a dense growth of trees, together with other plants, covering a large area of land. The science concerned with the study, preservation, and management of forests is forestry
. A forest is an ecosystem—a community of plants and animals interacting with one another and with the physical environment (see ecology
). The forests of the world are classified in three general types, or formations, which are primarily expressions of the climate in which the vegetation grows.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.