Forest Terminology Explained


While undertaking research, you or your students may come across some terms that may need explaining, so we have made it easy for you below. 

*FURTHER INFORMATION: The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (ABARES) has produced an "Australia's forests and forestry glossary" (2020) found here -

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Scientific class of living things, uniquely named to group species that are very similar to one another and closely related. A sub-division of a family or subfamily.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

A computer information technology which stores, analyses and displays geographic data.

Global warming

The expected consequence of an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases by human activity (see greenhouse gases).

Greenhouse effect

Warming of the Earth's surface due to increases in radiated energy trapped by higher levels of atmospheric gases, including carbon dioxide, due primarily to the combustion of fossil fuels.

Greenhouse gases

Atmospheric gases that enhance the natural greenhouse effect, including carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapour.

Group selection

Logging process where small groups of mature trees are removed at regular intervals (cutting cycles).


Non-flowering plants. Seeds not enclosed in an ovary, enclosed in a cone. See cypress, Pinus radiata.