What Is a Forest?
What makes a forest different from another community of plants and animalssuch as a desert, grassland, or tundra? We usually recognize a forest by its trees.
Most forests have trees, but some do not. Two examples are the ''tree fern'' forests that grow in the tropics and the giant kelp forests that grow on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Tree ferns look a lot like trees, but they are not trees at all. They are ferns that grow as tall as trees. Giant kelp, a brown seaweed that grows off the western coast of the United States, looks somewhat like a tree in that it has a thick stem with leaf-like blades growing along it, and a root-like extension at the bottom that holds it to the ocean floor. Some giant kelp plants grow to more than 300 feetas tall as a good-sized redwood tree!
The tree fern and the giant kelp are not trees because they lack two things every tree has: wood and seeds. Trees make wood from a special tissue called cambium. And trees make seeds from which new trees will grow.
BONUS: Color the forest