Silvology – the study of forests and woods
silvology, silvologist n.
silvological, silvologic, silvologous adj.
Silvology is based on the Latin silva (forests, woods) and Ancient Greek ology (study of).
Silvology is forestry science. It incorporates both the understanding of natural forest ecosystems and the design of silvicultural systems.
A forest ecosystem is an area of forest consisting of the biotic elements (e.g. plants, mammals, insects, fungi, bacteria) and abiotic elements (e.g. soil, water, carbon, nutrients, sunlight).
Trees and shrubs are just one part of the forest ecosystem. Every living creature, from the tiniest spider to the largest carnivorous mammal, is linked through the food chain, and dependent on the plants, fungi and bacteria in the forest. All these living elements are connected to and affected by the physical environment such as rainfall, wildfire, and temperature.
Any intervention by man, including silviculture, may have an affect on the forest ecosystem.
Silvology is not yet a widely adopted term but I am promoting it as important and necessary to describe the study of forests and woods. No other term in the English language describes adequately this area of science. For instance dendrology is the study of individual trees (i.e. not their interaction with the forest ecosystem), while silviculture describes the culture of forests (i.e. their management by man) not their study.