What is the difference between the natural forest and the plantation forest (aka Park forest) in Singapore?
In the Singapore Forest where the natural vegetation are largely tropical, most woodlands have ecosystem that adapt largely to the wet and hot condition.
The tropical forest, contains more wild plants, like thorny vines and thick tall trees, as the tropical area plants are usually there for more than 50 years. Compared with the plantation forest, where most plants are very young, between 10 to 30 years, as they have either been replanted artificially or found its way there, after the removal of the original plantation. The soil condition in the tropical forest are less acidic than the plantation forest, as the plantation forest contain chemical and land fatigue from the plantation activity on the land, though most of it would have recovered.
Animal and Flora are also much richer in the tropical forest, with more predators like spiders, frogs, snakes and monitor lizards, they help keep the other little insects and animals from eating away too much of the vegetation. I realize the predators help make sure that the ecosystem is in check naturally without much human intervention. However, in the plantation forest, where animals are only recently re-introduce, predators are few and little, hence more natural imbalance exist in those places, and requires more human intervention to maintain the health of the land there.
The Singapore natural greens have been reducing over the past 50 years of modernization, most of the greens that the public visit are park lands, where the plants and animals there are limited (Except the Zoo, Garden by the Bay and Botanic Garden), you get my point.
Most variety of flora and fauna would be found in the Nature Reserves and uncharted (Not Exactly, the Researchers do visit them) Natural Forest near the reserves.
Plantation Forest is much more open in terms of visual space, because of the frequent human occupancy, young plants and low variety of plants and animals, creating less biodiversity, hence less ecosystem to flourish. It also implies, more human intervention and maintenance required.
The Natural Forest, on the other hand, will be much thicker in its fauna, you will find it hard to see open spaces, unless a particular low growing plant/tree swarms that area. The lush environment is created by a huge ecosystem of plants/preys/predators. They maintain the balance and system there.