Bormann, Bernard T. Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Meyer, Judy L. Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Schowalter, Timothy D. Department of Entomology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Hansen, Everett Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Last reviewed:April 2017
Show previous versions
- Ecosystem concept
- Biomass and production
- Forest productivity
- Forest disturbance and succession
- Nitrogen fixation
- Decomposition and nutrient cycling
- Mutualistic symbiosis
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The trees, shrubs, herbs, bacteria, fungi, and animals, together with the surrounding air, soil, water, organic debris, and rocks (environmental substrate), interacting inside a defined boundary. Forests and woodlands occupy about 38% of the Earth's surface, and they are more productive and have greater biodiversity than other types of terrestrial vegetation. Forests grow in a wide variety of climates, from steamy tropical rainforests to frigid arctic mountain slopes, and from arid interior mountains to windy rain-drenched coastlines. Forests with deciduous and evergreen trees are found in the tropics, in the temperate zone, and in the taiga of high latitudes. Forests are found growing on top of moving glaciers; in areas with little rainfall that survive on impacted fog droplets; and in areas with standing freshwater and even saltwater. The type of forest in a given place results from a complex of factors, including frequency and type of disturbances, seed sources, soils, slope and aspect, climate, seasonal patterns of rainfall, insects and pathogens, and history of human influence (Fig. 1). See also: Forest and forestry; Rainforest
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. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles 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 19,000 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