D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


Search Search    Print Print


Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 12
Hours 108
Period Corso annuale
Language ENG
U-gov code SFA 3A493


Knowledge of Mathematics, Principles of Statistics, Botany, Zoology and Enthomology is strongly recommended.

Development of the course

The course includes classroom lectures (8 ECTS – 72 hrs) training in computer room and field work (4 ECTS – 36 hrs). Students will be divided in working groups in order: a) to work on forest measurement exercises and simulations; b) to read and comment journal articles; c) to discuss on technical videos; d) to prepare short PPT presentations; e) to work on self-evaluation tests.

Field activities are strongly recommended. The course is available also on e-learning mode on the Moodle platform (https://lms.univpm.it/). 

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and skills. The aim of the course is to provide specific knowledge on: i) structure, composition and main functional processes of forest ecosystems; ii) methods and tools to measure structure and growth of forest trees and stands; iii) main silvicultural systems used in Europe and in Italy.

Applying knowledge and understanding

The course will allow the students to apply knowledge and skills to: 1) integrated analysis of forest ecosystems; ii) sustainable management of forest resources and related environmental processes at stand and community level.

Cross-expertise. The course will provide students expertise: i) to assess the multiple role of forests from community to landscape scale; (ii) to apply most appropriate silvicultural methods to balance forest productivity and conservation; iii) to transfer technical skills and communicate with other experts in the field of forest and environmental resource management.



First part: Forest assessment and mensuration (6 ECTS) first semester.

Course introduction and short international overview. physiognomy, structure and growth of forest trees. Structure and composition of forest stands. Methods and devices for tree and forest measurements (tree diameter, height, age) on living and dead trees. Basics of forest sampling in coppice and high forests. Modelling trees and height-diameter curves (2 ECTS).

Tree volume measurement of felled trees: taper coefficient, volume general formula, Huber, Smalian, Cavalieri-Newton and Heyer formulas. Volume measurement of standing trees and forests, volume and yield tables, remote sensing and other methods (3 ECTS).

Commercial wood products and measurement; volume increments; basics of dendrochronology. (1 ECTS).

Second part: Sylviculture (6 ECTS) second semester

Course introduction, national and and international overview. Basics of forest ecology: structure and functions of forest ecosystems. Interactions of main environmental factors in forest ecosystems. Spatial and chronological structure of forest ecosystems. Silvigenetic phases: growth, ageing, mortality and regeneration of forests. Fertility and productivity of forest ecosystems. Basics of forest vegetation classification. National and regional forest types and inventories (2 ECTS).

Applied sylviculture. Productive forest management: timber products and wood energy, non-wood products. Coppice and high-forest management systems. Clearcut, shelterwood, selection systems, thinning, conversion from coppice to high forest. Main national and regional forest regulations. Basic techniques in forest nursing, plantation and short-rotation forestry (2 ECTS).

Non-productive forest management: climate mitigation, slope-erosion control, biodiversity and habitat conservation. Sustainability and forest policy. Forest certification schemes. Local forestry in a global context (1 ECTS). 

Development of the examination

Learning assessment methods

The exam is made of two parts and can be completed in two ways: 1) one part at the end of each semester; 2) both parts at the end of the course. The Forest measurement part is a written test including: i) 1 exercise concerning the volume assessment of a forest stand; ii) n. 2 questions and open answers on main course topics; iii) a set of multiple choice questions (n. 10-15) on other course topics. The Silviculture part is an oral test about the course topics. Self-evaluations excercises are available on the Moodle course site and can be compiled by students for exam preparation.

N.B. The oral test can be taken only upon successful completion of the written test.


Learning assessment criteria

The students throughout the different tasks of the course should demonstrate knowledge and skills: i) in sampling and measurement techniques of main tree and forest structural variables; ii) of principles and applications of forest volume measurements; iii) of main structural and functional features of forest stands and ecosystems; iv) main silvicultural treatments for sustainable management of forest products and services.


Learning measuring criteria

Final grade is expressed in 30th as an average of scores earned in the two parts


Final grade allocation criteria

The score of the Forest Measurement test (expressed in 30th) is composed as weighted average of the single scores obtained in the different parts: stand volume exercise (50% of the total weight); questions with open answers (35%) and multiple choice questions (15%).

The score of the Silviculture test (expressed in 30th) is based upon three main questions each grades from 0 to 10.

The exam is passed when the students demonstrate to have an overall knowledge of the subjects treated during the course, exposed (both in oral and written mode) in an adequate manner and with a suitable technical terminology and ability of linking different topics. The maximum score (30/30 cum laude) is released to students demonstrating excellent knowledge and skills.

Recommended reading
  • Avery T.E., Burkhart H.E. - Forest Measurements. Ed. Mc Graw- Hill, N.Y., 1994
  • La Marca O. Elementi di Dendrometria (seconda edizione). Patron, 2004
  • Bernetti G, Del Favero R, Pividori M. Selvicoltura produttiva. Edagricole, 2012
  • Piussi P., Alberti G. Selvicoltura Generale. Boschi, società e tecniche colturali. Compagnia delle Foreste, 2015.
  • Puettmann KJ, Coates KD, Messier Ch. A critique of Silviculture. Managing for complexity. Islandpress, 2009.
  • Sands R. Forestry in a global context. CABI Publ. 2005

  • C.L.T. - Scienze Forestali ed Ambientali (SFA)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427