Forests are the natural terrestrial ecosystems having multispecies dominated by multi-aged tree species. About 1/3 of world's land surface is covered by forests. The forest ecosystems are world's great natural renewable resources, constituting 90% of total biomass. Forests are very important ecologically as well as economically.
I) Forest helps in balancing O2 and CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
ii) It increases local precipitation and water. holding capacity of soil thus reduces drought.
iii) It reduces the velocity of run-off, thus checks soil erosion and landslides, reducing danger of floods also.
iv) Litter from forest debris maintains fertility of soil.
v) It gives shelter to wild animals, protects them from sunlight, cold, hot, dry winds, rain, enemies, etc.
I) Forest provides timber, chief product of forest and is used in various applications and industrial processes.
ii) It provides firewood, which is the main energy resource in village areas.
iii) It also provides raw materials for various wood-based industries- pulp and paper, composite wood, rayon and other synthetic fibers, sports goods, boats, matches, etc.
iv) It also provides products like bamboos, gums, resins, fibers, medicines, essentials oils, kattha, etc.
v) It provides wild fruits and honey.
vi) Forests are of recreational value and linked with ecotourism.