Share

Silviculture

FOR 421 SILVICULTURE: Applied Forest Ecology (3) FOR 421 syllabus (Please note that syllabi are subject to change and this may not be the most current syllabus.)

This course explores the methods available to apply ecological concepts to actively manage forested ecosystems for a variety of societal objectives.  It should be taken after completing coursework in ecology and mensuration and is a core course in forestry, although it is also designed for wildlife professionals, conservation biologists, and natural resource professionals interested in the scientific foundation and practical application and implementation of forest management techniques.  Whereas the disciplines of ecology and conservation biology help us understand the biological consequences of human manipulation, it falls upon the field of silviculture to balance the often conflicting demands between ecological integrity and society's demand for forest products in practice.  This course deals with methods used to blend the maintenance of biodiversity in forest ecosystems with extraction of commodities under the paradigms of Ecosystem Management and Ecological Forestry.  Course objectives include gaining the ability to 1) apply silvicultural terminology and basic ecological concepts as they relate to forest development and silvicultural practices, 2) predict how silvicultural practices influence soil resources, water issues, forest health, timber production, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity, 3) integrate ecological and social considerations into silvicultural practices, and 4) employ silvicultural concepts to actual forest stands by developing silvicultural prescriptions.  Topics include silvicultural systems, silvics, cover types, soil, habitat types, ecological classification systems, growth and yield, stand descriptions, crown classes, th4e site index, release, precommercial thinning, wood quality and pruning, herbicides and vegetation management, commercial thinning, crop tree management, stocking charts, maintaining forest health, natural and anthropogenic disturbances, forest stand dynamics, succession, regeneration inventories, managing for complexity, natural regeneration, seed-tree and shelterwood methods, uneven aged silviculture (selection and control methods), coppice, irregular shelterwood, deer browsing, clearcutting, site preparation, direct seeding, planting, ecosystem management across different scales, prescribed fire, and management techniques that maintain critical ecosystem processes and components such as soil, water, and wildlife.  Evaluation methods include exams, lab exercises, field trip reports, and writing silvicultural prescriptions.  This course is offered every fall.