Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Biogradska forest in Montenegro
Spiny forest at Ifaty, Madagascar, featuring various Adansonia (baobab) species, Alluaudia procera (Madagascar ocotillo) and other vegetation.
Even, dense old-growth stand of beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) prepared to be regenerated by their saplings in the understory, in the Brussels part of the Sonian Forest.
Trees on a mountain in northern Utah during early autumn.
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.
  • Boreal forests occupy the subarctic zone and are generally evergreen and coniferous.
  • Temperate zones support both broadleaf deciduous forests (e.g., temperate deciduous forest) and evergreen coniferous forests (e.g., temperate coniferous forests and temperate rainforests). Warm temperate zones support broadleaf evergreen forests, including laurel forests.
  • Tropical and subtropical forests include tropical and subtropical moist forests, tropical and subtropical dry forests, and tropical and subtropical coniferous forests.
  • Physiognomy classifies forests based on their overall physical structure or developmental stage (e.g. old growth vs. second growth).
  • Forests can also be classified more specifically based on the climate and the dominant tree species present, resulting in numerous different forest types (e.g., ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forest).
A number of global forest classification systems have been proposed, but none has gained universal acceptance.[7] 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.


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