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 "forest, forests":

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. 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 and ...
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 ...
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 ... The Bicentennial National Trail which 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...

Famous quotes containing the word forest:

    Now it is time to call attention
    to our bed, a forest of skin
    where seeds burst like bullets.
    We are in our room. We are in
    a shoe box. We are in a blood box.
    Anne Sexton (1928–1974)

    Nature has from the first expanded the minute blossoms of the forest only toward the heavens, above men’s heads and unobserved by them. We see only the flowers that are under our feet in the meadows.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many
    merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin
    Hood of England.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)