Forest Ecology – Types, Divisions and Scope

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Forest Ecology -
Forest Ecology – Forestrypedia


·       Ecology is a branch of biology which is focused on the examination of living organisms in the Natural Environment.
·     Ecologist looks at how an organism interacts other with the environment and each other, and they study the complex and interconnected system which influence life on Earth.
·       Ecology is also sometimes known as Environmental Biology, which deals with the relationship between humans and the Natural Environment.
·       Researchers in Ecology can study individuals, population, communities, and Ecosystems.
·      In the 20th Century, Ecologists became especially interested in human activities which had a deleterious effect on the Environment recognizing that human could have a tremendous and not always beneficial on Nature. e.g.
Dumping pollutants into a river can cause a variety of changes in nature can eliminate habitat and put stress on the animals and plants which are used to living there.
·       Each ecosystem hosts unique plant and animals species.


·       Forest ecology is the science of how organisms react with each other and interact with the Environment of Forest Ecosystem.
·       Forest Ecology requires a great deal of time Recording the different species found in the system.
·       Those involved in Forest Ecology are happing to find a conclusion to a number of issues:-
i.   studies may include the importance of both old growth and new growth forests;
ii.   the threat level of invasive animal and plant species;
iii.  the impact of human activity on the local environment.
iv.  the size of the forest
v.  Data spacing several zones or biomes.
but the above point to the overall health of a Forest.
·       Forest Ecology Requires a great deal of time recording the different species found in the system.
·       A Reduction of species or an in Er ease in the number of special concern.
·       Invasive species of plants and animals may be able to decimate the Native population, thus totally changing nearly all species found in the Forest Ecosystem in a matter of the decade.
·       Natural maturation in the Forest Ecology.
·       Conservation of Forests.
·       A healthy Forest is composed of a wide variety of vegetation e.g.
Coniferous Forests are primarily populated with evergreens such as Pine, Kail, Deodar, Fir, Spruce, Birch, low growing bushes, herbaceous flowering plants, grasses and mosses and Poplar, Oak, nut and Aesculus and other broad-leaved trees are also found.
·       Biotic factor of Forest Ecology are:-
i.   Producers of the Forest Ecology;
ii.   Consumers of the Forest Ecology.
iii.  Decomposer of the Forest Ecology.
·       All Biotic Factors interact in a Complex Food Web and play an important role in the Ecosystem that keeps all the organisms in balance. e.g.
If all the wolves are removed from an area, there will be nothing to control the population of Deer that the wolves normally eat, and the population will increase.
The excessive number of Deer will deplete the vegetation and other herbivores will not have enough food so their population will decline.
·       Forests are known as the World’s Air-conditioners and Earth Blanket.
·       Trees are the lungs of the Earth.
·       Forestry has been called the Foster mother of Agriculture.
·       Environmental dimensions to the rise and fall of Nations.
·       Economic deficits are what we borrow from each other;
Ecological deficits are what we take from the future generation.
·       The need and importance of Forestry vary among the people.
·       Divergent interest of Forest stake-holders have different forest perceptions as follows:-
1.     An open stall for Fodder (GRAZIER)
2.     A place of Hunting delight (HUNTER)
3.     A Budget of multiple products (FARMER)
4.     A means of ecological stability (Environmentalist)
5.     Cash held in trees (OWNER)
6.     A bonanza of profit (TIMBER TRADER)
7.     Revenue generator (Govt.)
8.     Multiple purpose Sustainable Renewable Resources (Forester)
·       The word forest is derived from the Latin “Root Foris” meaning out of doors.
·       Forest can be defined in several ways:-
1.     A tract of land mostly or predominantly covered with trees and woody vegetation and declared as forest by Govt. through notification. (Legal definition).
2. Forests are nature’s most bountiful and versatile Renewable Resources providing simultaneously and a wide Range of Economic, Environmental and cultural benefits and services.
3.     Land bearing vegetation association dominated by trees capable of producing wood or exerting an influence on local climate or on the water Regime or providing shelter for livestock and wildlife (FAO –  1960)
4.     An area with contiguous tree stand of more than 10 Hectare and a canopy of more than 10%. (FAO – 2006)
5.     Kyoto Forest is a minimum area of Land of 05-1 Hectare with trees crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10-30% with trees with the potential to reach a minimum height of 2-5 meters at maturity in-Situ. (The Kyoto Protocol)


·       Forest can be classified on the basis of:-
1. mod of Regeneration
i.   Seed or High Forests
ii.   Coppice Forests
iii.  Plantations
2.  on the Basis of Age
i.   Even-aged Forests
ii.   Uneven-aged Forests
3.  on the Basis of Composition
i.   Pure Forests
ii.   Mixed Forests
4.  on the Basis of objects of management
i.   Normal Forests
ii.   Abnormal Forests
5.  on the Basis of ownership/ Legal status
(a) state-owned Forests
i.   Preserved Forests
ii.   Protected Forests
ii.   Cantonment/ Municipal Forests
iv.  Resumed Lands.
(b) private owned Forests
i.   Guzara Forests
ii.   Chos Act Areas
iii.  Section 38 Areas
iv.  Communal Forests/ Village Forests
v.  Farm Forests


·       Derived from the Greek word “OEKLOGIE” “OIKOS” meaning “HOUSE”.
·       LOGY From Logos Means “The study Of”.
·       Thus ecology is the study of the earth’s “house Holds” Including the Plants, Animals, Micro-organisms and the people that live together as an Independent component.
·       The study of the structure and function of nature. (by E.P. ODUM).
o       ECOLOGY
The word Ecology first proposed by German zoologist H. Reiter in 1885.
“Ecology is the scientific study of Relationship between organisms and their environment.”


Ecology is divided into two major divisions:
1.     Autecology
2.     Syne Ecology.


Attention is concentrated on the individual plant their life histories and their reaction to the environment.
“Thus Autecology is the study of an individual or a particular species with  regard to its life history and behaviour as a mean of adaptation to the environment.” e.g. Relation study of Dalbergia sissoo (SHISHAM).


§  Study is concentrated with the structure, development, composition, and causes of distribution of plant community and their relationship to their environment.
§  “If the study of the whole group of living organism or communities under a particular set of environment.”
If the Ecology of a community comprising different species then it is known as synecology.
§  Ecologist further sub-divided synecology into the following types;
1.  Species Ecology
2.  Population Ecology
3.  Community Ecology
4.  Ecosystem Ecology.


·       The things of the word are classified into two major groups:
1.     The living or biotic component.
2.     The non-living or Abiotic component.
·       The biotic component includes all types of living organisms both plants and animals.
·       The Abiotic components include the non-living materials i.e. Soil/Land, Water, Air, Temp, and the force of nature Light, Gravity, and molecular energy.
·       Every aspect of life is influenced by the environment and the activities of organisms affect the environment.
·       The inter-relationship between biotic and Abiotic component as well as the relationship among individual of the biotic component is called ecology.


Different branches of ecology are:
1.     Habitat ecology
2.     Paleoecology
3.     Cytoecology
4.     Ecosystem ecology
5.     Resource Ecology or Conservation ecology
6.     Ecological energetic and production ecology.


·       The scope of the ecology increased up to great extent due to rapidly increase awareness of man regarding the in balance in an ecosystem.
·       It is considered as the ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS MOVEMENT which has become the branch of biology.
·       It has become the part of molecular biology, genetic, Development Biology and Evolution.
·       In ecology, the population and community of the given area are included.
·       The ecology has grown from branch of biology to a major inter-disciplinary science that inter-relates the biological, physical and social sciences.
·       The living environment condition and community interact together as an ecological system.
·       The need and urgency for conserving the natural resources i.e. Land, Water, Vegetation and minerals has always been felt.
·       Increase in population is causing a rapid increase in the population of three types: Air, Water and Environment.
·       The applied ecology is based on natural sciences and social science alike ecological principles are being introduced in economics, law, sociology, politics and other fields of humanities.
·       The education of applied ecology is essential for the betterment of mankind.
·       The following fields are being benefited by applied ecology:
1.     Agriculture
2.     Forestry
3.     Watershed management
4.     Range management
5.     Wildlife management
6.     Soil conservation
7.     Water conservation
8.     Aquaculture
9.     Apiculture
10.   Sericulture
11.   Lac culture
12. Non-timber forest products e.g.
§  Medicinal plants
§  Mushrooms
§  Resins, Gums
§  Fruits and nuts
§  Barks, tannins
§  Seed (chilgoza etc)


·       That branch of botany which deals with the study of the reciprocal relationship between plants and the environment.
·       Or Plant ecology may be defined as “The science which deals with plants communities in relation to different factors of the environment.”
·       There are two aspects of Plants ecology:
1.  Autecology
2.  Synecology
·       It is more theoretical and general science.
·       It started during 1839-95 when plant formation was studied.
·       It deals with plants growth affected by the environment without consideration about its management.
·       It has nothing to do with human society.
·       It is studied for sake of convenience under two readings:
i.   Autecology
ii.   Synecology
1.     Plant ecology is defined as the study of organisms in a Reciprocal relationship with their environment.
2.     Forest management not known in plant ecology.
3.     Plant ecology overlaps a number of sciences like physics, chemistry, geology, soil science, plant taxonomy, meteorology etc.
4.     Plant geography is closely associated with plant ecology.
5.     Floristic plant geography forms a part of plant ecology.
6.     Plant ecology may be studied in two division:
1.  Autecology
2.  Synecology.


·       “It is the study of the relationship that exists between individual forest tree and its environment and between forest crops and various components of their environment”.
·       It is rather applied to restricted science which deals with trees or woody plants.
·       Forestry practice started during 1346-1758.
·       It deals with the growth of trees and their management.
·       Human society becomes an important factor.
·       It is studied under two separate headings.
i.   Autecology.
ii.   Synecology.
·       Forest ecology is the science of how organisms react with each other and interact with the environment of a forest ecosystem.
·       Forest ecology requires a great deal of time recording the different species found in the system.
·       These involved in forest ecology are happing to find a conclusion to a number of issues;
1.  Studies may include the importance of both old growth and new growth forests.
2.  The threat level of invasive animals and plants species.
3.  The impact of human activity on the local environment.
4.  The size of the forest.
5.  Data spanning several zones or biomes.
But the above points to the overall health of a forest.
·       Forest ecology requires a great deal of time recording the different species found in the system.
·       A reduction of species or an increase in the number of species may be cause for special concern.
·       Invasive species of plants and animals may be able to decimate the native population, thus totally changing nearly all species found in the forest ecosystem in a matter of a decade.
·       Kind of diversification.
·       Natural maturation in forest ecology.
·       Conservation of forest.
·       A healthy forest is composed of a wide variety of vegetation. e.g.
Coniferous forests are primarily populated with evergreens such as pine, kail, deodar, fir, spruce, birch, low growing bushed, herbaceous flowering plants, grasses and mosses and poplar, oak, walnut, Aesculus and other broadleaves trees are also formed.
·       Biotic factors of forest ecology are:
1.  Producers of the forest ecology.
2.  Consumers of the forest ecology
3.  Decomposer of the forest ecology
·       All biotic factors interact in a complex food web and play an important role in the ecosystem that keeps all the organisms in balance. e.g.
If all the wolves are removed from an area, there will be nothing to control the population of Deer that the wolves normally eat, and the population will increase.
The excess number of deer will deplete the vegetation and other herbivores will not have enough food so their population will decline.
1.          Forest ecology is the study of a forest in a reciprocal relationship with its environment.
2.          Forest are to meet both the physical and economic needs of the population forest ecology combines in itself the study of all these factors that affect both natural and economic importance of forest.
3.          Forest management becomes an important environmental factor in forest ecology.
4.          Forest ecology is considered as in applied plant ecology.
5.          As a science forest ecology is related both to plant ecology and silviculture.
6.          Forest ecology overlaps a number of sciences like physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, soil science, the taxonomy of plants etc.
7.          Plant geography form part of forest ecology.
8.          Forest ecology may be studied in two subdivisions:
1.  Autecology
2.  Synecology
1. Autecology:    The study of an individual forest tree or trees species.
2. Synecology:   The study of a group of forest trees or forest communities.
9.          Forest ecology is related to silvic and silviculture and such other branches of forest biology as forest botany, forest mycology, forest genetics, forest zoology, forest entomology etc.
10.   Silviculture is applied to forest ecology.
11.   Forest ecology, recognizes as the basis of the development of forest vegetation the actions, reactions and co-action of trees and other organisms to the complex of the environment.
12.  Forest ecology has thus to contended its, If very often with quasi-natural conditions, rather than natural.
13. Forest ecology ordinarily forms the basis for forest management practices.
14.   Forest ecology has helped in the selection of a management system in conifer forests of the Himalayas.
15.   Forest ecology has necessarily made certain departures from plant ecological concepts so that both protective and productive roles of vegetations are properly balanced.
16.   Forest ecology thus deals invariably with no climax units of vegetations that are much shaped by the human hand as climate and soil.


1.     Environment is derived from the French word “Environ” which means surrounding and “ment” means action. i.e.
The surrounding in which organisms lives.
2.     Environment includes anything that may influence an organism in a direct or indirect way.
1.     Environment is the total of things or circumstances around organisms including human beings. (Dr. Raman Siva Kumar).
2.     Environment is defined as all things that influence living organisms about which is not an integral part of the organism. (Shard sing Negi/ S.S. Negi).
3.     The physical, chemical and biological condition surrounding organisms. (Eng. Col. Mumtaz Hussain)
The human environment includes the biotic, Abiotic and social factors.
4.     Environment is a complex of factors which may be:
§  Substances such as soil water
§  Force such as wind and gravity
§  Conditions such as temperature and sunlight
§  living organisms like plants, animals and man. (OOSTING 1948)
5.     Ecologically the environment is the sum of all external conditions and influence affecting the life and development of organisms. (Rizvi 1948)


Two fundamentals types:
1.     The Abiotic or physical environment e.g. Air, Water, Land (Soil).
2.     The biotic or biological environment e.g. Flora, Fauna, Micro-organisms.


Subdivided into three broad categories:
1.     Lithosphere (sphere of rocks/ soil)
2.     Hydrosphere (sphere of water)
3.     Atmosphere (Spere of gas)
4.     The biological/ Biotic environment subdivided into:
a)  Floral/ Plant environment
b)  Fauna/ Animal environment
c)  Microbial environment


·       This is the local combination of the atmospheric factors.
·       Not only are regional differences in temperature, moisture and also horizontal and vertical differences.
·       These differences may be created by the influence by factor say topography, the shade of plants, frequency of occurrence of fires etc.
·       Within each is embraced by general climate there exists an intricate matrix of micro-climate.
·       Organisms occupying the same general climate may actually be living under very different conditions.


·       It is the combination of all the atmosphere factors influencing certain region e.g.
1.  Climate of Peshawar
2.  Climate of Sindh
3.  Climate of Balochistan
4.  Climate of Punjab
5.  Climate of KPK
6.  Climate of N.A.
7.  Climate of A.J.K.


·       It is the local combination of the atmospheric factors. e.g.
1.  Climate of P.F.I. Peshawar
2.  Climate of Sibi
3.  Climate of Ziarat Village
4.  Climate of Changa Manga
5.  Climate of Abbottabad, Hunza
6.  Climate of Kotli.


·       Any external force, substance or condition affecting the organism in any way is reflected as environmental factors.
·       Environment is a complex of many factors that interact not only with organisms but also among themselves.
·       Environmental factors though usually complex may be classified into the following broad headings:
1.  Climatic Factors
2.  Water Factors
3.  Topographic Factors
4.  Edaphic Factors
5.  Biotic Factors.
·       Another method of classifying factors is to make about eight coordinating headings:
1. Light
2.  Temperature
3.  Soil
4.  Water
5.  Atmosphere
6.  Topography
7.  Biota
8.  Fire.


·       The factors never operate separately or constantly upon the organism, and the environmental relation is at one, complicated and dynamic. This constitutes the environmental complex.
·       The main phenomenon responsible for the complexity are:
1.  Ecological versus non-ecological behaviourism.
2.  Multiplicity of factors
3.  Heterogeneity of environment
4.  Dynamic nature of the environment
5.  Variability of plant requirements
6.  Factors of interaction.
·       The behaviours may not always be related to the present environment and sometimes may even lie largely outside the realm of ecology.


·       Micro-environment is a relative term and it always with respect to the organism at a particular time and space.
·       It embarrassing no only the micro-climate i.e. the local combination of atmospheric factors but also the combination of the local effects of other environmental factors e.g.
§  The biotic factors
§  The adaphic Factors.
·       Thus the micro-environment is the local combination of all the environmental actors, the immediate environmental areas occupied by an organism.
·       The most influential factors in micro-organism variation are Light, Temperature, Humidity, and Wind.
·       The difference in nature if rocks and soil will affect the first two fo these factors through soil itself.
·       Physiographic features cause a lot of changes in the micro-environment.
1.     Micro-environment of chir pine forest/ stand signifies the immediate environmental area occupied by the stand/forest.
2.     Animals living above the snow e.g arctic fox or carbon (N.A. American Reindeer) would be subjected to low-temperature Arctic Hare.
3.     Whereas animals living under the snow would virtually be living in a hotter zone e.g. Voles (Mice) is quite active in two inches air space between the snow and soil.
§  The Arctic fox, Hare, Mice are able to survive in a region of very cold winter climate because of the favourable microenvironment.
4.      Patt and Wolf in 1950.
§  An Oakleaf of Oaktree was oriented with the upper side facing the sun.
§  The temperature of the upper side was determined at frequent intervals over a five-minute interval by Thermistor provide leaf surface temperature of 1010 C.
§  Within the five minute due to slide shading and air movement a variation of 100 to 150 C occurred several times.
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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu ( Forestrypedia (, Majestic Pakistan (, All Pak Notifications (, Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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