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Difference between Forest and Jungle

Forest and jungle both refer to a large area of land covered with trees, plants, herbs, shrubs and other types of vegetation. People often use these terms interchangeably as forest and jungle share many features. Although they appear similar, they are different from each other. Let us see how they differ from each other!


A forest refers to a large area of land covered with trees, plants and various other types of vegetation. It is a complex ecosystem that is found in both equatorial and tropical climatic zones. Forests generally exist in dry, wet, cold, and hot climates.

A forest can be classified into different types based on its geographic location, climate and other characteristics. Some of the forest types are as follows:

  • Evergreen Forests: An evergreen forest is a forest that entirely comprises evergreen trees that retain their green leaves throughout the year. These forests are usually found in the areas that receive more than 200 cm of rainfall and temperature ranges from 15 degrees Centigrade to 30 degrees Centigrade. These trees overlap with each other to form a continuous canopy.
  • Deciduous Forest: Deciduous forests are the forests that comprise those trees that lose their foliage at the end of the growing season. They are found in many parts of the world including North America, New-Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia. These forests are adapted to survive extreme climatic conditions.
  • Coniferous forests: Coniferous forests are the forests that mainly comprise coniferous or cone-bearing trees like pines, firs, hemlocks, spruces etc. These forests are mostly found in the northern hemisphere and are adapted to survive long winters


A jungle refers to an area of land covered with trees and dense, impenetrable vegetation. Jungles are found in both equatorial and tropical climatic zones. The term jungle is derived from a Sanskrit word "jangala" meaning forest.

The jungles, mostly in the tropics, have tangled vegetation at ground level. The vegetation in the jungles is very dense so it is not easy to walk through a jungle. Jungle is a type of rainforest that is found at the edges of forests.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between forest and jungle are as follows.

Forest Jungle
It is a large area of land covered with trees and underbrush. It is an area of land covered with dense and tangled vegetation.
The light easily penetrates the trees and vegetation. There is little penetration of light due to the dense vegetation.
It does not have impenetrable vegetation so one can easily move in a forest. It has impenetrable vegetation that restricts the human movements in the jungles.
Forests are larger than jungles. Jungles are smaller than forests.
They are found all over the world. They are found at the margins of forests.
A forest can be of different types like coniferous, deciduous and evergreen. A jungle is a type of rainforest.
Forests have a thick canopy than jungles. Jungles have a thin canopy than forests.
The trees and vegetation found in forests are less diverse than that of jungles. The trees and vegetation found in jungles are more diverse.
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