Types of Forest

There are various ways to classify the different types of forests. Sometimes their location, region, or biome are used (ex: boreal), and other times the classification is based on the types of trees within the forest (ex: coniferous), or even a specific dominant species (ex: redwood forest).

Forests are often divided according to 3 latitudinal zones. These 3 zones are:

  1. Temperate forest – The forests in much of North America, Europe, and northeastern Asia. These forests can consist a broad range of forest types including deciduous, coniferous, and even temperate rain forests.
  2. Tropical forestĀ – These forests are found in tropical regions of the Earth, and tend to be very diverse. They grow in areas that have no winter, and tend to have dry hot seasons mixed with rainy seasons.
  3. Boreal forest – Boreal forests are found in subarctic regions and consist mainly of coniferous evergreen trees. They can be found across much of North America, Asia, and Eurasia. Another name for this type of forest is “taiga.”

A forest can also be classified by its constituent trees. Some examples are:

  • Deciduous forest
  • Evergreen forest
  • Broad-leafed forest
  • Coniferous (needle-leafed) forest

Or, more specifically, by their dominant species:

  • Redwood forest
  • Sequoia forest
  • Maple forest

Physiognomy divides forests into types depending on their development phase.

  1. Primary Growth, or Old Growth Forest – a forest that has reached a great age with little disturbance
  2. Second Growth Forest – Forest that is recovering from its first human harvest, but shows few signs of the disturbance
  3. Third Growth Forest – This is the result of harvesting in a Second Growth forest.

There are also other ways to classify these forests, including by their climate, their elevation, etc. Some examples:

  • Alpine
  • Subapline
  • Dry
  • Moist

These are the types of forest ecosystems around the world. If you know of any others, let us know in the comments below.

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