Types of forests

Tropical rainforests

  • Hugely dense, lush forest with canopies preventing sunlight from getting to the floor of the forest.
  • All year high temperatures and abundant rainfall.
  • Located near the equator.
  • A vital storehouse of biodiversity, sustaining millions of different animals, birds, algae, and fish species.

Sub-tropical forests

  • Located in the south and north of the tropical forests.
  • Trees here are adapted to resist the summer drought.

Mediterranean forests

  • Located in the south of the temperate regions around the coasts of the Mediterranean, California, Chile, and Western Australia.
  • The growing season is short, and almost all trees are evergreen but mixed with hardwood and softwood.

Temperate forests

  • Located in Eastern North America, Northeastern Asia, and western and eastern Europe.
  • A mix of deciduous and coniferous evergreen trees.
  • Usually, the broad-leaved hardwood trees shed leaves annually.
  • There are well-defined seasons with a distinct winter and sufficient rainfall.

Coniferous forests

  • Located in the cold, windy regions around the poles.
  • They come in both hardwoods and conifers.
  • The hardwoods are deciduous.
  • The conifers are evergreen and structurally adapted to withstand the long drought-like conditions of the long winters.

Montane forests

  • Known as cloud forests because they receive most of their precipitation from the mist or fog that comes up from the lowlands.
  • Usually found in high-elevation tropical, subtropical, and temperate zones.
  • Plants and animals in these forests are adapted to withstanding the cold, wet conditions and intense sunlight.
  • Trees are mainly conifers.

Plantation forests

  • Has around 7% of global forest cover (140 million hectares).
  • Produces more sustainable timber and fiber than natural forests.
  • Plantations produce around 40% of industrial wood.
  • Plantation forests are on the increase.

Did you know?

Symbiotic relationships between species:

Many species in the rainforest work together. In a symbiotic relationship, two different species help and benefit from each other. For example, some plants are homes for ants, and the ants protect other insects and from eating the plant’s leaves.