Definition: ecosystem forest
As Forest is called a larger, coherent area with a high density of trees. Each forest is at the same time a complex-organized ecosystem, ie a combination of biotope and biocenosis.
Forests cover about 30% of the land mass on the earth. Before the beginning of industrialization, this share was still between 55% and 60%. At the same time, forests have an absolutely indispensable role in life on earth. Woods are involved in the water cycle, the most important producer of oxygen, and last but not least, the habitat for an unimaginable number of animal species.
Types of forests
Forests can be typed according to specific and independent criteria. Such a criterion may be, for example, the developmental stage of the forest, the primary tree species, or even the vegetation zone in which the forest is located. These three divisions are briefly presented below:
Classification according to the developmental stage of the forest:
Pioneer forest phase: first young shoots and smaller trees
optimal phase: complete crown closure
disintegration phase: Death of the trees
Classification according to occurring trees:
deciduous forest: (almost) only deciduous trees
coniferous forest: (almost) only coniferous trees
mixed forest: Deciduous and coniferous trees
Classification according to vegetation zone:
Tropical rain forest
Boreal coniferous forest
Floors of the forest
The floors of the forest have their own article.
The soil in the ecosystem deciduous forest
The forest floor is alive! In a big handful of earth more living beings live than humans on earth. Rainworms, millipeds, ambers, mites, roundworms, hawksbills, bellworms, cicadas, bacteria, fungi and algae cause the degradation of organic substances. At the 'end' of the material cycle, the nutrients (in particular nitrogen) from the dead organic material can be made available to plants again.
The most fertile soil includes topsoil, often also humus called. This dark brown to blackish soil is already formed after a few weeks in the decomposition of organic materials. The high number of microorganisms and abundant dissolved nitrogen make this soil particularly valuable for plant growth.
In the deciduous forests of temperate latitudes, a natural humus layer has formed over time. Rainworms make sure that the humus layer is well ventilated, which further enhances the decomposition process of aerobic bacteria.
Flora and fauna in the forest ecosystem
Animals in the forest:
Ant, bear, bee, squirrel, elk, owl, fox, hornet, hedgehog, mole, mouse, butterfly, spider, raven, wasp, wolf, tick
Trees in the forest:
Maple, birch, yew, oak, alder, ash, spruce, hornbeam, chestnut, pine, linden, poplar, robinia, beech, fir, elm, juniper, willow
Herbs and plants in the forest:
Nettle, Common Ivy, Rosehip, Nasturtium, Dandelion, Marigold, Plantain
Mushrooms in the forest:
Mushroom, fly agaric, green celeriac mushroom, morel mushroom, porcini mushroom, truffle