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Forests are one of the most important biomes on earth. They provide a wide range of “ecosystem services,” from watershed protection and carbon absorption to renewable energy and timber production.

Important reservoirs of plant and animal biodiversity in locations ranging from China to Latin America and many places in between, forests provide key components of the environmental, social and economic well-being of societies around the world.

  • Agriculture II Featured Photo Gallery Agriculture II Agriculture II

    Humans began to cultivate food crops about 10,000 years ago. Prior to that time, hunter-gatherers secured their food as they traveled in the nearby environment. When they... More »

  • Veracruz moist forests Featured Article Veracruz moist forests Veracruz moist forests

    The Veracruz moist forests is an ecoregion widely acknowledged as a place of great importance for many plant and animal species. Covering the area from the Sierra Madres... More »

  • Agriculture I Featured Photo Gallery Agriculture I Agriculture I

    Humans began to cultivate food crops about 10,000 years ago. Prior to that time, hunter-gatherers secured their food as they traveled in the nearby environment. When they... More »

  • Douglas-fir Featured Article Douglas-fir Douglas-fir

    The Douglas-fir (scientific name: Pseudotsuga) is a genus of tree that includes ar least five species found in North America and Asia: Scientific... More »

  • Urban forest loss Featured News Article Urban forest loss Urban forest loss

    New Orleans, Albuquerque, and Houston are among U.S. urban areas that are losing their trees. Nation’s urban forests losing ground National results indicate that... More »

  • Southern Hudson Bay taiga Featured Article Southern Hudson Bay taiga Southern Hudson Bay taiga

    The Southern Hudson Bay taiga ecoregion within Canada extends along the lowlands adjacent to Hudson Bay from Manitoba, though Ontario and into a small part of western Quebec... More »

  • Alberta Mountain forests Featured Article Alberta Mountain forests Alberta Mountain forests

    This ecoregion lies almost wholly within Alberta but hugs the Alberta-British Columbia border from Banff northward to Jasper and Kakwa.   Mean annual temperature in the... More »

  • Yellow Fever Featured Article Yellow Fever Yellow Fever

    Introduction Centers for Disease Control and Prevention     Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted to humans... More »

Recently Updated
Sierra de la Laguna pine-oak forests Last Updated on 2014-04-23 17:41:20 The Sierra de la Laguna pine-oak forest is a mountainous ecoregion which rises from the arid Baja California Sur, creating islands of unique vegetative communities. There are approximately 694 plant species, approximately 85 of which are endemic to this ecoregion. Overall species richness is low to moderate, with a total of only 231 vertebrate taxa, for example. The ecoregion is classified to be in the Tropical and Subtropical Coniferous Forests biome. Much of the pine-oak association remains intactThe condition of an ecological habitat being an undisturbed or natural environment due to the inaccessibility of the rugged and inaccessible terrain; however, overgrazing occurs in some parts of the ecoregion, and faunal predators are often killed by local ranchers to protect livestock. This ecoregion is contained in a larger area known as the Cape Region, and constitutes the... More »
Arizona Mountains forests Last Updated on 2014-04-22 18:33:49 The Arizona Mountain Forests extend from the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona to south of the Mogollon Plateau into portions of southwestern Mexico and eastern Arizona. This ecoregion is an element of the Temperate Coniferous Forests biome. The species richness in this ecoregion is moderate, with vertebrate taxa numbering 375 species. The topography consists chiefly of steep foothills and mountains, but includes some deeply dissected high plateaus. Elevations range from 1370 to 3000 meters (m) with some peaks as high as 3840 m. Soil types have not been well defined; however, most soils are entisols, with alfisols and inceptisols in upland areas. Stony terrain and rock outcrops occupy large areas on the mountains and foothills. Vegetation zones in this ecoregion resemble the Rocky Mountain Life Zones but at higher elevations. Although forests in this ecoregion are too far south to... More »
Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests Last Updated on 2014-04-22 17:06:26   The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests contains a very diverse community of endemic and specialized species of plants, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. This ecoregion is classified as an element of the Tropical and Subtropical Coniferous Forests biome. These high mountains run north to south, beginning in the USA and ending in Mexico. The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests are a highly disjunctive ecoregion, owing to the fact that they are present only at higher elevations, within a region with considerable expanses of lower elevation desert floor. The variation accumulated in this distance, between its ends and elevation ranges, increases the diversity of habitats and species present. For example, habitats in the north, near Big Bend, Texas are arid or desert-like with the influences of the Chihuahuan Desert; in the south, rainfall increases greatly, creating... More »
Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests Last Updated on 2014-04-22 17:01:29 The Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests ecoregion boasts some of the richest biodiversity anywhere in North America, and contains about two thirds of the standing timber in Mexico. Twenty-three different species of pine and about 200 species of oak reside within the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests ecoregion. This ecoregion is classified as an element of the Tropical and Subtropical Coniferous Forests biome.  Many distinctive species have adapted here as a result of the rugged topography, altitude, temperature and rainfall. A total of 648 vertebrate taxa are found in this ecoregion. Over-harvesting of the forests in this area since the early 1900s has caused the extinction pressure to the Imperial Woodpecker (the largest woodpecker on Earth) and has lead to the likelihood of several other species becoming extinct in this ecoregion, such as the Mexican gray wolf.... More »
Sumatran peat swamp forests Last Updated on 2014-04-17 18:22:46 The Sumatran peat swamp forests are a distinctive forest type, and their biodiversity is characteristic of the associated habitat. The peat swamp forests in Indonesia are less threatened than the freshwater swamp forests. This is partly because of their low nutrient levels, which limit the productivity of their vegetation, including agricultural crops. However, despite their poor productivity in the past five years, significant areas of peat swamp forests have been burned in Indonesia, and less than one-half of these forests remain. This ecoregion represents the peat swamp forests along the eastern coast of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, as well as the Riau archipelago. Based on the Köppen climate zone system, this ecoregion falls in the tropical wet climate zone. The peat swamp forests of Sumatra have similar characteristics to those in Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.... More »