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Old Thursday, August 25, 2011
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Default Forestry Glossary

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Abiotic Factors - nonliving elements that impact the growth, composition, and structure of the forest (e.g., soil, climate, topography).
Acre - unit of land equal to 43,560 square feet or about 1 football field.
Adaptation - a physical or behavioral trait that helps a plant or animal survive in its habitat.
Aesthetic Value - the worth of a forest in terms of its natural beauty.
All-aged Management - See Uneven-aged Management.
Apical Meristem - a rapidly dividing mass of cells located on the ends of stems and roots, responsible for plants vertical plant growth.
Artificial Regeneration - directly seeding or planting young trees.
Aspect - the direction a slope faces (north, south, etc.).


Bark - outermost layer on a tree's trunk that protects the tree from injury.
Barren - a forest ecosystem dominated by scrubby tree growth, dry soils, and woody shrubs.
Biodiversity - the variety and complexity of life on Earth at all scales. Examples include: genetic, species, ecosystem, and landscape.
Biological Diversity -See Biodiversity.
Biomass - the weight of living and dead organic matter in an ecosystem usually measured per unit area over a particular time interval.
Biome - a regional ecosystem characterized by distinct types of vegetation, animals, and microbes that have developed under specific soil and climatic conditions.
Biotic Factors - living organisms that impact the growth, composition, and structure of the forest (e.g., insects, herbivores, humans).
Board Foot - a volume measurement for lumber equal to 144 square inches (1" x 12" x 12").
Boreal Forest - a forest that grows in regions of the northern hemisphere with cold temperatures. Made up of mostly cold tolerant coniferous species such as spruce and fir.
Broadleaf - See Deciduous Forest.


Cambium - a layer of living cells, between the bark and hardwood, that each year produces additional wood and bark cells. This layer is responsible for the diameter growth of a tree.
Carbohydrate -a form of sugar energy plants create during photosynthesis.
Carbon Sequestering -a process whereby trees and other plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and through photosynthesis, turn it into plant material.
Carnivore - an organism whose primary food source is tissue from other organisms.
Cellulose - the substance making up the cells walls of plants; wood fiber used in paper manufacturing.
Central Sands - the bed of extinct Glacial Lake Wisconsin, and associated uplands. This region includes extensive natural and restored marshes, sedge meadows, lowland hardwoods, and conifer bogs, as well as commercial cranberry operations, irrigated cropland and pasture, and large tracts of pine and oak forest, aspen, and pine plantations in the south western and south central part of the state.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) - a Depression-era government program for unemployed men that performed projects that improved our forests and parks.
Clearcutting - a management technique in which all of the trees in an area are cut at the same time. This technique is sometimes used to cultivate shade-intolerant tree species.
Climate - the long-term weather pattern of an area, including temperature, precipitation, and wind.
Climax Forest � a forest community that represents the final stage of natural forest succession for its environment.
Competition - the struggle between plants or animals for limited resources necessary for survival (food, water, shelter, space) in a given area.
Complexity - See Forest Complexity.
Composition - see Forest Composition.
Coniferous Forest - a type of forest with mostly cone-bearing trees.
Conservation - the management of a renewable resource for the long-term.
Conserve - to use or manage a certain type of tree or type of forest in a sustainable manner.
Consumer - an organism unable to produce its own food energy. Consumers get their food energy by eating producers or other consumers.
Crown Layer - the upper layer of a forest ecosystem containing the tallest, dominant trees.
Cutover - forested land that has been completely harvested. Can also describe �the cutover,� which refers to northern Wisconsin after it was heavily logged during the period from the 1850s to the 1920s.


Deciduous - shedding leaves annually or at a particular stage of growth.
Decline - the part of a tree�s life when it becomes less healthy and does not recover.
Decompose - a process whereby dead plants and animals are broken into nutrients and minerals by decomposing organisms, heat, water, and wind.
Decomposer - an organism that gets its food energy from dead parts of other organisms; an important part of the energy cycle and food webs.
Defoliate - the removal of leaves off a tree.
Disturbance - an event, either natural or by human-induced, that causes a change in the growth or existing condition of a forest.
Dominant - trees with crowns extending higher than other trees in the same stand. They receive full sunlight from above and partly from the sides.
Driftless Area - the area of Wisconsin never covered by glaciers. Located in southwest area of the state, also includes parts of MN, IA, and IL.


Ecological Diversity - variety of biological communities or ecosystems in a given area.
Ecology - the branch of biology that studies relationships between living organisms and the non-living components of the environment in which they live.
Ecosystem - an area that contains organisms (e.g., plants, animals, bacteria) interacting with one another and their non-living environment. Ecosystems can be of any size (e.g., forest, meadow, and log).
Edge Species - plant or animal species which thrive on the edges of habitats such as a forest which provide them with access to cover and food sources. Examples include: sumac, white-tailed deer, and cowbirds.
Endangered Species - a species of plant or animal that is in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or in a significant portion of its range.
Even-age - a group of trees that are nearly all the same age.
Even-age Management - forest management technique used to maintain a forest stand.
Exotic Species - a species that has been introduced from another geographic region to an area outside its natural range.


Forb Layer - layer of the forest understory containing non-woody plants.
Forbs -non-woody plants (ferns, flowers, etc.).
Forest - land based ecosystem characterized by a dominance of tree cover and containing a variety of other living and non-living organisms (e.g., soil, air, water, other plants, and animals).
Forest Complexity - refers to the relative number of species present in a forest�s composition and their interrelationships.
Forest Composition -the plant species (trees, shrubs, and forbs) present at specific time in a forest.
Forest Function - processes performed by a forest ecosystem. These include nutrient cycling, photosynthesis, providing animal habitat, etc.
Forest Health - the general condition of a forest in reference to soundness and vigor (growth).
Forest Inventory - a statistically reliable survey of forestland used to estimate various measurements of quantity, quality, health, and trends of the forest.
Forest Management - the manipulation of trees and forest stands to meet landowner objectives.
Forest Structure - the horizontal and vertical distribution of layers in a forest, including height, diameter, and species present.
Forest Type - a category defining forests based on natural groups of different tree species commonly occurring together over large areas. Named for one or more dominating species (e.g., birch-beech-maple, maple-oak-white pine).
Forestry - the practice of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests for human benefit.
Fragmentation - the process of dividing forest into smaller patches of forest and non-forest land.
Fuelwood - wood used primarily for heat or for conversion to a form of energy.
Fungi - threadlike, nonvascular plants lacking chlorophyll that obtain nourishment from other organic materials. Types of fungus include molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms, and puffballs.


Genetic Diversity - genetic variation within a population or species.
Geographic Information System (GIS) - a computerized system utilizing satellite and existing databases that gives resource managers the ability to organize and access information (e.g., soil type, water shed, population density) about a specific area.
Germination - the growth process of a mature seed, characterized by the emergence of a stem and root.
Glaciation - the advance and recession of large masses of slow-moving ice formed by accumulated snow.
Growing Season - the time period, usually measured in days, between the last freeze in the spring and the first frost in the fall. Growing seasons vary depending on local climate and geography. It can also vary by crop, as different plants have different freezing thresholds.


Habitat - a place where a plant or animal can get the food, water, shelter and space it needs to live.
Hardwood - a general term applied to broadleaf trees. The actual wood may be hard or soft in density.
Heartwood - the central core of a tree made of dense, dead wood. The heartwood provides structural support for the tree.
Herbaceous - plants with little or no woody tissue, usually living a single season.
Herbivore - an organism which gets its food energy from plant tissue.
Humus - organic matter in the soil; a source of nutrients for soil organisms and plants.


Industrial Forest - a forest which is owned by a company or corporation that operates a primary wood using plant (e.g., sawmill, paper mill).
Integrity - the condition of a forest as a whole including composition, structure, and function.
Intolerant - see Shade Intolerant.
Jack Pine Barrens -a forest ecosystem composed of jack pine which is dependent on fire disturbance and partially sandy soils to maintain even-aged structure.


Kettle Lake - kettles are depressions created by partially-buried glacial ice blocks as they melted. The depressions that filled with water became kettle lakes.


Leaching - the process by which soluble matter is dissolved in groundwater and carried downward and radially through the soil.
Leaf - (pl. leaves) the thin, usually flat, green parts that grow on a tree or other plant. Leaves use the carbon dioxide of the air in which they live and light from the sun to carry on photosynthesis.
Life Stages - the stages a tree goes through during its life (germination, growth, maturity, reproduction, decline, and death).
Limiting Factor - an environmental factor that limits the growth, abundance, or distribution of a population of organisms in an ecosystem (e.g., water, nutrients, sunlight, prey, etc.).
Logging - the removal of trees from the forest for lumber.
Lumber - boards sawn from logs.
Lumber Era - the time in Wisconsin history from the 1850s to the 1920s when timber was harvested at a rapid pace. Also known as �the cutover.�
Lumberjack - term used for individuals who worked in the woods during a logging process.


Management - see Forest Management.
Maturity - part of a tree�s life when noticeable growth slows and it can begin reproduction.
Microclimate - variations of the climate within a given area, usually influenced by hills, hollows, structures or proximity to bodies of water. A microclimate differs significantly from the general climate of a region.
Mixed Forest - forest having both coniferous and deciduous trees.
Monoculture - a stand of trees of all the same species.
Moraine - a landform created when material was pushed up by a glacier into distinct landforms. Found in the south east part of Wisconsin.
Multiple Use - a type of forest management that promotes at least two types of forest use (e.g., recreation and wildlife habitat).


Natural Regeneration � the reestablishment of trees on a site from seeds, sprouts, or suckering.
Niche - an organism�s role in an ecosystem.
Non-industrial Private Forest (NIPF) - a forest owned by an individual or group of individuals who do not own a primary wood using plant.
Non-native Species � a plant or animal species found outside its natural range.
Nutrients - the elements in the soil that plants needs in order to live and grow.


Oak Savanna - a rare ecosystem that is mixture of oak trees and grasses and an intermediate between a prairie and oak woodlands.
Old Growth Forest - a forest significantly past the age of maturity of its dominant species. Usually characterized by well-developed structure, many snags, dead wood on the ground; a late successional forest type for the area; sometimes refers to undisturbed or never harvested areas.
Omnivore - an organism which gets its food energy from both plant and animal material.
Outwash - glacial material, usually sand or gravel, which is deposited by water melting off glaciers.
Overstory - the uppermost trees in a forest.


Parent Material - the original layer of bedrock which, over time and through erosional forces, becomes the main mineral component of soil in an area.
Perennial - a plant or plant tissue which lives more than one growing season.
Phloem - the layer in the trunk of a tree that carries sugars (food energy) created during photosynthesis from the leaves to the rest of the tree. Phloem is also called inner bark.
Photosynthesis - the process a plant uses to combine sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and sugar (energy).
Plantation - an artificially reforested area that is productive enough to qualify as timberland.
Pollination - when a male pollen grain is introduced to the female part of the flower, enabling fertilization to take place.
Population - a group of individuals of the same species in an area.
Prescribed Burn - a fire planned and executed to achieve management goals.
Primary Consumer - an organism that gets its energy from producers (plants). These are often called herbivores.
Producer - green plants and lichens which produce their own food from sunlight, water and CO2 in a process called photosynthesis. Plants are called producers.
Productivity - the rate at which biomass is produced per unit area.
Public Trust - responsibility the public places on government to care for their interests.


Reforestation - the reestablishment of a forest, either by natural regeneration or by planting in an area where forest was removed.
Regeneration - the reestablishment of a species, either through natural or man-made causes (See Artificial Regeneration and Natural Regeneration).
Renewable Resource - a resource that has the ability to regenerate at regular intervals.
Reproduction - a part of a tree�s life when it produces seeds that can grow into new trees.
Resilience - the capacity of a plant community or ecosystem to maintain or regain normal function and development following disturbance.
Root Cap - thimble-shaped mass of cells covering and protecting the growing root tip.
Root Hairs - outer cells of roots that have developed into long, thin, threadlike projections. These cells facilitate the absorption of water and dissolved nutrients from the soil by increasing the surface area of roots.
Roots - underground portion of the tree, which provides support, supplies nutrients from the soil, and stores food.


Sapwood - light-colored wood through which water and dissolved nutrients flow through the tree.
Savanna - an ecological community that is dominated by scattered trees and large areas of grasses and other forbs.
Secondary Consumer - a consumer that gets its energy from other consumers. These are often called carnivores.
Seed - embryonic tree or plant.
Seed Dispersal � the method by which a plant scatters its offspring away from the parent plant to reduce competition. Methods include: wind, insects, animals, tension, and water.
Seed Tree - a management technique in which most of the trees in an area are harvested, but a few trees are left to provide a seed source.
Seedling - a small tree grown from a seed.
Selection Cut - management technique in which specific trees in an area are chosen and cut.
Serotinous - a pinecone or other seed case that requires heat from a fire to open and release the seed.
Shade Intolerant - a plant�s ability to compete for survival under direct sunlight conditions.
Shade Tolerant - a plant�s ability to compete for survival under shaded conditions.
Shelterwood - a management technique in which some trees are left during harvest to encourage trees that need partial shade to regenerate.
Shrub Layer - layer of the forest understory containing woody plants with multiple stems.
Silviculture - manipulation of forest vegetation to accomplish a specified set of objectives. It controls forest establishment, composition, and growth.
Slash - branches, leaves, and twigs left after cutting down a tree.
Soil - the surface layer of the earth�s crust consisting of particles of different sizes and originating from a variety of solids liquids, and gases.
Soil Chemistry - chemical properties of soil include mineral solubility, nutrient availability, soil reaction (pH), cation exchange, and buffering action.
Soil Composition -the percent of mineral particles present in the soil (percent sand, silt, loam, and/or clay).
Soil Fertility - the amount of organic matter or humus present in the soil.
Soil Moisture - the ability of a soil to hold water. Soil moisture impacts the distribution and growth of vegetation, soil aeration, soil microbial activity, soil erosion, the concentration of toxic substances, the movement of nutrients to in the soil to the roots.
Soil Structure - arrangement of soil particles into units called peds. Peds are characterized by shape (blocky, columnar, granules).
Soil Texture - measurement of the proportion of mineral particles of different sizes that are found in the same sample of soil (sand, silt, clay).
Soundness - in good condition (i.e., free from injury, damage, defect, disease, etc.).
Species - a population of individuals with similar characteristics that only interbreed among themselves.
Species diversity - variety of species present in a given area.
Stem - see Trunk.
Steward - a person who takes responsibility to make decisions and take actions today that will allow resources to be maintained in a healthy manner.
Stomate - opening in the surface of a leaf through which water vapor, carbon dioxide, and oxygen pass.
Structure-see Forest Structure.
Succession - the gradual change of an area from one community to another over time. Can be due to natural or human caused disturbance.
Sustainability - the ability of natural resources to provide ecological, economic, and social benefits for present and future generations.
Sustainable Management - maintenance of forests to meet current and future ecological, economic, and social needs.


Taiga - a Russian term for the forest communities found south of the tundra in cold, wet climates, consisting of a mostly coniferous community (stunted spruces, firs) with birches and aspens found in drier locales.
Taproot - the root structure formed during germination that anchors the plant to the soil does not persist in all plants.
Temperate Forest - a forest that grows in regions with moderate temperatures, found north and south of tropical forests.
Tertiary Consumer - a high-level consumer, which is usually the top predator in an ecosystem and/or food chain.
Thinning - a management technique in which some trees are removed to make room for other trees to grow.
Till - soil and other material deposited by glaciers during the last ice age.
Timber - the wood of trees used for construction.
Tolerant - see Shade Tolerant.
Topography- the relative elevations of different features in a landscape.
Tracheids - a long tapering plant cell found in xylem tissue, having pits in the cells wall through which water is conducted.
Transpiration - the evaporation of water from plants.
Tree - a perennial plant (lives more than one growing season) with a well defined woody stem, crown, and roots.
Tree Characteristics - the identifying traits (physical, biological, or chemical) of a tree and include leaf shape, crown shape, buds, branching, and bark.
Tropical Forest - a forest that grows in winterless tropical climates with high temperatures and generally high annual rainfall.
Trunk - the part of a tree that connects the crown to the roots.


Understory - forest vegetation present under the overstory which can include trees, shrubs, and forbs.
Uneven-age Management - a forest management technique used to maintain a stand with trees of all ages from seedling to mature. Also known as all-aged.
Urban Forest - the trees and associated living organisms in an urban area.


Value - to assign worth to something.
Vector - an insect or other organism that carries disease organisms in its body from which it spreads disease to trees or other susceptible life forms.
Vessel - a plant structure consisting of tubular elements that have grown together, facilitating the flow of dissolved nutrients in the stems, roots, and leaves of a plant.
Vigor-healthy growth in any living organism.


Water Cycle - the continuous circulation of water from the atmosphere to the earth, including the ocean, and back to the atmosphere through condensation, precipitation, evaporation, and transpiration.
Watershed - area of land where precipitation is absorbed into the soil as ground water. Watersheds are separated by natural divisions or geologic forms.
Wilderness - an area of undeveloped land that has been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprints of humans� work largely unnoticeable.
Wildfire - a fire that burns uncontrollably in a natural setting (e.g., a forest, or grassland).
Windthrow - trees uprooted by excessive wind. Shallow-rooted trees (i.e. white pine and birch) are almost always affected.


Xylem - the layer in the trunk of a tree that carries water and nutrients absorbed from the soil by the roots to the leaves. It is located between the heartwood and the cambium layer
Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.

Last edited by Princess Royal; Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 03:46 PM.
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