NIGK13003U Tropical Forest Restoration

Volume 2013/2014
MSc programme in Agricultural Development

Tropical forest restoration
Scope and objectives of tropical forest restoration and habitat rehabilitation; Restoration approaches: assisted regeneration, nurse species, framework plantings and maximum diversity approaches; Selection of species for assisted regeneration or enrichment plantings based on species auto-ecology, life history traits, ecosystem functions, conservation status, and contribution to local livelihoods.


Tree seed and propagation
Physiology and ecology of tree seed (categories and classification of seed, seed size in relation to regeneration strategies, desiccation tolerance and storability, dormancy and germination); Pollination and fertilization: biology and plant-pollinator relations; Seed procurement (collection and processing of seed and fruits, methods to optimize physiological quality); Establishment and management of seed source and documentation systems; Storage, viability and germination; Nursery techniques, options for direct seeding and use of wildlings.

Genetics of restoration
Required number and spatial distribution of trees for seed collection; Estimation of effective population numbers and levels of genetic diversity; Potential genetic bottlenecks in seed procurement, nursery production or initial establishment phases; Implication of local adaptation – presence of ecotypes - use of local versus non-local seed sources. How local is local?

Monitoring and management
Success of natural regeneration and enrichment plantings; Monitor ecological succession and achievement of restoration objectives; Management interventions to support target species and dynamics. 

Case studies
Student presentation and discussions of selected tropical forest restoration projects

Each student will – individual or in small groups – select a topic related to forest restoration.

Learning Outcome

The objective of the course is to provide the student with knowledge on how to design and implement assisted regeneration, enrichment plantings or reforestation as part of tropical forest restoration programs. The course focuses on the initial restoration phase and shall provide the students with thorough knowledge on wise choice of methods, species and propagation techniques in relation to given restoration objectives.

By the end of the course the students are expected to be able to:
- Describe the diversity of objectives for tropical forest restoration programs
- Explain the ecological principles behind the various restoration approaches 
- Identify important factors to consider when selecting target tree species for enrichment planting/assisted regeneration
- Identify important factors to consider when selecting locations, numbers of trees and phenotypes for seed collection. 
- Classify forest seed into major groups based on taxonomic relation and regenerational strategies
- Classify forest seed based on physiological and morphological adaptations.
- Estimate effective population numbers for given seed collection regimes.
- Classify and discuss major restoration approaches
- Explain advantages and limitations in use of seedlings, cuttings, wildlings and direct seeding.

- Define operational objectives of tropical forest restoration programs
- Select target species given defined objectives, ecological, social, economic and management conditions
- Identify morphological and anatomical structures of tree seeds, and assess seed maturation and storability
- Apply methods of pre-treatments to overcome different types of dormancy and accelerate germination
- Identity critical stages in forest restoration programs in relation to negative impact on genetic diversity.
- Select suitable parameters to be monitored in relation of meeting restoration objectives  

- Design suitable strategies for assisted regeneration and enrichment planting as an integrated part of a tropical forest restoration project.
- Recommend use of regeneration/propagation methods depending on species specific features.
- Design a genetic management plan including guidelines on selection of seed trees and seed sources.
- Design a program for continued monitoring.

Selected scientific papers, book chapters, and documented case studies will be read and discussed
The course combines lectures, presentations and discussions of selected case studies, group exercises, and project work within individually chosen topics. Students will produce a small report and oral presentation on the topic of their project. Resource persons with expertise in specialized topics will give guest lectures.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 6
  • Excursions
  • 8
  • Lectures
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 65
  • Project work
  • 30
  • Theory exercises
  • 62
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Three written 1 hour exams (66%) during the course and individual student report (34%).
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period
Several internal examiners
Mundtlig prøve med gennemgang af 2 spørgsmål trukket fra fagets pensum. 30 min. forberedelse.
Criteria for exam assesment
Evaluation will be in relation to the expected learning outcome