Silvicultural systems

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aims of the course are:
- to understand the effect of biotic and abiotic factors on single trees, stands and forest communities;
- to recognise the forest types of Lombardy and their environmental preferences;
- to quantitatively describe the characteristics of a forest stand by field survey and numerical processing of data, and forecasting its evolution over time;
- to understand the relationships between forests, climate change and biodiversity;
- to quantify ecosystem services and wood production that can be expressed by forest catchments, the vulnerability of forests to hydro-geological hazards, climate change and wildfire;
- to choose forest management strategies adequate to provide the chosen ecosystem services and guarantee their environmental, economic and social sustainability;
- to interpret and analyse forest planning documents (II and III level plans);
- to design and write a harvest plan, calculate mass, increment and harvest rate for forest stands;
- to describe with cartographic methods the physical and ecological characteristics of forest stands;
- to understand and apply national and regional forest regulations.
Expected learning outcomes
The skills acquired at the end of the course are:
- apply the principles of sustainable forest management and planning for the supply of production and regulation ecosystem services, their relationship with the conservation of habitats and species and as a tool for mitigating and adapting to climate change;
- apply the basic tools to interpret and design local and regional forest management plans, harvesting plans forest improvement plans for mountain and lowland forests.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Module 1

Definition of forest. Forests in the world, in Italy and Lombardy. Ecosystem services and sustainable forest management. (0.25 CFU)
The tree and its organs. Population and community ecology. Ecosystems: climate, growth factors, energy flows, biogeochemical cycles. (0.25 CFU)
Describing forest stands. (0.25 CFU)
Regeneration strategies. Disturbance ecology. Silviculture to prevent forest fires. (0.25 CFU)
Silviculture in coppices, conversions and short rotation forestry. (0.5 CFU)
Silviculture in even-aged forests. Thinning, reforestation, forest nurseries. Silviculture in uneven-aged forests. (0.5 CFU)
Forest vegetation classifications. Special silviculture (conifers). Special silviculture (hardwood). (0.5 CFU)
Silviculture in direct protection forests. (0.5 CFU)
Forest legislation (D Lgs 34/2018, RR 5/2007). (0.5 CFU)
Silviculture and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Old-growth forests. Silviculture and biodiversity. Close-to-nature forestry. (0.5 CFU)

Module 2

Review of General silviculture and main normative references (0.25 CFU)
Main functions of the forest. Main silvicultural parameters (composition, density, government, treatment, structure, stationary fertility). Summary of forest management techniques. (0.25 CFU)
Field excursion: sampling of forest parameters (0.25 CFU)
Dendroauxology. Forest growth curve. Yield and increment (0.25 CFU)
Calculating basal area, mean height, dominant height and top height. The construction of the height-diameter curve (0.25 CFU)
Determining volume of timber (0.25 CFU)
Volume of standing trees and whole stands. Volume tables. (0.25 CFU)
Different types of increment and their determination. Pressler and Schneider methods for increment calculation. (0.25 CFU)
The laws of Auxonomy. Calculating the increment of a single tree and a forest stand (0.25 CFU)
Exercise (IT lab): calculation of forest parameters (0.25 CFU)
Definition and Objectives of Forest planning. Area-based planning. Forest management Plans (0.25 CFU)
Normative references and criteria for writing plans. Preliminary surveys and forest classification (0.25 CFU)
Forest Types. Compartmentalisation of forests based on ecological and functional criteria. Forest management units and their description (0.25 CFU)
Cartographic and topographic surveys. Full callipering. Ordinary statistical sampling. Relascopic statistical sampling (0.25 CFU)
Field excursion: surveying boundaries; sampling mass and increment; identification of forest types (0.25 CFU)
Definition of the normal forest. The calculation of the harvest rat: from traditional methods to silvicultural needs. Cartography (0.25 CFU)
Prerequisites for admission
Basic algebra (unit of measure conversions, first degree equations, proportions), knowledge of the organs of higher plants and their functions, use of Microsoft Excel
Teaching methods
The course will be delivered with 48 hours of frontal lessons, 24 hours of field trips, 4 hours of seminars held by experts and 4 hours of classroom exercises and group discussion. Attendance is strongly recommended.
Module 1: Slides and course notes; compulsory study material provided by the teachers on the Ariel website of the current year's course.
P. Piussi, G. Alberti (2015). "Selvicoltura generale. Boschi, societa' e tecniche colturali". Compagnia delle Foreste, Arezzo.
IPLA (2004). "Alberi e arbusti. Guida alle specie spontanee del Piemonte". Blu Edizioni, Peveragno.

Module 2: Slides and course notes; compulsory study material provided by the teachers on the Ariel website of the current year's course.
Corona P. (2019). "Pianificazione ecologica dei sistemi forestali - 2 edizione.". Compagnia delle Foreste, Arezzo
La Marca O. (1999). "Elementi di dendrometria". Patron, Bologna.
Regolamento Reg. Lombardia n. 5/2007, "Norme Forestali Regionali".
Testo unico forestale 2018, D.Lgs. 34/2018.
Assessement methods and criteria
Module 1: oral exam (0-18 / 30) + herbarium with 20 forest species (0-6 / 30) + written descriptive report of a forest population (0-6 / 30). Herbarium and report must be prepared according to the instructions communicated at the beginning of the course and published on Ariel in the teaching material.

Evaluation criteria:
a) herbarium: correct classification and knowledge of the ecology and forestry of the species
b) report: correct use of silvicultural terminology, correctness of dendrometric calculations, correctness and quality of maps, quantitative graphs and bibliography, consistency between site and dendrometric characteristics of the forest, its main function and the management recommendation, level of detail of the management recommendation and its compliance with forest regulations.
c) oral questions: knowledge of the main ecological factors, ecosystem services, and management systems of the main forest types of Lombardy; knowledge of silvicultural techniques for hydrogeological protection, forest fire prevention, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation.

Module 2: written exam with 10 open questions and short exercises related to basic knowledge of forest management and planning (0-3 / 30 per question).
Evaluation criteria: knowledge and interpretation of the Lombardy forest management and settlement plans; knowledge and correct application of the laws of auxonomy and methods of quantitative forest planning; awareness of the basic elements of forest legislation.

The modules can be tested independently of each other. The final mark is the arithmetic mean of the marks of the two modules, rounded up. The 30 cum laude is worth 33 points.

For students with learning disorders: to take advantage of the facilities provided, you must have communicated your situation to uniMI administration at The person in charge at the Faculty is Prof. Raffaella Zanchi ( In addition, it is suggested to reach out to the teacher during the attendance or during the exam preparation in order to have useful suggestions; in any case it is mandatory to communicate that you intend to take advantage of the compensatory / dispensing tools with adequate early notice (at least 10 days) to the teacher to agree on the examination methods.
Forest management
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Vacchiano Giorgio