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Forest modelling for sustainable forest management

Course evaluation

Additional course evaluations for SG0276

Academic year 2022/2023

Forest modelling for sustainable forest management (SG0276-20114)

2022-11-01 - 2022-12-01

Syllabus and other information


SG0276 Forest modelling for sustainable forest management, 7.5 Credits

Skoglig modellering för hållbar skogsskötsel


Forest Science

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Excursion to Östad including assignments 3.0 0001
Written assignment 1.0 0002
Final exam 3.5 0003

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirementsMaster’s level (A1N)

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

The equivalent of 120 credits at basic level including

- 60 credits Forest Science or

- 60 credits Forest Management or

- 60 credits Forestry Science

- 60 credits Biology or

- 60 credits Environmental Sciences or

- 60 credits Landscape Architecture or

- 60 credits Agricultural Sciences or

- 60 credits Natural Resource Management


- English 6.


The overall goal of the course is to give students an in-depth understanding of forest models with a focus on sustainable forestry. The course gives students the ability to perform analyzes of forest development with the help of forest production models and insight into what data and information are needed to develop and apply these models. Students also learn the difference between empirical and mechanistic models, their areas of use, and the limitations of the different model types.

After completing the course, students should be able to

- describe the experimental design and develop forest field trials, as well as analyze and evaluate forest field trials

- discuss and critically examine the characteristics and limitations of different forest production models

- describe and analyze empirical and mechanistic models

- use models to analyze and present interactions between forest growth, stock dynamics and climate effects through the use of survey material and experimental data.


The course will deal with forest models and concepts needed for an in-depth understanding of forest production and climate-adapted sustainable forest management. The teaching is done through lectures, seminars, individual assignments, group work, exercises, and field excursions that deal with the following topics related to forest models and their implementation:

- Experimental design and establishment of survey plots

- Dependent variables, e.g., basal area, volume, biomass, and carbon

- Forest regeneration

- Allocation of growth

- Spacing, competition and mortality

- Stand structure and its effect on growth

- Site variables and their variation on different scales

- Weather and climate data application when analysing experiments and in growth models

- Mechanistic and empirical growth models

Exercises, group work, and individual assignments will consist of literature studies, analysis, and problem-solving of theoretical and practical questions with the help of statistical data processing and simulation tools.

Individual and group assignments, seminars and field excursions are compulsory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Pass grades in two written assignments and participation in compulsory subjects. The grading criteria state what is required for different grades and what aspects of performance are assessed.
- If a student has failed an examination, the examiner has the right to issue supplementary assignments. This applies if it is possible and there are grounds to do so.

- The examiner can provide an adapted assessment to students entitled to study support for students with disabilities following a decision by the university. Examiners may also issue an adapted examination or provide an alternative way for the students to take the exam.

- If this syllabus is withdrawn, SLU may introduce transitional provisions for examining students admitted based on this syllabus and who have not yet passed the course.

- For the assessment of an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after the deadline for submission. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
  • 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 participate in teaching and/or supervision only applies for the course instance the student was admitted to and registered on.

- If there are special reasons, students are entitled to participate in components with compulsory attendance when the course is given again. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.

Additional information

The course is mainly campus-based but can be adapted to distance education if needed.

SLU is environmentally certified according to ISO 14001. A large part of our courses cover knowledge and skills that contribute positively to the environment. To further strengthen this, we have specific environmental goals for the education. Students are welcome to suggest actions regarding the course’s content and implementation that lead to improvements for the environment. For more information, see webpage

Responsible department

Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom skog (PN - S)
Replaces: SG0233

Litterature list

Appia Mensah A., Holmström E., Petersson H., Nyström K., Mason EG., Nilsson U. 2021. Forest Ecology and Management 481.

Appia Mensah A., Petersson H., Dahlgren J., Elfving B. 2023. Taller and slenderer trees in Swedish forests according to data from the National Forest Inventory. Forest Ecology and Management. 527.

Battaglia M., Sands PJ. 1997. Process-based forest productivity modela and their application in forest management. Forest Ecology and Management. 102.

Elfving, B. 2010. Growth modelling in the Heureka system. SLU-Faculty of Forestry. Stencil.

Fridman J., Holm S., Nilsson M., Nilsson P., Ringvall AH., Ståhl G. 2014. Adapting Ntional Forest Inventories to changing requirements – the case of the Swedish National Forest Inventory at the turn of the 20th century. Silva Fennica.

Garcia O. 1993. Stand growth models: Theory and practice. Advancement in Forest Inventory and Forest Management Sciences - Proceedings of the IUFRO Seoul Conference (pp.22-45).

Goude M., Nilsson U., Holmström E. 2019. Comparing direct and indirect leaf area measurements for Scots pine and Norway spruce plantations in Sweden. European Journal of Forest Research.

Goude M., Nilsson U., Mason E., Vico G. 2022. Comparing basal area growth models for Norway spruce and Scots pine dominated stands. Silva Fennica 56.

Landsberg JJ., Waring RH. 1997. A generalized model of forest productivity using simplified concepts of radiation-use efficiency, carbon balance and partitioning. Forest Ecology and Management. 95.

Mason EG., Methol R., Cochrane H. 2011. Hybrid mensorational and physiological modelling of growth and yield of Pinus radiata D. Don. using potentially useable radiation sums. Forestry. 84.

Mohren GMJ., Burkhart HE. 1994. Contrasts between biologically-based process models and management-oriented growth and yield. Forest Ecology and Management. 69.

Siipilehto J., Allen M., Nilsson U., Brunner A., Huuskonen S., Haikarainen S., Subramaninan N., Anton-Fernandez C., Holmström E., Andreassen K., Hynynen J., 2020. Stand-level mortality models for Nordic boreal forests. Silva Fennica 54.

Twery MJ. 2004. Modelling in Forest management. In: Wainwright, John; Mulligan, Mark, eds. Environmental modelling: Finding Simplicity in Complexity. London, John Wiley & Sons.

Vanclay JK. 1994. Modelling Forest Growth and Yield. CAB International, Wallingford UK.

Vanclay JK. 2011. Modelling continuous cover forests. In Pukkala T., von Gadow K. eds. Continuous cover forestry. Springer.

Weiskittel AR., Hann DW., Kershaw JA., Vanclay JK. Forest growth and yield modeling. 2011. Wiley-Blackwell.

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Euroforester - Master's Programme Forest Science - Master's Programme Forest Management - Bachelor's Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19030 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1N)
Subject: Forest Science
Course code: SG0276 Application code: SLU-20096 Location: Alnarp Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre Pace: 100%