A forest is a large area of land dominated by trees. 4 billion hectares (9.9×109 acres) (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006.Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the widely used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered
Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, and are distributed around the globe.Forests account for 75% of the gross primary production of the Earth's biosphere, and contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass. Net primary production is estimated at 21.9 gigatonnes carbon per year for tropical forests, 8.1 for temperate forests, and 2.6 for boreal forests.
Forests at different latitudes and elevations form distinctly different ecozones: boreal forests around the poles, tropical forests around the Equator, and temperate forests at the middle latitudes. Higher elevation areas tend to support forests similar to those at higher latitudes, and amount of precipitation also affects forest composition.
Human society and forests influence each other in both positive and negative ways.Forests provide ecosystem services to humans and serve as tourist attractions. Forests can also affect people's health. Human activities, including harvesting forest resources, can negatively affect forest ecosystems.
Although the word forest is commonly used, there is no universally recognised precise definition, with more than 800 definitions of forest used around the world.Although a forest is usually defined by the presence of trees, under many definitions an area completely lacking trees may still be considered a forest if it grew trees in the past, will grow trees in the future, or was legally designated as a forest regardless of vegetation type.
There are three broad categories of forest definitions in use: administrative, land use, and land cover.Administrative definitions are based primarily upon the legal designations of land, and commonly bear little relationship to the vegetation growing on the land: land that is legally designated as a forest is defined as a forest even if no trees are growing on it. Land use definitions are based upon the primary purpose that the land serves. For example, a forest may be defined as any land that is used primarily for production of timber. Under such a land use definition, cleared roads or infrastructure within an area used for forestry, or areas within the region that have been cleared by harvesting, disease or fire are still considered forests even if they contain no trees. Land cover definitions define forests based upon the type and density of vegetation growing on the land. Such definitions typically define a forest as an area growing trees above some threshold. These thresholds are typically the number of trees per area (density), the area of ground under the tree canopy (canopy cover) or the section of land that is occupied by the cross-section of tree trunks (basal area). Under such land cover definitions, an area of land can only be known as forest if it is growing trees. Areas that fail to meet the land cover definition may be still included under while immature trees are establishing if they are expected to meet the definition at maturity.
Under land use definitions, there is considerable variation on where the cutoff points are between a forest, woodland, and savanna. Under some definitions, forests require very high levels of tree canopy cover, from 60% to 100%,excluding savannas and woodlands in which trees have a lower canopy cover. Other definitions consider savannas to be a type of forest, and include all areas with tree canopies over 10%.
Some areas covered with trees are legally defined as agricultural areas, e.g. Norway spruce plantations in Austrian forest law when the trees are being grown as Christmas trees and below a certain height.
The word forest derives from the Old French forest (also forès), denoting "forest, vast expanse covered by trees"; forest was first introduced into English as the word denoting wild land set aside for huntingwithout the necessity in definition of having trees on the land. Possibly a borrowing, probably via Frankish or Old High German, of the Medieval Latin foresta, denoting "open wood", Carolingian scribes first used foresta in the Capitularies of Charlemagne specifically to denote the royal hunting grounds of the King. The word was not endemic to Romance languages, e. g. native words for forest in the Romance languages derived from the Latin silva, which denoted "forest" and "wood(land)" (confer the English sylva and sylvan); confer the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese selva; the Romanian silvă; and the Old French selve, and cognates in Romance languages, e. g. the Italian foresta, Spanish and Portuguese floresta, etc., are all ultimately derivations of the French word.
The precise origin of Medieval Latin foresta is obscure. Some authorities claim the word derives from the Late Latin phrase forestam silvam, denoting "the outer wood"; others claim the word is a latinisation of the Frankish *forhist, denoting "forest, wooded country", and was assimilated to "forestam silvam" pursuant to the common practice of Frankish scribes. The Old High German forst denoting "forest", Middle Low German vorst denoting "forest", Old English fyrhþ denoting "forest, woodland, game preserve, hunting ground" (English frith ), and Old Norse fýri, denoting "coniferous forest", all of which derive from the Proto-Germanic *furhísa-, *furhíþija-, denoting "a fir-wood, coniferous forest", from the Proto-Indo-European *perkwu-, denoting "a coniferous or mountain forest, wooded height" all attest to the Frankish *forhist.
Uses of forest in English to denote any uninhabited and unenclosed area presently are considered archaic.The Norman rulers of England introduced the word as a legal term, as seen in Latin texts such as the Magna Carta , to denote uncultivated land that was legally designated for hunting by feudal nobility (see Royal Forest).
These hunting forests did not necessarily contain many, if any, trees. However, because hunting forests often included significant areas of woodland, forest eventually came to connote woodland in general, regardless of the density of the trees.[ citation needed ] By the beginning of the Fourteenth Century, English texts used the word in all three of its senses: common, legal, and archaic. Other English words used to denote "an area with a high density of trees" are firth, frith, holt, weald, wold, wood, and woodland. Unlike forest, these are all derived from Old English and were not borrowed from another language. Some present classifications reserve woodland for denoting a locale with more open space between trees, and distinguish kinds of woodlands as open forests and closed forests premised on their crown covers. Finally, sylva (plural sylvae or, less classically, sylvas) is a peculiar English spelling of the Latin silva, denoting a "woodland", and has precedent in English, including its plural forms. While its use as a synonym of forest and as a Latinate word denoting a woodland may be admitted, in a specific technical sense it is restricted to denoting the species of trees that comprise the woodlands of a region, as in its sense in the subject of silviculture. The resorting to sylva in English indicates more precisely the denotation that use of forest intends.
The first known forests on Earth arose in the Late Devonian (approximately 380 million years ago), with the evolution of Archaeopteris . 10 metres (33 ft) in height. Archaeopteris quickly spread throughout the world, from the equator to subpolar latitudes. Archaeopteris formed the first forest by being the first known species to cast shade due to its fronds and forming soil from its roots. Archaeopteris was deciduous, dropping its fronds onto the forest floor. The shade, soil, and forest duff from the dropped fronds created the first forest. The shed organic matter altered the freshwater environment, slowing it down and providing food. This promoted freshwater fish.Archaeopteris was a plant that was both tree-like and fern-like, growing to
Forests account for 75% of the gross primary productivity of the Earth's biosphere, and contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass.Forest ecosystems can be found in all regions capable of sustaining tree growth, at altitudes up to the tree line, except where natural fire frequency or other disturbance is too high, or where the environment has been altered by human activity.
The latitudes 10° north and south of the equator are mostly covered in tropical rainforest, and the latitudes between 53°N and 67°N have boreal forest. As a general rule, forests dominated by angiosperms (broadleaf forests) are more species-rich than those dominated by gymnosperms (conifer, montane, or needleleaf forests), although exceptions exist.
Forests sometimes contain many tree species within a small area (as in tropical rain and temperate deciduous forests), or relatively few species over large areas (e.g., taiga and arid montane coniferous forests). Forests are often home to many animal and plant species, and biomass per unit area is high compared to other vegetation communities. Much of this biomass occurs below ground in the root systems and as partially decomposed plant detritus. The woody component of a forest contains lignin, which is relatively slow to decompose compared with other organic materials such as cellulose or carbohydrate.
A forest consists of many components that can be broadly divided into two categories that are biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components. The living parts include trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants, mosses, algae, fungi, insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and microorganisms living on the plants and animals and in the soil.
A forest is made up of many layers. The main layers of all forest types are the forest floor, the understory and the canopy. The emergent layer exists in tropical rainforests. Each layer has a different set of plants and animals depending upon the availability of sunlight, moisture and food.
However, in botany and many countries (Germany, Poland, etc.), a different classification of forest vegetation structure is often used: tree, shrub, herb and moss layers, see stratification (vegetation).
Forests can be classified in different ways and to different degrees of specificity. One such way is in terms of the biome in which they exist, combined with leaf longevity of the dominant species (whether they are evergreen or deciduous). Another distinction is whether the forests are composed predominantly of broadleaf trees, coniferous (needle-leaved) trees, or mixed.
The number of trees in the world, according to a 2015 estimate, is 3 trillion, of which 1.4 trillion are in the tropics or sub-tropics, 0.6 trillion in the temperate zones, and 0.7 trillion in the coniferous boreal forests. The estimate is about eight times higher than previous estimates, and is based on tree densities measured on over 400,000 plots. It remains subject to a wide margin of error, not least because the samples are mainly from Europe and North America.
Forests can also be classified according to the amount of human alteration. Old-growth forest contains mainly natural patterns of biodiversity in established seral patterns, and they contain mainly species native to the region and habitat. In contrast, secondary forest is regrowing forest following timber harvest and may contain species originally from other regions or habitats.
Different global forest classification systems have been proposed, but none has gained universal acceptance.UNEP-WCMC's forest category classification system is a simplification of other more complex systems (e.g. UNESCO's forest and woodland 'subformations'). This system divides the world's forests into 26 major types, which reflect climatic zones as well as the principal types of trees. These 26 major types can be reclassified into 6 broader categories: temperate needleleaf; temperate broadleaf and mixed; tropical moist; tropical dry; sparse trees and parkland; and forest plantations. Each category is described as a separate section below.
Temperate needleleaf forests mostly occupy the higher latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, as well as high altitude zones and some warm temperate areas, especially on nutrient-poor or otherwise unfavourable soils. These forests are composed entirely, or nearly so, of coniferous species (Coniferophyta). In the Northern Hemisphere pines Pinus , spruces Picea , larches Larix , firs Abies , Douglas firs Pseudotsuga and hemlocks Tsuga , make up the canopy, but other taxa are also important. In the Southern Hemisphere, most coniferous trees (members of the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae) occur in mixtures with broadleaf species, and are classed as broadleaf and mixed forests.
Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests include a substantial component of trees in the Anthophyta. They are generally characteristic of the warmer temperate latitudes, but extend to cool temperate ones, particularly in the southern hemisphere. They include such forest types as the mixed deciduous forests of the United States and their counterparts in China and Japan, the broadleaf evergreen rainforests of Japan, Chile and Tasmania, the sclerophyllous forests of Australia, central Chile, the Mediterranean and California, and the southern beech Nothofagus forests of Chile and New Zealand.
There are many different types of tropical moist forests, with lowland evergreen broad leaf tropical rainforests, for example várzea and igapó forests and the terra firma forests of the Amazon Basin; the peat swamp forests, dipterocarp forests of Southeast Asia; and the high forests of the Congo Basin. Seasonal tropical forests, perhaps the best description for the colloquial term "jungle", typically range from the rainforest zone 10 degrees north or south of the equator, to the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Forests located on mountains are also included in this category, divided largely into upper and lower montane formations on the basis of the variation of physiognomy corresponding to changes in altitude.
Tropical dry forests are characteristic of areas in the tropics affected by seasonal drought. The seasonality of rainfall is usually reflected in the deciduousness of the forest canopy, with most trees being leafless for several months of the year. However, under some conditions, e.g. less fertile soils or less predictable drought regimes, the proportion of evergreen species increases and the forests are characterised as "sclerophyllous". Thorn forest, a dense forest of low stature with a high frequency of thorny or spiny species, is found where drought is prolonged, and especially where grazing animals are plentiful. On very poor soils, and especially where fire or herbivory are recurrent phenomena, savannas develop.
Sparse trees and savanna are forests with lower canopy cover of trees. They occur principally in areas of transition from forested to non-forested landscapes. The two major zones in which these ecosystems occur are in the boreal region and in the seasonally dry tropics. At high latitudes, north of the main zone of boreal forest, growing conditions are not adequate to maintain a continuous closed forest cover, so tree cover is both sparse and discontinuous. This vegetation is variously called open taiga, open lichen woodland, and forest tundra. A savanna is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses. Savannas maintain an open canopy despite a high tree density.
Forest plantations are generally intended for the production of timber and pulpwood. Commonly mono-specific and/or composed of introduced tree species, these ecosystems are not generally important as habitat for native biodiversity. However, they can be managed in ways that enhance their biodiversity protection functions and they can provide ecosystem services such as maintaining nutrient capital, protecting watersheds and soil structure, and storing carbon.
Forests provide a diversity of ecosystem services including:
Some researchers state that forests do not only provide benefits, but can in certain cases also incur costs to humans.Forests may impose an economic burden, diminish the enjoyment of natural areas, reduce the food producing capacity of grazing land and cultivated land, reduce biodiversity reduce available water for humans and wildlife, harbour dangerous or destructive wildlife, and act as reservoirs of human and livestock disease.
The management of forests is often referred to as forestry. Forest management has changed considerably over the last few centuries, with rapid changes from the 1980s onwards culminating in a practice now referred to as sustainable forest management. Forest ecologists concentrate on forest patterns and processes, usually with the aim of elucidating cause-and-effect relationships. Foresters who practice sustainable forest management focus on the integration of ecological, social, and economic values, often in consultation with local communities and other stakeholders.
Humans have generally decreased the amount of forest worldwide. Anthropogenic factors that can affect forests include logging, urban sprawl, human-caused forest fires, acid rain, invasive species, and the slash and burn practices of swidden agriculture or shifting cultivation. The loss and re-growth of forest leads to a distinction between two broad types of forest, primary or old-growth forest and secondary forest. There are also many natural factors that can cause changes in forests over time including forest fires, insects, diseases, weather, competition between species, etc. In 1997, the World Resources Institute recorded that only 20% of the world's original forests remained in large intact tracts of undisturbed forest.More than 75% of these intact forests lie in three countries—the boreal forests of Russia and Canada and the rainforest of Brazil.
In 2010, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizationreported that world deforestation, mainly the conversion of tropical forests to agricultural land, had decreased over the past ten years but still continues at a high rate in many countries. Globally, around 13 million hectares of forests were converted to other uses or lost through natural causes each year between 2000 and 2010 as compared to around 16 million hectares per year during the 1990s. The study covered 233 countries and areas. Brazil and Indonesia, which had the highest loss of forests in the 1990s, have significantly reduced their deforestation rates. China instituted a ban on logging, beginning in 1998, due to the erosion and flooding that it caused. In addition, ambitious tree planting programmes in countries such as China, India, the United States and Vietnam – combined with natural expansion of forests in some regions – have added more than seven million hectares of new forests annually. As a result, the net loss of forest area was reduced to 5.2 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010, down from 8.3 million hectares annually in the 1990s. In 2015, a study for Nature Climate Change showed that the trend has recently been reversed, leading to an "overall gain" in global biomass and forests. This gain is due especially to reforestation in China and Russia. However new forests are not completely equivalent to old growth forests in terms of species diversity, resilience and carbon capture. On September 7, 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released a new study stating that, over the last 25 years, the global deforestation rate has decreased by 50% due to improved management of forests and greater government protection.
Smaller areas of woodland in cities may be managed as urban forestry, sometimes within public parks. These are often created for human benefits; Attention Restoration Theory argues that spending time in nature reduces stress and improves health, while forest schools and kindergartens help young people to develop social as well as scientific skills in forests. These typically need to be close to where the children live, for practical logistics.
Canada has about 4,020,000 square kilometres (1,550,000 sq mi) of forest land. More than 90% of forest land is publicly owned and about 50% of the total forest area is allocated for harvesting. These allocated areas are managed using the principles of sustainable forest management, which includes extensive consultation with local stakeholders. About eight percent of Canada's forest is legally protected from resource development. Much more forest land—about 40 percent of the total forest land base—is subject to varying degrees of protection through processes such as integrated land use planning or defined management areas such as certified forests.
By December 2006, over 1,237,000 square kilometres of forest land in Canada (about half the global total) had been certified as being sustainably managed. 110 square kilometres (27,000 acres) in size which was cut over several years.Clearcutting, first used in the latter half of the 20th century, is less expensive, but devastating to the environment, and companies are required by law to ensure that harvested areas are adequately regenerated. Most Canadian provinces have regulations limiting the size of clear-cuts, although some older clear-cuts can range upwards of
Latvia has about 3,270,000 hectares (12,626 sq mi) of forest land which equates to 50.6% of Latvia's total area (24,938 sq mi). 1,510,000 hectares of forest land (46.3% of total forest land) is publicly owned and 1,750,000 hectares of forest land (53.7% of total forest land) is in private hands. Latvia's forests have been steadily increasing over the years which is in contrast to many other nations, mostly due to the forestation of land not used for agriculture. In 1935 there was only 1,757,000 hectares of forest, today this has increased by more than 150%. Birch is the most common tree at 28.2% followed by pine (26,9%), spruce (18.3%), grey alder (9.7%), aspen (8,0%), black alder (5.7%), oak/ash (1.2%) and finally hardwood making up the rest (2.0%).
In the United States, most forests have historically been affected by humans to some degree, though in recent years improved forestry practices have helped regulate or moderate large scale or severe impacts. However, the United States Forest Service estimates a net loss of about 2 million hectares (4,942,000 acres) between 1997 and 2020; this estimate includes conversion of forest land to other uses, including urban and suburban development, as well as afforestation and natural reversion of abandoned crop and pasture land to forest. However, in many areas of the United States, the area of forest is stable or increasing, particularly in many northern states. The opposite problem from flooding has plagued national forests, with loggers complaining that a lack of thinning and proper forest management has resulted in large forest fires.
A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. Biome is a broader term than habitat; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.
Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify the effects of deforestation or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuilding natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigating global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvesting for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products. In the beginning of the 21st century more attention is given to the ability of reforestation to mitigate climate change as one of the best methods to do it.
A woodland is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood, a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of primary or secondary succession. Higher density areas of trees with a largely closed canopy that provides extensive and nearly continuous shade are often referred to as forests.
A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland-grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.
Temperate coniferous forest is a terrestrial habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Temperate coniferous forests are found predominantly in areas with warm summers and cool winters, and vary in their kinds of plant life. In some, needleleaf trees dominate, while others are home primarily to broadleaf evergreen trees or a mix of both tree types. A separate habitat type, the tropical coniferous forests, occurs in more tropical climates.
Temperate broadleaf and mixed forest is a temperate climate terrestrial habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature, with broadleaf tree ecoregions, and with conifer and broadleaf tree mixed coniferous forest ecoregions.
The Atlantic Forest is a South American forest that extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil from Rio Grande do Norte state in the north to Rio Grande do Sul state in the south, and inland as far as Paraguay and the Misiones Province of Argentina, where the region is known as Selva Misionera.
Tropical forests are forested landscapes in tropical regions: i.e. land areas approximately bounded by the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, but possibly affected by other factors such as prevailing winds.
Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive heavy rainfall.
Rangelands are grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, wetlands, and deserts that are grazed by domestic livestock or wild animals. Types of rangelands include tallgrass and shortgrass prairies, desert grasslands and shrublands, woodlands, savannas, chaparrals, steppes, and tundras. Rangelands do not include forests lacking grazable understory vegetation, barren desert, farmland, or land covered by solid rock, concrete and/or glaciers.
Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in areas of tropical rainforest climate in which there is no dry season – all months have an average precipitation of at least 60 mm – and may also be referred to as lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest. True rainforests are typically found between 10 degrees north and south of the equator ; they are a sub-set of the tropical forest biome that occurs roughly within the 28-degree latitudes. Within the World Wildlife Fund's biome classification, tropical rainforests are a type of tropical moist broadleaf forest that also includes the more extensive seasonal tropical forests.
An old-growth forest — also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, or forest primeval — is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community. Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. Virgin forests are old-growth forests that have never been logged. The concept of diverse tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters, and diverse tree species and classes and sizes of woody debris.
In the United Kingdom, an ancient woodland is a woodland that has existed continuously since 1600 or before in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Planting of woodland was uncommon before those dates, so a wood present in 1600 is likely to have developed naturally.
Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has varied benefits, including increased biodiversity and reduced erosion. Agroforestry practices have been successful in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of the United States.
Hammock is a term used in the southeastern United States for stands of trees, usually hardwood, that form an ecological island in a contrasting ecosystem. Hammocks grow on elevated areas, often just a few inches high, surrounded by wetlands that are too wet to support them. The term hammock is also applied to stands of hardwood trees growing on slopes between wetlands and drier uplands supporting a mixed or coniferous forest. Types of hammocks found in the United States include tropical hardwood hammocks, temperate hardwood hammocks, and maritime or coastal hammocks. Hammocks are also often classified as hydric, mesic or xeric. The types are not exclusive, but often grade into each other.
The central U.S. hardwood forests comprise a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion in the Eastern United States, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. It has one of the most diverse herbaceous plant floras of ecoregions in North America.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and guide to forestry:
Montane ecosystems are found on the slopes of mountains. The alpine climate in these regions strongly affect the ecosystem because temperatures fall as elevation increases, causing the ecosystem to stratify. Dense montane forests are common at moderate elevations, due to moderate temperatures and high rainfall. At higher elevations, the climate is harsher, with lower temperatures and higher winds, preventing the growth of trees and causing the plant community to transition to montane grasslands, shrublands or alpine tundra.
Tropical vegetation is any vegetation in tropical latitudes. Plant life that occurs in climates that are warm year-round is in general more biologically diverse that in other latitudes. Some tropical areas may receive abundant rain the whole year round, but others have long dry seasons which last several months and may vary in length and intensity with geographic location. These seasonal droughts have great impact on the vegetation, such as in the Madagascar spiny forests. Rainforest vegetation is categorized by five layers. The top layer being the upper tree layer. Here you will find the largest and widest trees in all the forest. These trees tend to have very large canopy's so they can be fully exposed to sunlight. A layer below that is the middle tree layer. Here you will find more compact trees and vegetation. These trees tend to be more skinny as they are trying to gain any sunlight they can. The third layer is the lower tree area. These trees tend to be around five to ten meters high and tightly compacted. The trees found in the third layer are young trees trying to grow into the larger canopy trees. The fourth layer is the shrub layer beneath the tree canopy. This layer is mainly populated by sapling trees, shrubs, and seedlings. The fifth and final layer is the herb layer which is the forest floor. The forest floor is mainly bare except for various plants, mosses, and ferns. The forest floor is much more dense than above because of little sunlight and air movement.
Deforestation is a primary contributor to climate change. Land use changes, especially in the form of deforestation, are the second largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, after fossil fuel combustion. Greenhouse gases are emitted during combustion of forest biomass and decomposition of remaining plant material and soil carbon. Global models and national greenhouse gas inventories give similar results for deforestation emissions. Although deforestation and peatland degradation are only about 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions as of 2019, growing forests are also a carbon sink with additional potential to mitigate the effects of climate change. Some of the effects of climate change, such as more wildfires, may increase deforestation.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Forests|
|Look up forest in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1906 New International Encyclopedia article Forest .|