1.2. What are the different types of forest?
Forests are classified by biomes so that each forest
type corresponds to a climatic region. Within the main three forest
biomes (tropical, temperate or boreal) one can find multiple forest
forests (rainforests but also others) occur near the equator and
are the most ecologically rich of all forest types. They regenerate
very rapidly but they are the most threatened forests, primarily
by logging (reforestation is rare but it has been successfully achieved
in some places) and clearance for agriculture (which is often permanent
and leads to soil erosion). More…
They are characterized by 25-35 m tall trees with
a multi-layered and continuous canopy, a highly diverse flora, and
a fauna including numerous birds, bats, small mammals, and insects.
There are four tropical forest types: evergreen
rainforest, seasonal rainforest, semi-evergreen forest and moist/dry
deciduous forest. More…
forests occur in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and western
and central Europe. Regeneration is slower because the growing season
is short. Their total area has not changed much in recent years
but plantations have steadily replaced old-growth forests. More…
Temperatures vary from –30°C to 30°C
and precipitation (75-150cm) is evenly distributed throughout the
year. The soil is fertile and the canopy moderately dense. There
are some 3-4 species of flora per square kilometer and fauna is
represented by squirrels, rabbits, birds and deer among others.
There are five temperate forest types: moist conifer
forest, dry conifer forest, Mediterranean forest, temperate coniferous
and temperate broad-leaved rainforest. More…
forests, or taiga, represent the largest terrestrial biome. They
are found in areas with shorter, warm summers and long winters.
Hence the growing season is very short, and regeneration occurs
slowly. There are boreal forests in Europe, Asia, Siberia, and North
America. Because of the cold climates, plant life in the boreal
forest is sturdy, consisting mainly of evergreens and other resilient
vegetation. The forest canopy is so dense that little light reaches
the forest floor. More…
Temperatures are very low and annual precipitations
(mostly snow) range from 40 to 100 cm. The soil is nutrient-poor
and acidic. Flora is mostly cold-tolerant evergreen conifer and
fauna includes woodpeckers, bear, lynx, fox and wolf among others.