Module IV: Objectives

The objective of this module is to provide an introduction to the factors affecting the productivity of forests, and to also examine the importance of carbon, and how it can be maintained in forests. We also touch on the possibilities of increasing the amount of carbon stored in forests.

Relevant Components

  • Environmental controls on plant productivity
  • Ecosystem composition, trophic relationships and food webs
  • Productivity of timber and non-timber resources
  • Management actions to maintain or increase productivity
  • The global carbon cycle
  • Soil organic matter
  • Increasing carbon flux to forests through management

After taking this module, you should be able to:

  1. Describe some of the factors that determine forest ecosystem productivity and how these can be managed
    1. Explain the processes of photosynthesis, respiration and net primary productivity
    2. Explain the relative roles of oxygen and carbon dioxide
    3. Describe how plants utilize water and nutrients
    4. Explain how temperature controls plant productivity 
  1. Describe how ecosystems function
    1. Explain the differences in productivity between monocultures and species mixes
    2. Describe energy flows within a forest
    3. Explain how productivity within a forest is maintained or increased
    4. Describe the potential impacts of climate change on productivity 
  1. Describe how carbon is acquired, stored and released by forest ecosystems
    1. Describe the global carbon cycle and the role of forests within it
    2. Explain the different locations within a forest ecosystem where carbon is stored
    3. Describe how management actions can increase the amount of carbon sequestered in forests
    4. Explain REDD+ and why it is so important.