M.FES.311: Tropical forest ecology and silviculture

Learning outcome

The module enables students to understand the most important ecological processes in zonal and azonal tropical forest formations, to analyse silvicultural systems critically considering their advantages and drawbacks, to design well adapted silvicultural systems, to analyse the ecological consequences of logging in tropical rain forests and finally, to plan and implement plantation programmes in different ecological tropical zones, and they are supposed to aquire a basis for silvicultural management of the different tropical forest formations.


Tropical forest ecology and silviculture (Lecture)

This course focuses on the ecology of tropical rain forests, the threat to the forest and options for ecologically sound management. Lectures on forest ecology include the analysis of different tropical forest types such as lowland rain forest, montane forest, mangrove forest, the biodiversity of the forest, the role of fire, and the carbon balance of forests. More applied topics will analyse silvicultural systems such as polycyclic and monocyclic management systems.


  • Oral Exam (about 20 min)
  • Prerequisites: Based on the contents of the lecture students should be able to discuss crritically current and important questions in the field of tropical silviculture and forest ecology.

Further details

  • Work load: 180 h (56/124 h, attendance / self-study)
  • Admission requirements: None
  • Recommended previous knowledge: None
  • Language: English
  • Person responsible for module: Prof. Dr. Dirk Hölscher
  • Course frequency: Each winter semester
  • Duration: One semester
  • Number of repeat examinations permitted: Twice
  • Recommended Semester: 1st semester
  • Maximum number of students: unlimited