A forest is a large area of land covered with trees or other woody vegetation. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function.
According to the widely used United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered an area of four billion hectares (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world’s land area in 2006.
Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, and are distributed across the globe. Forests account for 75% of the gross primary productivity of the Earth’s biosphere, and contain 80% of the Earth’s plant biomass.