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ACE8116 : Forest Ecology

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Janet Simkin
  • Lecturer: Mrs Helen Adamson
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop understanding and knowledge of the ecology of and current issues affecting forest and woodland environments, predominantly but not exclusively in temperate regions, with a view to management for ecosystem services, biodiversity and commercial uses including sustainable food production.

Outline Of Syllabus

The ecology and ecophysiology of temperate broadleaved, boreal and tropical forests;
British native woodlands, their history, traditional uses and management, and condition;
British native trees, their ecology and identification, management of veteran trees;
Vegetation-soil relationships;
Ground and epiphyte flora;
Tree pests and diseases;
Woodland management for biodiversity and conservation;
Current issues, such as ecosystem services, climate change, pollution, habitat loss, sustainable land use, afforestation and rewilding;
Trees in agricultural landscapes and sustainable food production, including farm woodlands, hedgerows, agroforestry and orchards;
Commercial forestry, silvicultural systems and multipurpose forestry;

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Presentation
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion144:0044:00Report
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities241:0024:00Research and practical exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Presentations, seminars and discussions. PiP
Guided Independent StudySkills practice42:008:00Practical exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork36:0018:00Fieldtrips. PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Drop Ins
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study153:0053:00Includes research for assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to Module. PiP
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures and seminars provide the theoretical and conceptual knowledge required to understand forest ecology and ecosystem functioning. Practical work on field trips and in the laboratory will support this and lead to an understanding of the biodiversity of woodlands in good and poor condition, the assessment of tree health, and the development of identification skills.
Seminars will provide opportunities for critical discussion of recent developments in sustainable forestry, rewilding and afforestation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination1M30Presentation on a topic chosen by the student (15 mins)
Report1M70Site report (max 3000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The presentation gives the students an opportunity to explore a topic of local interest to them, related to the material covered in the module and relevant to their degree programme. For international students this may relate to land use, conservation issues or food production issues in their own country. The scope and topic will be agreed with the module leader in advance.
The report provides an opportunity to use the skills learned during this module to assess the condition and biodiversity of a local woodland or plantation, and to make recommendations for management. Option of formative canvas quizzes.

Reading Lists