Forests : Glossary

There are 40 documents in this section.

  • Forest degradation

    12 August 2000

    The deterioration of the health, quality and productive capacity of a forest.

  • Forest-to-people ratio

    12 August 2000

    The amount of forest area within a country available to each of its inhabitants (i.e. on a per capita basis) to supply the broad array of forest goods and services. The term is used here interchangeably with per capita forest cover and per capita forest area. The forest-to-people ratios represented in any articles on this site are based on a country's total forest area, including natural and plantation forests.

  • Habitat

    12 August 2000

    The place or type of site (e.g. tropical moist forest) where an organism naturally lives.

  • Logging

    12 August 2000

    The felling and extraction of trees from forest areas for uses such as lumbar and plywood.

  • Natural forest

    12 August 2000

    Forest composed of indigenous tree species that is considered undisturbed by human influence (also known as old-growth forest).

  • Plantation forests

    12 August 2000

    Forest established artifically on lands that did not previously contain forests (afforestation) or on lands that were previously forested (reforestation).

  • Sustainable forest management

    12 August 2000

    An ecosystem orientated approach that allows the utlisation of the forests for multiple purposes (e.g. biodiversity preservation, timber harvesting, non-wood products, soil and water conservation, tourism and recreation) without undermining their availability and quality for present and future generations).

  • Tropical forests

    12 August 2000

    Tropical rainforests (also known as equatorial rainforests) are located in a zone 10°N and S of the equator, mainly in Amazonia, equatorial west and central Africa and southeast Asia, all of which experience heavy precipitation (1750-2500mm) and high, fairly constant temperatures (25-28°C) through the year. Such hot, moist conditions encourage rapid and abundant plant growth, with the tallest trees exceeding 30 metres in height, and suuporting a canopy sufficiently thick that it allows little light to reach gound level.

  • Watershed

    12 August 2000

    A watershed is an area of land that is drained by a river system and its tributaries. Watersheds can be visualised as physical basins, the "rims" of which are ridges of high land that separate adjacent watersheds).

  • Woodfuel

    12 August 2000

    Fuelwood and charcoal - collectively known as woodfuel - are defined as the name suggests, as wood harvested as fuel for domestic and industrial uses. Fuelwood is predominantly used in rural areas, while charcoal, being more expensive and easier to transport, is more prevalent in urban centres.