Coulombe, Mary J. American Forest and Paper Association, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:May 2018
Show previous versions
- Forest types
- Environmental influences
- Ecological processes and hydrologic cycle
- Forestry and forest management
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A plant community consisting predominantly of trees and other woody vegetation growing closely together. Forests are complex ecosystems comprising plants, animals, and their environment, with trees as the dominant form of vegetation (Fig. 1). Trees can be large and densely packed, as they are in the coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest, or they can be relatively small and sparsely scattered, as they are in the dry tropical forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Forests cover about one-fourth of the land area on Earth and have important functions, including cleansing the air, moderating the climate, filtering water, cycling nutrients, and providing habitat. In addition to performing a number of other vital environmental services, forests supply a variety of valuable products, ranging from pharmaceuticals and greenery to lumber and paper products. The study and management of forested lands is termed forestry. See also: Forest ecosystem; Forest engineering; Forest timber resources; Forestry; Lumber; Wood products
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information