913323 Management of protective forests

Lecture and field trip
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Neumann, Mathias
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


Every forest is contributing not only wood but multiple products and services to the demands of human society – wherever it grows, at any forest site. Protection (from e.g. natural hazards, … etc.) as well as Conservation (of e.g. soil, water, air quality, … etc.) are most essential forest services, especially in mountainous regions.

In order to provide protective or conserving functions the forest has to show specific qualities, which do have an impact on the natural and/or human processes, the society is interested in. As a first step the processes have to be analysed and defined by measurable criteria and indicators, followed by analysing the possible/potential variety of impacts of forest qualities to these processes. As a result the most/”maximum effective forest type” can be designed theoretically and after comparison with the “potential natural forest type” suitable to the local site conditions the “optimal effective forest type” will guide any sustainable forest management. If more than one forest function has to be considered, the balance between the different optimal effective forest types lead to the final “optimized effective forest type”, reflecting the realistic sivicultural goal, which has to be focused on by any silvicultural activity.

After silvicultural planning the technical aspects as well as socio-cultural-economic feasibility have to be analysed and so finally the activities put into a priority schedule. As a general precondition to an efficient “integrated & protecting forest management” the location of potential dangers, the endangered zones and objects have to be identified, in order to focus silvicultural activities on essential forest stands. The risk assessment finally puts the activities into the right order. The planning procedure has to include forested areas - but also locations, which currently are not under forest cover but would be suitable to grow forests.

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Based on general silvicultural knowledge the student will become familiar with technologies suitable (i) to identify and analyse the processes of natural hazards in alpine area, (ii) to plan and design the theoretical maximum-, the realistic optimum- and the silvicultural optimized forest type as being the final management goal, (iii) to verify the technical, economic and social-cultural-traditional feasibility the measures, which would be necessary from the silvicultural point of view, (iv) to put them into a priority list, and so (v) to design a silvicultural action plan.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.