Silviculture and Forest Ecology of the Temperate Zones
In research and teaching the department deals with silviculture and forest ecology of the temperate zones. The central objective of silviculture is to shape and manage forest ecosystems in view of the aims of private forest landowners and the legislator, so that one or several forest functions can be maintained in a sustainable way. A controlled forest development and thus all silvicultural operations, require a fundamental understanding of basic processes driving forest ecosystems. This knowledge allows deriving silvicultural measures which are close to the natural processes occurring in forests. In order to accomplish a close to nature management results from all branches of ecology, and also practical experience gathered in forestry so far, are taken into account. Teaching is focused on the scientific fundamentals of forest ecology. Furthermore concepts and methods of stand establishment, tending, thinning and final harvest measures are taught and their effects on resource availability, biodiversity, and forest dynamic are evaluated.
The department pursues forest-silvicultural research and teachings based on sound ecological knowledge, similar to the ideas of Kimmins: “It has been a consistent experience ...that only by understanding the ecological characteristics of forests can they be managed successfully and sustainably“. Kimmins, J.P. (2004) Forest Ecology: a foundation for sustainable forest management and environmental ethics in forestry, 3rd Edition Prentice Hall, NJ, USA