Difference Between Woods vs Forest
Some words as we know them today are different from what they originally meant. The English language used to be pure Germanic until the eleventh century when the Normans (currently known as France) invaded England and brought their language with them. This invasion influenced a lot of English words and their meanings, but they did not take away the English vocabulary.
A good instance of the aftermath of this invasion can be seen in the difference between woods and forest. Both of these words uses to mean the same thing. The former is originally a Germanic word derived from the more ancient forms – “wode” and “widu.” The latter originated from French, which is suspected to be Germanic as well. It was used to refer to fir in the past, but not anymore as you can see.
Definition of Woods
Woods are groups of different forests with a less dense population of trees, little shade, and more sunshine, which encourages the formation of an open habitat. Due to the condition of the woods, shrubs tend to grow better there, and as such, there are more shrubs in the woods than there is any other type of plant. These shrubs grow without any wood stems and can be transformed into a shrubland when exposed to dry conditions over a period of time.
One difference between forest and woods is that the latter is more of a transition zone between different biological communities known as the ecosystem. What they transition into depends on the geographical condition of the area. The sparse ones transition into grasslands (also known as savanna), the ones that are larger with denser foliage transition into true forests characterized by closed canopies, and the ones at dessert borders are called xeric woodlands.
Definition of Forest
A forest is defined as a huge piece of land that is heavily populated by trees characterized based on factors like height, ecological function, tree population, composition, degree of modification, and so on. It has different types, each with its own unique factorial influence. Interestingly, forests cover as much as over 30% of the earth’s surface area as of 2015.
One of the most distinctive features of the forest includes the type of trees that grow there. They form the forest canopy, which is the top portion of the environment serving as an edge between the atmosphere and land. Depending on the thickness of the canopy, the activities of the rain, sunshine, and wind may be influenced.
There are different types of forests. They include the following:
- Evergreen – All-year rainfall and no dry season. Characterized by a lot of green leaves.
- Dry – Longer dry seasons and little rain. Does not have a lot of leaves, and most of the leaves fall off during the dry seasons.
- Tropical and subtropical coniferous – Mostly warm and dry, and has variable weather conditions
- Seasonal – A lot of evergreen vegetation, rain, and short dry seasons
- Montane – A lot of precipitation from mist and fog that rises into the clouds
- Sub-tropical – A lot of prolonged periods of little rainfall, which results in drought
Main Differences Between Woods vs Forest
In this section, we have made a forest vs woods comparison table for a better explanation of the differences between these two.
|Basis of Comparison
|Groups of different forests with a less dense population of trees, little shade, and more sunshine, which encourages the formation of open habitat
|A huge piece of land that is heavily populated by trees characterized based on factors like height, ecological function, tree population, composition, degree of modification, and so on
|UN FAO specifications
|About 1.24 acres but not dense
|1.24 acres of land but quite dense
|Less than 30 percent cover
|More than 30 percent cover
|Not as large as a forest
|Mostly larger than woods
|Coniferous, broadleaf, etc.
|Seasonal, evergreen, dry, tropical, etc.
Difference Between Woods and Forest: Conclusion
More often than not, regarding the woods vs forest comparison in different geographical locations, the latter is usually larger and denser than the former. In the same manner, the latter tends to have more ecosystems present in them than the former.