exotic tree stands, and 362 square km of intact montane grasslands for conservation in the Nilgiris, Palani Hills, and Anamalai.

Most of the areas identified for the restoration of montane grassland were located in the Nilgiris (126 square km), the Palani Hills (73 square km), and the Anamalai (55 square km).