30 Interesting Facts About Forests

  1. There are three main types of forests: boreal forests, tropical forests, and temperate forests. The vegetation of forests primarily depends on the climate of an area. 
  2. Daintree Rainforest in Australia is the world’s oldest forest, with an estimated age of 180 million years. The Borneo Lowland Rainforest in Borneo (140 million years) and Taman Negara in Malaysia (130 million years) are the 2nd and 3rd oldest forests. (Source)
  3. Decomposition and mineralization of litter play a significant role in the forest ecosystem. Several invertebrates (ants, millipedes, and centipedes) and microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) take part in this process. It transfers essential materials to living plants and trees. (Source)
  4. Forests improve water quality by reducing erosion of soil and pollution in water. Forests store and release water vapors in the air and thus control precipitation. Maintaining forests is less costly than man-made water treatment plants. (Source)
  5. Wood fuel is the first and still the largest source of renewable energy. It includes firewood, charcoal, pallets, sawdust, etc. Pallets and agglomerates are the most economical substances to convert biomass into fuel. (Source)
  6. Wood-based fibers have several environmental advantages over other commonly used fibers. Synthetic fibers produce harmful microscopic plastic, while cotton-based fibers use a high amount of water, energy, and pesticides. Wood-based fibers reduce these issues and are also biodegradable. (Source)
  7. Spending time in forests has several health benefits. Studies have proved this activity boosts the immune system, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases focus, enhances sleep, and assists in fast recovery from illness. (Source)
  8. Forests cover around 30% of the world’s total land area. Nearly 33% of these are primary forests with native species.
    A highland forest in the USA
    50% of forests are present in 5 countries

  9. Five countries (Russia, Brazil, Canada, the USA, and China) contain more than 50% of the forests on earth. Around 66% of forests are present in 10 countries. 18% of the world’s forested area is protected as national parks, game reserves, etc. 80% of amphibians, 75% of birds, 68% of mammals, and the majority of known plant species are present in forests. (Source)
  10. Extreme cold temperature areas (ice caps and tundra) and extreme hot temperature areas (hot deserts) with less precipitation don’t favor the growth of trees and forests.
  11. According to research from 2001 to 2019, the world’s forests absorbed twice CO2 compared to the amount they emit. This absorption rate is 1.5 times more than the carbon emitted by the USA. (Source)
  12. Using wood for construction has several benefits. Comparative to steel and concrete, wood is cost-effective, renewable, and reduces construction waste and time. Engineered wood products can perform as well as other construction materials against fire. (Source)
  13. Canopy layers of trees in forests create shade from the sun. It results in the cooling of the earth’s surface.
  14. According to a 2015 estimate, there are around 3 trillion trees on earth’s land, and most of these are present in forests. Humans are removing 15 billion trees annually while planting just 5 billion during the same period. (Source) 
  15. According to a report, the restoration rate of forests between 2000 and 2019 is just 18% compared to the commitment by 2020. The highest forest recovery rate is in Latin America and East Asia. The worst performance was in Oceania and South Asia. (Source)
  16. According to estimates, around half of the trees on earth’s land are present in tropical and subtropical forests.
  17. Boreal (or Taiga) is the northernmost forest area. Nearly 30% of world's forested area is boreal, present in Siberia (Russia), Scandinavia, and North America (Canada and the northern USA).
  18. Forests are a chief source of medicines. Many people in underdeveloped countries rely heavily on forest products for their medicinal requirements.
  19. A UN report says that indigenous people are the best protectors of forests. More than 300 studies in Latin America and the Caribbean have proved that deforestation is lower in regions inhabited by indigenous people. (Source)
  20. Protected forests provide high-quality drinking water to the urban population due to less pollution and sediment than other sources. According to a report, 33 out of 105 largest cities in the world directly depend on these forests for drinking water. Many city-dwellers indirectly fulfill their water requirements through woodlands. (Source)
  21. Rainforests contain 70% of the total plants with anti-cancer properties. The experts have so far examined around 10% of plant species in rainforests for their medicinal value. (Source)
  22. Russia has the largest forested area in the world (Russia is also the largest country by area). Suriname (97.4%), Guyana (93.6%), and Micronesia (92%) are countries with the highest percentage of forested areas. 
  23. Forests play a vital role in regulating climate as they absorb CO2, exhale oxygen, and enhance rainfall from clouds.
    A man sitting under a  redwood tree
    A single tree provides enough oxygen for two people

  24. A single mature leafy tree produces enough oxygen in a day, which fulfills a full day’s oxygen requirement for at least two people. (Source)
  25. According to a study, noise pollution can stop the growth of some forests. It is likely due to the impact of noise on animals that disperse seeds of specific plants. (Source)
  26. The benefits of forests are not limited to the absorption of CO2. They can also clean the air by absorbing other pollutants like CO, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.
  27. Trees in forests also reduce soil pollution by phytoremediation. This process isolates or degrades various dangerous toxins.
  28. Strong wind can destroy crops and carry dust from one place to other. Large trees in forests protect crops by blocking gusts of winds.
  29. Forests also play a part in reducing damage caused by floods. A vast network of tree roots in forests slows flooding by absorbing a large amount of water. They release water in dry season to lessen the effects of droughts. 
  30. More than 1 billion impoverished people around the globe depend on forests for food and other necessities. The main food sources from forests include palms, potatoes, bananas, bushmeat, fish, fruits, nuts, etc.


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