Ecologically mature forest that has been subject to negligible unnatural disturbance such as logging, roading and clearing.
Forests or trees which have originated naturally (not planted by humans) and have not experienced any human impact.
Referring to an ecosystem or community, particularly a forest, which has not experienced intense or widespread disturbance for a long time relative to the lifespans of the dominant species and which has entered a late successional stage; usually associated with high diversity of species, specialization, and structural complexity. [Go to source
A forest that is in the late stage of succession. Characteristics include: old trees woody-debris, snags, uneven canopy.
forests that approximate the structure, composition, and functions of native forests prior to European settlement. They vary by forest type, but generally include more large trees, canopy layers, standing snags, native species, and dead organic matter than do young or intensively managed forests.
According to Hunter (1989) it is probably neither possible nor desirable to craft a universal definition of old-growth. Hunter suggests that forest ecologists outline a broad, conceptual definition of old-growth forests from which specific definitions for each forest type can be derived. The core of such a conceptual definition would be, "Old-growth forests are relatively old and relatively undisturbed by humans."
Generally, a forest stand that has reached a stage of extreme maturity.