NBIK12007U Thematic course 1: Ecology and Management of Nature and Semi-Nature Areas

Volume 2015/2016

MSc Programme in Nature Management


Thematic course comprising field work, practical exercises, lectures and interactive class room discussions of ecology and management of a specific catchment area, Gribskov and the National Park, “Kongernes Nordsjælland”. The course analyses nine elements:

  • Biodiversity: Diversity and species-richness patterns and quantitative measures
  • Habitat Directive and Paragraph 3 areas
  • After ice-age development of climate and communities and processes (including leaching, acidification and eutrophication) in lakes, terrestrial vegetation and soils.
  • Recent 200 years development of the landscape (forest types, meadows, wetlands
  • Quantitative regulation, rates of carbon deposition in forests and wetlands and evaluation of CO2 emissions and sustainable energy production.
  • Ecological restoration of nature habitats and natural hydrology in landscapes.
  • Conflicts of onterests among users of nature and semi-nature areas.
  • Ecologically founded management principles of landscapes and nature habitats.
Learning Outcome

After completing the course the student must have gained the following knowledge, skills and competencies:


  • The student must obtain knowledge on the value of physical-biological indices describing the value of different types of nature habitats.
  • The student must obtain knowledge on patterns of biodiversity on international, national and local scales and the measures required for the analyses.
  • The student must obtain knowledge on the ecological foundation of different management strategies and their influence on the environmental and biological quality of different natural habitats.
  • The student must be able to evaluate the concepts and elements involved in sustainability and ecological footprints.
  • The students must obtain knowledge on the economic value of forest for biodiversity, recreation, hunting and tree production.
  • The student must obtain knowldge on how climate has been and is changing and what the couplings are to human impacts.
  • The students must obtain knowledge on carbon dynamics in relation to global climate and how human interprices and nature managements types influence the overall balance.



  • The student must be able to use abiotic-biotic methods to classify freshwater and terrestrial habitats according to national and international directives.
  • The student must be able to perform analyses of environmental and biological conditions, including indices of biodiversity, couple them and evaluate them by simple quantitative-statistical methods using excel-programmes in different terrestrial, freshwater and semi-aquatic habitats.
  • The student must be able to perform measurements of the contemporary and historical conditions in lakes based on water and sediment analyses.
  • The student must be able to calculate and evaluate the biodiversity, the quality of nature and the economy associated with different production methods in forest types.
  • The student must be able to calculate and evaluate different types of nature management and offer guidance to the most suitable methods under the specified conditions.
  • The student must be able to quantify the retention or loss of carbon and its relation to atmospheric carbon dioxide on a national and regional scale involving towns, traffic, industry, agriculture and initiatives in different types of habitat management in nature.



  • The student must be able to work in inter-disciplinary groups aiming at developing evidence based optimal management strategies.
  • The student must be able to work interdisciplinary to offer solutions to minimize release of carbon dioxide and optimize retention of organic carbon in agricultural and nature areas.
  • The studenst must be able to communicate ecology and nature management to a broader, non-professional audience.

See Absalon.

Relevant bachelor degree, e.g. in Biology, Geography, Geology, Natural Resources, Forest and Landscape Engineer or similar.
Thematic course including excursions, practical and theoretical exercises, interactive class room discussion, and lectures. Based on excursions and exercises mandatory reports are written. A specific catchment and region (“Kongernes Nordsjælland”) is used for integrated observations, analyses and syntheses.
The course is a mandatory course in the Nature Management education.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • E-Learning
  • 12
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Excursions
  • 32
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Practical exercises
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 226
  • Project work
  • 30
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Total
  • 412
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
1) Written reports and oral presentations during the course count for 1/3 of the final grade.
2) 4-hour written examination with computer including: multiple-choice (35%), quantitative analyses of biodiversity patterns or time development of climate and ecological processes (40%) and essay on nature management (25%) counts for 2/3 of the final grade.
Written aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computers, tablets or mobile phones CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

To obtain the grade 12, the student must be able to know the theory, the practical principles and be able to quantify the processes and patterns behind management ond quality measures of nature to an extent exceeding 90% of all relevant questions that can be posed.