What Is Forest Biology?

A forest can be defined as a large geographical area that is dominated by trees, aquatic biomes, animals belonging to several species, and a million varieties of microorganisms. Forest biology is a multifaceted field that consists of various molecular transmission and population genetics, physical limits of the heights of the trees, landscape genomics, biogeography, causes of drought, forest pathology and entomology, and the ecosystem ecology of the forest. 

Forest Biodiversity

Forest biodiversity can be defined as the study of the life forms which are living or non-living but are found in the forest and also the study of their ecological roles in that forest. Forest can be regarded as a diverse natural habitat system that portrays the most extravagant biological areas on the face of this planet. Almost 30 per cent of the total Earth’s surface is covered with forests, but the data is plummeting due to the increased commercial exploitation of the forests.

According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), forest biodiversity is an outcome of the evolutionary process that occurred over millions of years ago. The process of evolution was guided by ecological forces such as climate, fire, temperature, water, exposure to light, and the ecological phenomena like competition and disturbances in the forest.

What is Forest Ecosystem?

As per the forest ecosystem definition, the forest ecosystem is the study of the interdependent relations of flora and fauna in a forest. In the forest ecosystems, the whole interaction between the biotic and the abiotic components present in the forest happens naturally without human interference. The ecological potential of the species in the forest depends on the habitat requirements such as temperature, frugality, climate, reproducing capacity, and their lifespan.

Types of Forest Ecosystem

There are three types of forest ecosystems which are mainly:

  • Temperate forest ecosystem

  • Boreal or Taiga forest ecosystem

  • Tropical rainforest ecosystem

The producers in the forest ecosystem are responsible for producing food for the whole ecosystem, and the primary producers in the ecosystem are the plants and trees. The consumers in a forest ecosystem are the ones that are not capable of producing their own food and therefore depend on the producers for their food and other resources. The primary consumers are the ones that eat only plants. For instance, all the herbivores like rabbits and deer are considered to be the primary consumers as they depend only on the plants for their survival. Secondary consumers are the ones that feed on the herbivores. Examples of herbivores include lion, tiger, cheetah, bear, etc. as they derive their nutrition not directly from the plants but from the animals that consume plants. Another category of the consumers is omnivores, which feed both on the plants and the animals that eat plants. Pigs, chimpanzees, raccoons, mice are examples of omnivores.

The Decomposers play a very vital role in a forest ecosystem. Organisms like fungi, ants, worms, microbes, and some other bugs act as decomposers as they are responsible for breaking down the plant and animal waste in the forest ecosystem and break those particles into smaller particles that can easily blend into the environment. Human beings are another example of omnivores as they feed both on the plants as well as the animals and are, therefore, a part of the ecosystem.

Different Types of Forests

The forests can be divided into five categories depending on the types of trees that are found in them. The different types of forests with names are given below:

  • Mediterranean Forest: The temperature in these forests is most suitable for short oaks and pines, and thus they are also called scrublands. These forests contain a huge variety of wildflowers and insect-eating birds. These forests are also termed as ‘Maquis.’

  • Coniferous Forest: The major number of trees that are found in this type of forest mainly consists of the cone-bearing trees like the pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock. These forests are mostly found in the northern parts of North America, Asia, and Europe.

  • Deciduous Forest: The trees of such forests are found to have broad leaves that shed between the late summer to early autumn. The leaves are usually green, but with the change in the season, they acquire yellow, red, and orange colours later on. These forests are generally found in America, western and Central Europe, and Northeastern Asia where the summers are warm, and the winters are cold.

  • Tropical Rainforest: These forests are usually found in the areas where the temperature is generally hot. They are called tropical rainforests as they receive continuous rainfall throughout the year, and they are habitat to several insects and mammals. They are usually found in Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. 

  • Mixed Forest: Mixed forests are the ones that contain both types of coniferous and deciduous vegetation. They are usually present all around the world in the mountainous regions.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the Function of the Forest Ecosystem? What are the Different Types of Forest Ecosystems?

Answer: Forest ecosystems play an important role on Earth. The different types of forest ecosystems on the Earth offer food and other essential material for the sustenance of life on the planet. The function of the forest ecosystem is the existence of all the species in the forest in a well-balanced and environmental manner. The different types of forest ecosystems are boreal, temperate, and tropical rainforest ecosystems.

Q2. What are the Types of Forest in the World? are Humans a Part of any Ecosystem?

Answer: The types of forests present across different regions of the Earth vary according to the local topography and climate. While there are several types of forests present on the planet, they can be primarily divided into five categories. The main types of forests found in the world are coniferous forest, deciduous forest, mixed forest, tropical rainforest, and Mediterranean forest. Yes, humans are a part of the ecosystem.