A forest edge is a completely different habitat than a forest. Some of the trees and plants that grow at the edge of the forest are the same as those in the middle of the forest, but they look very different at the edge. Also, other plants grow at the edge that cannot grow inside the forest at all. A forest edge can be beside a pond, a meadow, a river, a pond, or a roadside.
Many animals and plants depend on forest edges and could not survive anywhere else. Others can survive in different habitats, but do nowhere nearly as well as they do at the edge.
A forest edge is also a "transition," a change from one habitat to another. For animals that move from habitat to habitat, the edges are extremely important.
Below are some characteristics of forest edges:
More than any other plant, shrubs are found at edges. Most shrubs can't survive in the middle of a forest because they can't get enough light, but at the forest edge, they get plenty of light. At the edge, shrubs tend to be full and "bushy," whereas in a forest they are usually thin and scraggly.
Smaller trees, which could only be understory trees in a forest, can grow taller and fuller at the edge.
Vines do very well at edges, especially those that climb on other plants. Like other plants, vines can be more "bushy" at the edge, sometimes turning into shrubs themselves.
Below are some more pictures of forest edges: