Difference between Forest Area and Forest Cover

Forests are an important part of our planet’s ecosystem. They provide a home for many animals and plants, and they help to clean the air we breathe.

The main difference is that forest area refers to the land that is designated as a forest while forest cover refers to the actual area that is covered by trees.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Forest Area and Forest Cover:

  • Forest Area: Forest area is the total land area that is designated as a forest, as determined by government authorities or other official bodies. This includes all land that is legally classified as a forest, regardless of whether or not it is currently covered by trees.
  • Forest Cover: Forest cover refers to the actual area that is covered by trees, as determined through remote sensing and other scientific methods. This measurement includes only the areas that are currently forested, and excludes any areas that have been cleared or deforested.

Forest Area vs Forest Cover

Now, let’s move to Forest Area vs Forest Cover:

Major differences between Forest Area and Forest Cover

Forest Area Forest Cover
Forest area includes both the land covered by trees as well as the non-forested areas. Forest cover only includes the area covered by trees.
Forest area is measured in hectares. Forest cover is measured in square kilometers.
Forest area is determined by government authorities. Forest cover is measured using satellite imagery.
Forest area can include tree plantations. Forest cover only includes natural forests.
Forest area can be different from the actual forest cover due to factors such as deforestation or afforestation. Forest cover is a more accurate representation of the actual area covered by trees.


That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Forest Area and Forest Cover”.

Also see:

Final words

Forest area and forest cover may seem similar, they actually represent different aspects of a forest. Forest area refers to the total land area designated as a forest, while forest cover represents the actual area covered by trees. Understanding the difference between the two can help us to better protect and conserve our forests.

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