Introduction of the Division:
Forest ecological studies were initiated at Forest Research Institute in 1906 under the Directorate of Silvicultural Research. A separate Forest Ecology Branch came into existence in 1948 and with this forest ecological research and systematic studies on forest typology, foliar diagnosis and the physiologico-ecological aspects of a number important species were initiated. During the third Five-Year Plan, the schemes further added with special reference to ecological studies were Ecology of Wildlife, Grazing and Fodder Research, Dry zone Afforestation Techniques and Experimental Laboratory.The contributions of Sh. C.G.Trevor and Sh. H.G.Champion are landmarks in forest ecology of India. Ecologist like Dr. G.S.Puri, Sh. O.N.Kaul, Dr. S.K.Seth, Sh. M.A.Waheed Khan, Dr. P.B.L. Srivastava, Sh. Subba Rao, Dr. S.C. Sharma and Dr. J.D.S. Negi dedicated themselves for the cause of understanding ecological structure and functioning of natural and man made forests in India. Dr. G.S. Puri was one of the pioneer workers to make measurements of litter production in Indian forests and his several papers on leaf analysis studies paved the way for the development of production ecology in India.
After the new forest policy came into force in 1988, some of the important thrust areas taken up by the division are biodiversity conservation and regeneration, eco-rehabilitation of degraded lands, mined lands forests, soil and water conservation, environmental pollution and climate change.
Experimental watershed monitoring station at Rajpur Road was set up to gauge the water discharge from forested areas. Analytical laboratories for soil and plant analysis are fully equipped to analyse soil physico-chemical and plant nutrient analysis.
The first forest meteorological observatory to record climatic parameters was established in 1958. This is an IMD approved observatory and regular data is being recorded and disseminated for the use of researchers working in different agencies/institutes.