An old-growth forest (also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, or in Britain, ancient woodland) is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community. Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the bio-diversity of the forested ecosystem. The concept of diverse tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters, and diverse tree species and classes and sizes of woody debris.
Old-growth forests are economically valuable, and logging of these forests has been a point of contention between the logging industry and environmentalists.Old-growth forests tend to have large trees and standing dead trees, multi-layered canopies with gaps that result from the deaths of individual trees, and coarse woody debris on the forest floor.
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