What is a forest?
A: A forest is an area of land dominated by trees.
Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout
the world, incorporating factors such as what?
A: Tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing, and ecological function.
How does the United Nations'
Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) define a forest?
A: As Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ.
It does not include land that is predominantly what?
A: Under agricultural or urban use."
Using this definition, Global Forest Resources
Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020) found that forests covered how much of the
world's land area in 2020?
A: 4.06 billion hectares (10.0 billion acres; 40.6 million square kilometers; 15.7 million square miles), or approximately 31 percent.
Forests are the predominant terrestrial ecosystem of
Earth, and are found where?
A: Around the globe.
The largest share of forests (45 percent) are where?
A: In the tropical latitudes, followed by those in the boreal, temperate, and subtropic domains.
Forests account for 75% of the gross primary production
of the Earth's what?
A: Biosphere, and contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass.
Forests at different latitudes and elevations, and with
different precipitation and evapotranspiration form distinctly different
A: Biomes: boreal forests around the North Pole, tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests around the Equator, and temperate forests at the middle latitudes.
Areas at higher elevations tend to support forests
similar to those at what?
A: Higher latitudes, and the amount of precipitation also affects forest composition.
Almost half the forest area (49 percent) is relatively
intact, while 9 percent is found how?
A: In fragments with little or no connectivity.
What forests are the least fragmented?
A: Tropical rainforests and boreal coniferous
Subtropical dry forests and temperate oceanic forests are among what?
A: Most fragmented.
Roughly 80 percent of the world's forest area is found
in patches larger than what?
A: 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres).
The remaining 20 percent is located in how many patches
around the world?
A: More than 34 million, the vast majority with less than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres).
Forests provide ecosystem services to humans and serve
A: Tourist attractions.
The first known forests on Earth arose in what period?
A: The Late Devonian (approximately 380 million years ago).
It started with the evolution of Archaeopteris, which was a plant that was what?
A: Both tree-like and fern-like, growing to 10 meters (33 ft) in height.
It quickly spread throughout the world, from the
equator to subpolar latitudes; and it formed the first forest by being what?
A: The first species known to cast shade due to its fronds and by forming soil from its roots.
Archaeopteris was deciduous, dropping its fronds onto
the forest floor, the shade, soil, and forest duff from the dropped fronds
A: The first forest.
The shed organic matter altered what?
A: The freshwater environment, slowing its flow and providing food.
This promoted what?
A: Freshwater fish.