An old-growth forest (also called primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, or in Britain, ancient woodland) is a forest that has reached a great age without much disturbance.
It has unique ecological features, and might be classified as a climax community. Old-growth features include various tree-related structures. These provide wildlife habitats which increase the bio-diversity of the forested ecosystem.
Usually old-growth forests have multi-layered open canopies. They also include varied tree heights and diameters with fallen logs on the forest floor. In Europe less than 7% of forests are old-growth, mainly due to industrial logging in the 20th century. In the United States estimates are that only 10% of old-growth forests remain. In Asia old-growth forests are sometimes lost in regional conflicts.
References[change | change source]
- White, David; Lloyd, Thomas (1994). "Defining old growth: implications For management". Eighth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference. http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/741. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- Ramon Bravo Gonzalez, NGO influence on forest legislation: experiences from federal forest management in the United States (Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet 2003), p. 7
- Marjatta Hytönen 2001. Social sustainability of forestry in northern Europe: research and education (Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers, p. 206
- Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team (U.S.); United States. Forest Service, Forest ecosystem management: an ecological, economic, and social assessment (Washington, DC: US Forest Service, 1993), p. 79
- Takehisa Awaji & Shun'ichi Teranishi (eds) 2005. The state of environment in Asia: 2005/2006, eds. (Tokyo: Springer-Verlag, p. 95