Module I Introduction

This is a course about the principles and practice of tree growth for restoration of degraded forests and for forest plantation development. The course consists of three modules, and module 1 starts with an overview of elements of forest ecology directly relevant to seed and vegetative regeneration and ecosystem processes related to the growth of a forest. This module aims to be a refresher on plant science terminology and concepts required to understand and complete assessment tasks in modules 2 and 3. Students are encouraged to look up terms they are not familiar with to ensure the full benefit is gained from this introductory module. The module develops an understanding of the different stages of individual tree growth and overall stand development and of the role of disturbance in initiating or resetting tree and stand growth. The ecosystem paradigm is reviewed as the basis for introducing a discussion of ecosystem processes and in particular revision of the concept of net primary productivity of a forest. Here in module 1, we revise the ecosystem processes of forest carbon and nutrient cycling as essential background to understanding limitations to forest productivity. The concept of forest productivity is central to the discussion of forest restoration and plantation development in modules 2 and 3.