Forest

A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending on various cultural definitions, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have different classifications according to how and of what the forest is composed. A forest is usually an area filled with trees but any tall densely packed area of vegetation may be considered a forest, even underwater vegetation such as kelp forests, or non-vegetation such as fungi, and bacteria. Tree forests cover approximately 9.4 percent of the Earth's surface (or 30 percent of total land area), though they once covered much more (about 50 percent of total land area). They function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the biosphere.

A typical tree forest is composed of the overstory (canopy or upper tree layer) and the understory. The understory is further subdivided into the shrub layer, herb layer, and also the moss layer and soil microbes. In some complex forests, there is also a well-defined lower tree layer. Forests are central to all human life because they provide a diverse range of resources: they store carbon, aid in regulating the planetary climate, purify water and mitigate natural hazards such as floods. Forests also contain roughly 90 percent of the world's terrestrial biodiversity.

Read more about Forest:  Etymology, Distribution, Classification, Forest Loss and Management

Other articles related to "forests, forest":

Shasta County, California - Flora and Fauna
... Shasta County has extensive forests, which cover over one half the land area with commercially productive forest systems ... Common forest alliances include mixed oak woodland and mixed conifer-oak woodland as well as douglas fir forest ...
Okanogan National Forest
... The Okanogan National Forest is a U.S ... National Forest located in northern and western Okanogan County in north-central Washington State, United States ... The 1,499,013-acre (2,342.2 sq mi, or 6066.3 kmĀ²) forest is bordered on the north by Canada, on the east by Colville National Forest, on the south by the divide between the Methow ...
Mummel Gulf National Park - History
... In the 1970s Enfield and Riamukka State Forests were expanded over former Crown lands to include the steep areas of the Mummel River catchment ... was first used in the 1970s follows the Mummel Forest Road to the east of the park ... In 1992 North-East Forest Alliance Forest (NEFA) protesters set up a camp in what is now Mummel Gulf National Park ...
Forest, Wisconsin
... Forest, Wisconsin is the name of some places in the U.S ... state of Wisconsin Forest County, Wisconsin Forest, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, a town Forest, Richland County, Wisconsin, a town Forest, St ... Croix County, Wisconsin, a town Forest, Vernon County, Wisconsin, a town Forest (community), Wisconsin, an unincorporated community in St ...
Wayne National Forest
... The Wayne National Forest is located in the south-eastern part of the US state of Ohio, in the Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau ... It is the only national forest in Ohio ... Forest headquarters are located between The Plains and Nelsonville, Ohio, on US Route 33, overlooking the Hocking River ...

Famous quotes containing the word forest:

    What is most striking in the Maine wilderness is the continuousness of the forest, with fewer open intervals or glades than you had imagined. Except the few burnt lands, the narrow intervals on the rivers, the bare tops of the high mountains, and the lakes and streams, the forest is uninterrupted.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    I have come to the conclusion that the closer people are to what may be called the front lines of government ... the easier it is to see the immediate underbrush, the individual tree trunks of the moment, and to forget the nobility the usefulness and the wide extent of the forest itself.... They forget that politics after all is only an instrument through which to achieve Government.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945)

    Nature herself has not provided the most graceful end for her creatures. What becomes of all these birds that people the air and forest for our solacement? The sparrow seems always chipper, never infirm. We do not see their bodies lie about. Yet there is a tragedy at the end of each one of their lives. They must perish miserably; not one of them is translated. True, “not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Heavenly Father’s knowledge,” but they do fall, nevertheless.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)