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Forest Land Use

  • By: Laura C. Schneider
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Forests differ from other biomes on the planet because of the large number of trees and shrubs that are found there. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) considers any area with greater than 10% tree canopy cover as a forest. According to this definition, forests cover approximately 44 million km2 (square kilometers) of Earth's surface, around 30% of the planet's land area, including a large range of forest types under different types of disturbance regimes. Three main forest types are found in the world: tropical forest, temperate forest, and boreal forest. They differ from each other in terms of tree species, physiology, and the architecture of individual trees. In general, trees are adapted to different climate regimes, but their growth is ...

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