LNAK10052U Silviculture of Temperate Forests

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management



- Brief overview of temperate forest ecosystems, forest production and tree species bio-geography, vegetation history, forest ecology, anthropogenic influences. 
- The silvicultural systems and approaches including practices of regeneration, tending and harvesting.
- Silviculture as a means of achieving management objectives and a basis for sustainable forest management.
- Forest production and long-term productivity including selection of tree species and forest development type. 
- The characteristics of common tree species in temperate forest ecosystems.
- Regeneration and afforestation (natural regeneration, direct seeding, planting) involving site preparation, choice of species, managing game, rodents, competition, nutrition and other biotic and abiotic factors.
- Silvicultural practices including selection of initial spacing, thinning regime stand density, and harvesting operations 
- Managing forest productivity including modelling impacts of site, species, and stand density.
- Planning of operations at strategic and tactical level, implementation of operations.
- The layout and design of managed forests to meet management objectives, e.g. sustained yield, economy, risk management, protective functions, ground water, aesthetics, amenity values, archaeological remains, forest recreation, biodiversity and nature conservation.
- Management of forest health and stability in relation to biotic and abiotic factors like site, storm, fire, flooding, climate and climate change, pests and diseases.
- Silviculture and the links to forestry, foresty policy, forest restoration and forest adaptation.


Learning Outcome
The objective of the course is to provide students a comprehensive understanding of silvicultural principles and practices for the sustainable management of temperate forests. Throughout, the course emphasizes and demonstrates scientific knowledge, derived from long-term field experiments and other empirical investigations, as a solid foundation for silviculture.

After completing the course, the student should be able to demonstrate knowledge, skills and competence as follows:

The student should
- be familiar with important methods, strategies and approaches of
  temperate forest silviculture.
- know the factors that influence tree growth, wood quality and forest
  dynamics, including plant-soil interactions.
- know, how such factors can be investigated, quantified and modelled for
  the testing of specific hypotheses.
- understand important silvicultural systems and approaches and their
   application in practise.

The student should be able to
- evaluate alternative silvicultural strategies and their application.
- understand how to apply silvicultural principles to meet management
  objectives in forestry practice and at the forestry policy level in the context  
  of sustainable forest management ( (e.g. consequenses for productivity, 
  economy, biodiversity, recreation).
- identify and communicate compromise solutions to conflicts over the  
  application of alternative silvicultural practices.

The student should
- be aware of and able to discuss and analyse scientific, management and
  ethical issues of sustainable silviculture in relation to the broader
  perspective of a sustainable development in both a local and a global
- understand and be able to discuss the relevance, reliability, validity and
  interpretation of empirical silvicultural observations,
- know how to quantify and model the effects of silvicultural practices to
  understand their potentials and limitations.

Please see Absalon.

Lectures: 3-4 hours per week.
Classroom exercises: 3-4 hours per week.
Field trips mainly visiting forest districts as well as practical exercises in the forest: 4-8 hours per week.
The distribution between the various elements of the course may vary considerably during the course and should be viewed as rough estimates.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Excursions
  • 70
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 5
  • Preparation
  • 70
  • Project work
  • 40
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
Oral examination based on two questions from the curriculum. The student is granted 30 minutes of preparation immediately prior to the examination with all aids allowed.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Identical to the ordinary examination.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please, consult the learning outcome