Course: Forest Ecology

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Course title Forest Ecology
Course code BOT/EKLO
Organizational form of instruction Lecture
Level of course Bachelor
Year of study not specified
Semester Summer
Number of ECTS credits 2
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory-optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Hédl Radim, Mgr. MgA. Ph.D.
  • Duchoslav Martin, RNDr. Ph.D.
Course content
Forest will be described as a specific environment for the life of organisms. The major elements as substrate and climate conditions of forests, tree and herbaceous layers or soil biota will be introduced. An emphasis will be put on a range of spatial and temporal scales from local to global and from seasonal changes to the Holocene glacial cycles. Main nutrients and their cycles will be described. The students will be introduced to the classification of forest communities in central Europe and, in a coarser resolution, on the global level. Major approaches to the study of forest ecosystems will be outlined, from ecophysiology through vegetation science to macroecology. Within the field practice, sites with characteristic forest types and related plant species will be introduced to the students. Syllabus: 1. Forest as an ecosystem, where it occurs and how it can be characterized. 2. Energy flows and elements cycling in the forest environment. 3. Constitution of the forest: trees, herbaceous vegetation, soil organisms, invertebrates, vertebrates; in the central Europe and worldwide. 4. Forest types and approaches to their classification. 5. Diversity of forest environment at various scales. 6. Forest dynamics: from seasonal to the Holocene cycles, contemporary trends. 7. Humans and their interactions with forest in the history and at present.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Lecture, Observation, Projection (static, dynamic), Work Activities
Learning outcomes
The aim of this course is to introduce the forest as an ecosystem composed of plant species. These species and their populations interact with each other and constitute the vegetation of a specific environment determined by dominance of tree growth forms.
1. The students will acquire a complex overview of the forest environment. They will understand the basic terms, will get a good orientation in the field of forest ecology. 2. The students will understand the topics of publications on the forest ecology, will be able to assess their relevance in various contexts. 3. The students will be able to find themselves an additional information, design and conduct their own research in forest ecology.
It is recommended to pass basic course of ecology before entering this course.

Assessment methods and criteria
Mark, Oral exam, Written exam

Test and oral exam, credit after a successful accomplishment of a field practice.
Recommended literature
  • & Neuhäuslová-Novotná, Z. (1998). Mapa potenciální přirozené vegetace České republiky: textová část. Praha: Academia.
  • Barnes, B. V. et al. (1998). Forest ecology. 4th ed.. J. Wiley and Sons, New York.
  • Gilliam, F. (Ed.). (2014). The herbaceous layer in forests of eastern North America. Oxford University Press.
  • Míchal, I. et al. (1992). Obnova ekologické stability lesů. Academia, Praha, 170 pp.
  • Neuhäuslová-Novotná, Z., Moravec, J., & Neuhäuslová-Novotná, Z. (1997). Mapa potenciální přirozené vegetace České republiky. Praha: Kartografie.
  • Otto, H.-J. (1994). Waldökologie. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.
  • Perry, P.A. (1994). Forest ecosystems. The John Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore.
  • Rackham, O. (2003). Ancient woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England. Dalbeattie: Castlepoint Press.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty of Science Ecology and Environmental Protection (1) Ecology and environmental protection 3 Summer