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Forest ecology and botany

BI1382 Forest ecology and botany, 7.5 Credits

Skoglig ekologi och botanik

Syllabus approved




Education cycle

Bachelor’s level

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, less than 60 credits from first-cycle courses as entry requirements(G1F)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to 15 credits in one of the following subjects

- forest science
- forestry science
- biology
- forest and wood technology
- soil science
- landscape architecture
- environmental science
- horticulture
- agricultural science


The purpose of the course is to create a basic understanding of ecological systems globally and locally and to link ecological theories and natural processes in forest ecosystems to forest management and nature conservation.

After completing the course the student should be able to

- explain and use basic ecological concepts
- describe forest ecosystems locally and globally, and explain how these are affected by human and natural disturbance
- account for trophic interactions, energy and food transport
- explain how population density and species richness vary in time and space as a result of biotic and abiotic factors
- explain the ecological basics of forest management and nature conservation
- account for basic ecology, systematics and adaptations, including dispersal, establishment and survival strategies, in trees, vascular plants, mosses and lichens that occur in Swedish forest land
use basic methods and tools for species identification of plants
- with correct terminology, describe characters of vascular plants, mosses and lichens in text and image
- search and critically review literature on the subject.


The course provides a basic understanding of the composition and function of ecosystems, especially with regard to forest ecosystems, as well as knowledge of basic ecological concepts and processes. Basic population and community ecology are addressed. Global biological diversity patterns are described together with the processes that control the number of species and the density of species in ecological systems.

Swedish vegetation types and their characteristics are addressed as well as the effects of natural and human disturbance. Special emphasis is given to the variation between different types of forest ecosystems in Sweden. Furthermore, the ecological basis for forest management and nature conservation is discussed.

The course provides basic botanical skills with regard to species identification, morphology, systematics and taxonomy of vascular plants, mosses, lichens which occur in Swedish forest land.

The course is based on lectures, exercises, excursions, group studies of scientific articles and writing reports. Excursions, some plant exercises and exercises in source criticism, copyright and information retrieval are mandatory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Approved written examination
Approved written report
Completed mandatory elements
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies
Cooperating departments:
Department of Forest Ecology and Management

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom skog (PN - S)
Biology field: Ekologi
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Forest Science (BSc) Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19027 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level
Subject: Biology
Course code: BI1382 Application code: SLU-40035 Location: Umeå Distance course: No Language: Swedish Responsible department: Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies Pace: 50%