FRST 225 - Forest Ecology

Forest Ecology provides students with a thorough understanding of the natural processes that regulate the structure and function of forest ecosystems at the tree, stand, and landscape scale.  The material covered in the course constitutes the ecological basis for silviculture and forest management, with a focus on reclamation occurring in forested areas. The emphasis will be on boreal forests with examples from other regions.


Credits:  3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 37; Field Experience Hours: 8)


Total Weeks:  15


BIOL 125 or permission of the Instructor



Non-Course Prerequisites:





Course Content:
Introduction - what is forest ecology
- Define forest ecosystem
- Describe importance of Forest Ecology in today’s world
- Describe the role of forests in Global Ecology
- Describe environmental functionality of forests
- Explain ecosystem services provided by forests
- Explain biome, and their diversity
- Identify different forest biomes of the world and recognize different forest landscapes
- Describe boreal forest biome
- Explain forest structure and resources use
Forest ecosystem dynamics/ temporal and spatial changes in forests at various scales
- Explain environmental gradients in forest ecosystem
- Describe forest variation along an environmental gradient
Explain Vegetation Resources Inventory (VRI)
- Explain B.C. Land Cover Classification Scheme
Energy flow and Nutrient Cycle
- Explain source sink concept
- Describe source sink functions with respect to carbon and nutrients
- Evaluate effect of environmental parameters to plant functioning
- Describe water transport in plants and associated mechanism
- Define nutrient cycling
- Explain mechanistic processes driving the cycling of carbon and nutrients in forested ecosystems
Forest Ecophysiology
- Describe Forest Ecophysiology
- Describe various ecophysiological methods and techniques in forest research
Forest Community Ecology
- Explain principles of Community Ecology
- Describe ecological hierarchy
- Explain biodiversity and ecological niche
- Describe importance of forest ecology in forest resource management
Natural disturbances and Forest health
- Describe the factors that affect forest health
- Explain the relationship between climate change and Forest health from British Columbian perspective
- Describe the opportunities and challenges faced by British Columbia’s forests in changing climate
- Describe BC’s Forest Carbon Initiative
Applied Forest Ecology
- Describe silvics and functional ecology of tree species
- Explain forest succession, stand dynamics, growth and yield modelling
- Explain silvicultural systems and forest conservation ecology
- Define old growth forests
- Describe Area Based Analysis
- Describe Cumulative Effect Assessment
First Nations Perspective
- Describe the Indigenous use of and relationship with forests
- Define Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and its importance
- Provide examples of integrating TEK and Science in Natural Resource Management


Learning Outcomes:
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the fundamental concepts of forest ecology and forest management.
Upon successful completion of this course, in addition to acquiring understanding of important ecological concepts, students will be able to:
- Describe the biotic and abiotic components of forest ecosystems.
- Explain the interactions found within a forest ecosystem.
- Describe the impact of environmental components and changes on different forest types on spatial and temporal scales.
- Practice “ecological thinking” in analyzing different abiotic and biotic factors and processes that might affect the forest issue under study.
- Review current scientific literature in Forest Ecology and apply this information to problem-solving analysis in the realms of natural resource management and stewardship.
- Present scientific arguments effectively in both written and oral communication that are backed by data, facts and reliable sources of information.
- Consider the social, cultural, and traditional value perspectives in environmental issues related to Forest Ecology; and apply holistic, integrated, and moral dimensions in finding solutions.
- Improve technical writing and speaking skills


Grading System:  Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 60


Percentage of Group Work: 40


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.