Biodiversity in Managed Forests

Course content

Now and in the future there will be an increasing focus on forest production and possible interplay with biodiversity. The course will present knowledge on how different forest management practices and intensities influence biodiversity. The course will present methods on how to assess and evaluate impact of forest management actions on flora and fauna diversity and discuss possible trade-offs between forest wood production and biodiversity. 

The course will focus on the relationship between biodiversity and forest management in temperate forests and address the following themes:

  • Forest history

  • Forest structure, composition, and dynamics, tree species diversity

  • Variation in abiotic factors (nutrients, light, pH, moisture/water)

  • Micro habitats, key-habitats for flora and fauna (dead wood, veteran trees, forest edges, wet areas)

  • Natural processes (unmanaged forests, succession, shortcuts in succession, disturbances (storms, fire, pest and disease outbreaks))

  • Silvicultural systems (soil preparation, regeneration and stand establishment, timing and intensity of harvest, harvest strategy, intensity of management)

  • Forest grazing – domestic and wild life

  • Forest landscapes

  • Measures to support specific groups of organisms

  • Afforestation – what to consider with respect to biodiversity

  • Trade-offs between biodiversity and ecosystem services

  • Public outreach


MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Nature Management
MSc Programme in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management

Learning outcome


By the end of the course,

  • You will have knowledge on different forest management practices and their impact on biodiversity

  • You will have knowledge on different management means to enhance biodiversity

  • You will have knowledge on how forest structure, composition and dynamics and associated abiotic and biotic factors influence different species groups and thus biodiversity and ecosystem functions

  • You will have knowledge on common field and laboratory methods for measuring key elements and species diversity in forest ecosystems


  • You can analyze, evaluate and discuss measures to enhance biodiversity in managed forests

  • You will be able to read and interpret literature on biodiversity and forest management

  • You will be able to assess biodiversity

  • You will have an overview of forest management regimes and their impact on biodiversity

  • You can identify key habitats for flora and fauna with regard to forest structure, composition and dynamics and associated abiotic and biotic factors influencing biodiversity in forests

  • You have an overview of the abiotic environment and how it affects species and is influenced by forest management

  • You will be able to use different database resources to assess the potential for biodiversity in a forest


  • You will be able to read and critically discuss scientific literature

  • You can use evidence based knowledge in writing and presentations of aspects of biodiversity in managed forests

  • You can transform the theoretical knowledge to suggested actions to enhance biodiversity in managed forests

The course will be a mix of lectures, practical and theoretical exercises, seminars/colloquia on essential papers, excursions and discussions. Further, you will write an essay on a selected topic included in the course and produce management guidelines, which will be presented as a poster on a final seminar. Several invited guest lecturers will give first hand presentations from their field of work.

Please see Absalon

Introductory courses in ecology and biodiversity are recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Oral feedback from teacher and peers at student paper presentation. Organised feedback from lecturer's on choice of essay topic. Supervised choice on poster topic. Feedback from teacher and peers (class) on seminar presentation of poster and report. Oral feedback on essay, presentation and discussion at exam.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25
Written assignment, During course
Type of assessment details
Students hand in one essay of max. 15 pages (group) and one forest management guidelines (group) during the course. The course is concluded with a 25 min oral examination. The essay is prepared during the course and will be delivered to the course responsible at least one week before the final exam. Description of Examination: The individual oral exam consists of a short presentation of the essay (5-7 min) followed by questions on the essay topic (5-7 min). In addition the student will draw a question in relation to lectures and exercises, present and discuss this (10 min). The oral examination is without preparation time.

Assessment: The essay and the forest management guidelines (and presentations) are required to opt for the final oral exam. The assignments (i.e. essay and poster) will contribute 20 % to the final grade and the oral examination (80%). The course is passed, when the average weighted grade is passed.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

As ordinary exam. If the student has handed in the Forest management guidelines and the essay at the ordinary exam, this part of the exam cannot be retaken.  If guidelines and essay havn't been handed in, it should be handed in at the latest 2 weeks before the oral examination.

Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 87
  • Theory exercises
  • 14
  • Practical exercises
  • 35
  • Excursions
  • 18
  • Guidance
  • 24
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Sebastian Kepfer Rojas   (4-79717875466f6d7434717b346a71)
  • David Bille Byriel   (4-6a67687f466f6d7434717b346a71)

Vivian Kvist Johannsen, Lasse Gottlieb, Inger Kappel Schmidt (jcq683)

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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