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Forest and landscape biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services

BI1418 Forest and landscape biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, 15.0 Credits

Naturvård och ekosystemtjänster i skog och landskap

Syllabus approved



Biology Landscape Architecture

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

General entry requirements for first-cycle studies, and knowledge equivalent to:
- 15 credits forestry science or
- 15 credits forest sciences or
- 15 credits forestry science or
- 15 credits biology or
- 15 credits environmental sciences or
- 15 credits landscape architecture or
- 15 credits agricultural sciences or
- 15 credits natural resource management
and English B.

As the language of instruction is English, the Swedish language general entry requirement may not apply.


The overarching aim of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the threats to, and importance of, forest biodiversity to human wellbeing, and the trade-offs and synergies between biodiversity and forest ecosystem services in urban and rural landscapes. This knowledge is placed within the context of how biodiversity may be integrated or segregated within urban and rural settings, and how forest and urban green space management may be altered to improve forest habitat for biodiversity. We delve into important foundational concepts and the need for landscape scale considerations when conserving forest biodiversity and managing urban and rural forest landscapes for ecosystem services.

After completing the course, the student should be able to

- categorize, discuss, and critique the different justifications for conserving forest biodiversity in urban and rural settings
- distinguish and discuss categories of different threats to forest biodiversity within urban and rural settings, and relate these to management solutions
- explain and evaluate the benefits and limitations of the ecosystem services approach
- describe different social-ecological concepts, approaches and mechanisms relevant to conserving forest biodiversity, and apply this knowledge to urban and rural settings
- calculate and appraise common biodiversity indices
- describe differences, advantages and limitations of systematic versus traditional literature review techniques
- explain how critical thinking skills relate to and underlie the scientific method and the interpretation of value-laden results
- synthesize and present the knowledge gained orally and in writing.


The course is designed to introduce students to the core concepts, controversies and approaches to conserving forest biodiversity and balancing the delivery of forest ecosystem services in urban and rural landscape settings. Students learn why biodiversity matters from a range of perspectives and frameworks. During the course, students gain an overview of the threats to forest and tree-associated biodiversity, and how these threats can be alleviated through management. Furthermore, in the course we explore trade-offs and synergies among different societal goals for urban and rural forests, including biodiversity, production, recreation and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The theoretical and applied aspects of all teaching activities are designed to provide an in depth understanding of the material. The course involves lectures, outdoor exercises, group and independent work, as well as written and oral assignments. Training in scientific reading and writing, as well as an introduction to systematic literature synthesis, and the relevance of critical thinking, is provided during the course. Oral and written assignments, and group work are compulsory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written exam and adequate engagement in compulsory exercises.
  • 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 Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Cooperating departments:
Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom skog (PN - S)
Biology field: Övriga biologikurser
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 and Landscape (BSc) Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level
Subject: Biology Landscape Architecture
Course code: BI1418 Application code: SLU-30157 Location: Alnarp Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre Pace: 100%