Forest vs Jungle: Difference and Comparison

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.


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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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Forests are characterized by a dense canopy of trees, which can be categorized into several types, such as deciduous, coniferous, or mixed.
  2. Jungles are tropical rainforests characterized by their high biodiversity and warm and wet climate year-round.
  3. Forests are more manageable and accessible for human activities, whereas jungles are denser, making them difficult to traverse.

Forest vs Jungle

A forest is a large area covered by tall, less dense trees and vegetation that can be traveled through by humans and are warm. A jungle is a large area covered by tangled or overgrown denser vegetation. It is penetrated by less sunlight, has more moisture, and has a tropical or humid climate.

Forest vs Jungle

The 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), forests should have land that should be more than 0.5 hectares, its trees should be higher than 5 meters, and the forest cover should be more than 10 percent.

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 use.

Jungles occur in all of the land masses 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

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 wood. Exactly it is not known when this word came into use. But in the Norman period, forests held 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 the understory, canopy, and forest floor are the 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, acting as a carbon sink, source of 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. However, the jungle has been used in Indian subcontinents and the Iranian plateau for many centuries.

It meant plants that grow in the old forest or in an area where vegetation has taken over because of unkemptness. Jungles are impenetrable because trees and plants are very dense, and light can’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. The 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 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 survives 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. Forests 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 forests are there, like Boreal, coniferous, evergreen, temperate, deciduous, etc. The jungle is a kind of rainforest.
  4. Forests are found in almost every part of the world. The jungle is found on the 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

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