MAIN FOREST TYPES
1. Evergreen broadleaved forest: Scattered distribution in the northwest and southwest of Cat Loc area, and southeast of Nam Cat Tien area. This forest has mainly plant species belonging to the Dipterocarpaceae family. The important species in the forest community are Dipterocarpus alatus, Dipterocarpus intricatus, Dalbergia bariensis, Dalbergia mammosa, Afzelia xylocarpa, Pterocarpus macrocarpus, etc.
The characteristic of evergreen forest is that large evergreen trees occupy more than 75% of the proportion of other plant species in the area. They usually grow on deep soil with a low rate of exposed rocks.
2. Semi-deciduous evergreen forest: Distributed in the northeast of Nam Cat Tien and near Dong Nai river. The semi-deciduous evergreen forest mainly consists of deciduous trees during the dry season such as Lagerstroemia calyculata, Tetrameles nudiflora, Anogeissus acuminate, etc.
The characteristic of evergreen forest is that large deciduous trees shed leaves to reduce water loss during the dry season and recover leaves during the rainy season, occupying more than 75% of the proportion of other plant species in the area. They usually grow on shallow soil with a high rate of exposed rocks. The trees often have strong buttress roots at the base.
3. Mixed wood-bamboo forest: Distributed in the east and south of Nam Cat Tien area. This is a type of forest formed under human impact. The primary forest was impacted, creating gaps with lots of light so invasive species have entered. Bamboo grows sparsely while timber trees sometimes have large sizes. Common tree species here are: Lagerstroemia calyculata, Tetrameles nudiflora, Shorea thorelii, Dipterocarpus costatus, Melanorrhoea lacifera, Castanopsis hystrix, Lithocarpus sp., Dalbergia oliveri. Common regenerating young trees are Semecarpus annamensis, Calophyllum thorelii, Walsura robusta.
This is a secondary man-made forest type due to human impacts (deforestation, logging, forest fires, chemical toxins,…). The evergreen forest was opened up to create a downward trend and replaced by new plant communities with invasive bamboo species developing. Depending on the level of impact, the forest types change into bamboo mixed with timber or pure bamboo forests.
4. Bamboo: Distributed quite commonly throughout the Park. This type of forest is formed under human impact, usually on abandoned land after shifting cultivation. This forest is mainly bamboo species: Bambusa procera, Gigantochloa multifloscula, Bambusa blumeana also known as spiny bamboo. Timber tree species are scattered with insignificant reserves and most are fast-growing light-loving tree species such as Macaranga tanarius, Parinari annamense, Hydnocarpus anthelmintica and Ficus sp.
5. Wetland and semi-wetland: Mainly distributed in the central region of Nam Cat Tien area. In the dry season water recedes leaving many ponds and swamps. In seasonal flooded areas a very special wetland sub-type has formed in Cat Tien National Park. Dominant tree species here include seasonal flood-tolerant species such as Hydnocarpus anthelmintica, Barringtonia acutangula and Xanthophyllum colubrinum…, mixed with Saccharum spontaneum reeds and Sacharum arundinaceum grass; Neyraudia arundinacea reeds and sedges. Around the swamp there is Bambusa blumeana growing into dense clumps and tolerating flooding during the rainy season.