What makes a forest a forest?

Forest A

  1. Virtually all Europe’s forests are actively managed, with a high proportion certified for sustainable timber production.
    © Scevenels/UNEP
  2. The vast boreal forests of the northern hemisphere have relatively few species in them but hold immense stocks of carbon.
    © LB Brubaker/NOAA
  3. In China nearly 300,000 km2 of forest has been created since 2000, much of this by planting trees in previously unforested areas.
    © Ariel Steiner/GNU-FDL
  4. Southeast Asian rainforests may be the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Huge areas are being cleared for cultivation of palm oil and other crops.
    © Marco Schmidt/CC-2.5

Forest B

  1. The rainforests of New Guinea remain relatively little explored and yield a constant stream of previously unknown species.
    © Lipton Sale/GNU-FDL
  2. Protected areas such as Egmont National Park in New Zealand provide crucial refuges for forest ecosystems.
    © NASA
  3. Australia is the world’s driest continent. Many of its eucalyptus forests are adapted to fire and frequent drought.
    © Arnaud Gaillard/CC-1.0
  4. Around 90 per cent of Madagascar’s unique and often highly threatened species depend on forest, which now covers only around 20 per cent of the land area.
    © Jialiang Gao/GNU-FDL

Forest C

  1. Mangroves are the only forests that grow in salt water, providing vital coastal defences and nursery areas for many fish species.
    © UNEP/Topham
  2. Tiny remnants of Atlantic coastal forest persist in southern Brazil, in close proximity to some of the largest conurbations on Earth.
    © Specialist Stock
  3. The Amazon Basin contains the largest expanse of primary forest in the world: more than 6 million km2.
    © M Watts/CC-2.0

Forest D

  1. Cloud forests are believed to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
    © Dirk van der Made/CC-1.0
  2. The temperate rainforests of North America are a source of the cancer drug taxol, made from extracts of yew trees, including the Pacific yew Taxus brevifolia.
    © Jason Hollinger/CC-2.0
  3. Cork oak forests, the basis of a traditional cork-harvesting industry in Portugal and Spain, are home to the world’s most endangered cat, the Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus.
    © Carsten Niehaus/GNU-FDL
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