A forest is a large area of land covered with trees or other woody vegetation. Human society and forests influence each other in both positive and negative ways. Forests provide ecosystem services to humans and serve as tourist attractions.
Although forest is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition, with more than 800 definitions of forest used around the world. Although a forest is usually defined by the presence of trees, under many definitions an area completely lacking trees may still be considered a forest if it grew trees in the past.
A forest consists of many components that can be broadly divided into two categories that are biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components. The living parts include trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants, mosses, algae, fungi, insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and microorganisms living on the plants and animals and in the soil.