Forest resources: what they are, types and examples - SUMMARY!

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Forest resources provide a diverse source of ecosystem goods and services from which all living beings enjoy their benefits. For this reason, forest resources have a strong implication in the economy of several countries, but they are also indispensable for life on Earth.

For this reason, from Ecologist Verde, we invite you to continue reading this interesting article and learn in detail everything about what are forest resources, their types and examples.

What are forest resources

In a nutshell, forest resources are biotic and abiotic elements that make up the forest and they have an enormous capacity to satisfy human needs. Depending on the specific composition of forests, they can provide numerous forest resources. In fact, the more complex the forest ecosystem, the more diverse the products it provides. Although there are forest plantations created for specific purposes, forests are natural resources since the human being has nothing to do with its existence.

For more information, we recommend you read these other articles about Natural Resources: definition and types, Biotic factors: what they are, characteristics, classification and examples, Abiotic factors: what they are, characteristics and examples and Difference between biotic and abiotic.

Types of forest resources

Forest resources can be classified into two types: timber and non-timber. Before knowing their differences, we must know that both types of forest resources require proper management of them to avoid excessive logging that precisely causes the exhaustion of the resource. In particular, the discipline that is responsible for studying forest management is called forestry. Here we tell you what is forestry or logging. Now yes, let's see the differences of the two types of forest resources:

Non-timber forest resources

They are those products obtained from the forest that are different from wood. Some of the uses of non-timber forest resources are:

  • Medicinal: many plant species found in forests contain compounds with healing properties, such as the palan-palan plant (Nicotiana glauca) used for headaches, wounds and ulcers. In these other posts you can discover 60 medicinal plants of Peru and what they are for, 50 Mexican medicinal plants and what they are for and what are essential oils.
  • Food: not only fruits, roots, tubers of plant species, but also fungi and animals provide a variety of foods from which many communities live.
  • Industrial: Some plant extracts can be used for industrial processes, such as latex obtained from the rubber plant (Hevea brasiliensis) which has great industrial value.
  • Obtaining fibers: fibers can be obtained from the stems, trunks and roots of plants. A clear example is the jute plant (Corchorus capsularis) that multiple products are made from its fibers.

Timber forest resources

These are products that come from the direct use of wood from trees and also those derived products, which are obtained from the transformation of wood. In general, the use of these resources is related to construction, paper and pole and pile industries, sawmills and fuel, among other uses.

In this link you will discover the different types of woods, their characteristics and classification.

Importance of forest resources

The benefits of forest resources cannot be reduced solely to products we get from forests. In reality, forests provide a variety of ecosystem goods and services that would be impossible to obtain artificially. For this reason, in this section we will go deeper into the ecosystem goods and services provided by forests and their importance:

  • Carbon dioxide capture and air purification: carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases implicated in climate change. The truth is that the abundant vegetation that makes up forests, through photosynthesis, takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen. In this way, forests help mitigate the effects of climate change and also purify the air we breathe.
  • Sustaining biodiversity: forests are the habitat for more than half of the planet's terrestrial biodiversity.
  • Regulation of water flows: forest vegetation facilitates the capture of water vapor and also reduces surface runoff and promotes water infiltration.
  • Source of numerous goods: forests provide a variety of products such as food, medicinal plants, building materials, and fuel.
  • Recreation: the scenic beauty of the forested landscapes is frequently used for recreational activities and tourism.

If you want more information, we advise you to take a look at these other articles on What is the importance of natural resources and What is the importance of forests and jungles.

Examples of forest resources

Now that we have clarified what forest resources are and their characteristics, we will go on to mention some examples of forest resources in different countries.

Forest resources in Venezuela

In Venezuela, there are several forest reserves with extensive wooded areas. The forest resources in Venezuela that are most exploited are trees for the use of their wood.

Forest resources in Mexico

Mexico presents a great floristic diversity that is reflected in its forests and jungles. The forest resources exploited in Mexico are both of the timber type, mainly intended for consumption within the country, and of the non-timber type, intended rather for export.

Forest resources in Argentina

Argentina presents a wide extension of its surface covered by forests. The most exploited forest resources in Argentina are of the timber type, for use in the paper and sawmill industries and also in the construction of furniture.

Forest resources in Bolivia

Like the other countries mentioned, Bolivia has large wooded areas. Forest resources in Bolivia are of the timber and non-timber type. The latter have a very important role in the rural economy of the country.

Although many of these forest resources, especially those of the timber type, may come from forest plantations created, we cannot ignore the high rates of deforestation suffered by the forest ecosystems of the 4 countries mentioned above. The causes of this excessive deforestation are not only due to the exploitation of forest resources, but also to the use of these lands for certain economic activities. Here you can read about the specific case of Deforestation in Argentina: causes and consequences.

Conservation of forest resources

If you have read this far, you will know that forests are both economically and ecologically important. Despite this, the deforestation of forests it is a reality and, in fact, throughout the world during the period from 1990 to 2022, more than 178 million hectares have been deforested, which is roughly equivalent to the area of Libya[1].

Faced with this, an effective alternative to conservation of forest resources It is the creation of protected areas in those remnants of forests that have not been modified by human action. In this way, a resource is preserved that is essential for the well-being of all species that inhabit planet Earth and that, ultimately, must be assured for the existence of future generations.

If you want to read more articles similar to Forest resources: what they are, types and examples, we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment.

  1. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2022. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Website:
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