Difference Between Forest and Jungle

Nature means the universe in which we live. It refers to climate, geology, wildlife etc. Nature is the realm in which various inanimate objects, plants, animals etc., live. The term ‘Nature’ means something supernatural or not created by the human mind. Life sustains on earth via nature through the process of growth, adaptation, organization, metabolism, response to stimuli, and reproduction. It consists of forests, jungles, rocks, mountains, oceans etc.

Forest vs Jungle

The main difference between forest and jungle is that Forest refers to a place that consists of varieties of trees and species. It is very large in terms of size. Jungle refers to something with very young flora and fauna, and it consists of many different species that might not be found in the forest. It is smaller in size in comparison to the forest. It begins from the edge of the forest.

Forest vs Jungle

Forest is a particular area that mainly consists of trees. All over the world, hundreds of forests can be found. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FRA), Forest should have land that should be more than 0.5 hectares and its trees should be higher than 5 metres, and the forest cover should be more than 10 per cent. Then only it can be considered as a forest. It contains the terrestrial ecosystem of the earth. Majorly half of the global forests are found in five countries only.

A jungle is something which is a land in the forest only. But it is dense and impenetrable. Earlier tropical forests were considered jungles. But after the year 1970s, this practice has gone out of usage. Jungles occur in all of the landmasses in the world. It is very rich in flora and fauna, numerous vegetation can be found, climatic conditions are good, and wildlife also thrives here.

Comparison Table Between Forest and Jungle

Parameters of  ComparisonForestJungle
SizeVery LargeSmall (20% of forest)
TypeEvergreen, Coniferous, Boreal, Deciduous, Tropical, Rain etc.RainForests
Found inAll regionsEdge of Forest
DiverseLess DiverseMore Diverse

What is Forest?

The word Forest comes from the Old French word ‘fores’, meaning which is very vast, covered in trees. Forest doesn’t have an exact definition, but it is generally presumed that an area of land is covered by trees. Almost 800 definitions of forest exist globally. Earlier forest meant land which was for hunting or obtaining woods. Exactly it is not known that when this word came into use. But in the Norman period, forests hold a very important role as it was an uninhabited land and was suited for hunting.

Forests evolved on earth some 380 million years ago in the Late Devonian period. It is at that time, only Archaeopteris evolved, which was both fern and tree-like. It is believed that Archaeopteris formed the first forest because it spread all over from the equator to polar regions. Forests consist of 75% of earth’s biomass, and it is also responsible for 80% of plant biomass on earth. The ecosystem of forests can be found everywhere where trees are capable of growing.

Forest contains many components, among which two are biotic and abiotic components. Biotic means living, and abiotic means non-living. Forest consists of many different layers, among which understory, canopy and forest floor are most important. It can be divided into various types as well like Sub-tropical, Boreal, Tropical, Coniferous, Evergreen, Deciduous etc. According to a survey in 2015, the total number of trees in the forest is approximately 3 trillion in the world. It has many advantages like it purifies water, reduces CO2, acts as a carbon sink, source for woods, lumber, reserves etc.

What is Jungle?

The word jungle comes from the Sanskrit word ‘jangala’, which means arid and rough. The word came from Bengali into the English language in the 18th century. Although jungle has been used in Indian subcontinents and Iranian plateau for many centuries. It meant plants that grow in the old forest or to an area where vegetation has taken over because of unkemptness. Jungles are usually impenetrable because trees and plants are very dense, and light couldn’t penetrate them easily.

Due to its denseness, it restricts human movement, unlike forests where humans can move easily. Earlier tropical forests were referred to as jungles, but after the 1970s, this notion changed completely. The jungle is a type of rainforest, and it is found mostly at the edge of the forest. The jungle constitutes the part of a forest where vegetation, flora and fauna are very rich. Jungle covers only 20-30% of the forest area. It can be mainly seen in the trophic region.

Jungles are overgrown, and their vegetation is also tangled. That is why it hinders the movement, and trees and plants are to be cut to move along. This is what makes it different from the forest. Jungles can also exist inside the forest as well, or they may be created either due to human activity or through hurricanes. Mangroves and Monsoon forests belong to this type. The jungle also has a large open canopy area. Only one rule survive in the jungle i.e. Survival of the fittest.

Main Differences Between Forest and Jungle

  1. Forest are very large in size, and it consists of various types of forests. The jungle is small in size, and it constitutes only 20-30% of the forest.
  2. Forest are penetrable as light can easily pass through vegetation, and movement is very easy. The jungle is impenetrable as it is dense and hinders movement.
  3. Various types of forest are there like Boreal, coniferous, evergreen, temperate, deciduous etc. The jungle is a kind of rainforest.
  4. Forest are found in almost every part of the world. The jungle is found on edge or within the forest created naturally or artificially.
  5. The forest has a thick canopy cover. The jungle has a thin canopy cover.
  6. Vegetation and flora are less diverse in forests. Vegetation and Flora are more diverse in Jungle.
Difference Between Forest and Jungle


Both Forest and Jungle are part of nature. Both are very rich in flora and fauna. Forest refers to those which has a very high density of trees. While Jungle is a dense forest in a very hot climate or tropics. As jungles are very dense, thick, impenetrable, it is considered very dangerous as a lot of species can be seen. While Forest is a little dense and less diverse, and safer than jungles. In the jungle, only one rule applies i.e. survival of the fittest. Amazon forest is the largest rainforest in the world. It also consists of a jungle. 


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XMFWrpV2W7EC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=Forest+and+Jungle&ots=7eBihudwMk&sig=XpiMLT91a7qwXtCV2_UaSkz5aco
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4414266
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