LNAK10064U Thematic Course: Ecology and Management of Forests and other Semi-natural Terrestrial Ecosystems

Volume 2020/2021

MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Forest Ecosystems, Nature and Society (SUFONAMA)


Through lectures and case studies of relevant ecosystems (e.g. forests, heath lands, dunes, and mires) system and restoration ecological aspects will be thoroughly read.
System ecology: The ecosystem concept; succession and disturbances; biogeochemical cycling of nutrients; the hydrological cycle; undisturbed soils; carbon sequestration and turn-over of organic material; biodiversity; wild life ecology.
Restoration ecology: Ecological restoration of damaged ecosystems; management effects on nutrients and water; grazing ecology and game management; cultural/historical ecology; nature-based management of forests and other semi-natural ecosystems, habitat conservation and protection.

Learning Outcome

1) Knowledge
Demonstrate fundamental knowledge in systems ecology of forest and relevant natural and semi natural ecosystems. Focus will be on functionality, structure, biogeochemistry, biodiversity, hydrology, succession, disturbance and interactions between ecosystems
Understand ecosystem processes and how they can be influenced by management
Understand principles for ecosystem restoration
Explain key theories and methodologies for management of forests and other semi-natural ecosystems
Explain the principles of sustainable use, protection and stewardship of forests and other semi-natural areas
Identify possibilities/​limitations in relation to human intervention and climate change

2) Skills:
Analyse specific ecosystems – structures and processes
Apply methods for ecosystem management
Develop long-term strategies, operational targets and specific plans for sustainable use and protection of forests and other semi-natural ecosystems
Assess implications of human interventions and climate change on ecosystem functioning
Analyse problems and communicate solutions in report writing

3) Competences:
Define potentials for developments of forests and other semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems according to different management goals
Develop and evaluate methods and plans for management
Adapt principles and select tools to implement such plans
Cooperate effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural groups within a group project.
Transfer knowledge into operational plans

Relevant textbooks and selected scientific papers

Relevant bachelor degree, e.g. in Natural resources, Forest and Landscape Engineer, Biology or Geography

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The thematic course includes lectures and interactive class room discussions, theoretical and practical exercises, and excursions. Based on the exercises and excursions mandatory reports are written. One week-long excursion goes abroad.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 100
  • Preparation
  • 212
  • Excursions
  • 100
  • Total
  • 412
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Hand in of 3 reports during the course, followed by 25 minutes oral examination with 25 minutes preperation time. The students draw one question related to the curriculum and the handed in reports. The oral examination consists of examination in the drawn question, including a student presentation, and examination in the report. Part-exams are not weighted, and an overall assessment is given after the oral exam
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Resubmission of 3 reports, no later than two weeks before the examination.

Re-examination identical to ordinary examination.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see learning outcome.