The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Biologically, a woodland is differentiated from a forest. In these terms, a forest has a largely-closed canopy -- in other words, the branches and foliage of trees interlock overhead to provide extensive and nearly continuous shade. A woodland, however, has a largely-open canopy, with sunlight penetrating between trees. Some types of woodland are essentially grasslands with shrubs and scattered trees.

A woodlot is a closely-related term, referring generally to a small area of woods left remaining in a farm or other non-forest matrix, and reserved for wood production, generally for firewood. While these woodlots often technically have closed canopies, they are usually so small that the edge penetration is such that they are ecologically more woodland than forest.

See also:


Woodland ecoregions

Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

Montane grasslands and shrublands

Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub

Deserts and xeric shrublands

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13