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.
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Famous quotes containing the word forest:
“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 (18821945)
“A lady with whom I was riding in the forest said to me that the woods always seemed to her to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspend their deeds until the wayfarer had passed onward; a thought which poetry has celebrated in the dance of the fairies, which breaks off on the approach of human feet.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“If I were a Brazilian without land or money or the means to feed my children, I would be burning the rain forest too.”
—Sting [Gordon Matthew Sumner] (b. 1951)