Module 1 Introduction

This module provides an introduction to silviculture as the basis for forest resource management and protection. Silviculture is a theory and practice for controlling forest establishment, species composition, stand structure, and tree growth. It is the foundation of forest resource management. Although people have planted trees for thousands of years, modern silviculture was established around 200 years ago. Timber used to be the most important objective for silviculture but the objectives have evolved to include biodiversity conservation, provision of recreational resources, watersheds protection, and windbreaks for croplands.

Although the objectives have changed the basic principles and practices of silviculture are still valid. This module outlines the general principles, basic practices, and development trends of silviculture. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between silviculture and forest resource management and protection. In order to fully understand these relationships, it is easiest to work through the lecture materials first then read the supplementary materials when you have time.