78440 - Forest planning

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Federico Magnani

  • Credits 6

  • SSD AGR/05

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Planning and management of agro-territorial, forest and landscape (cod. 8532)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 24, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student will have acquired a basic understanding of forest planning, at the enterprise and landscape scale, and will know the theoretical basis and practical tools for (i) the assessment of land suitability for key forest services (production, protection, aesthetic, environmental) and (ii) the development of the Forest Management Plan. At the end of the course, the student is able to use the GIS tools required for land evaluation and forest planning; can simulate the drafting of a Forest Management Plan through the application of the Informatic System for Forest Planning.

Course contents

Background knowledge. The student must have an adequate background knowledge in statistics and basic knowledge and practical skills in geomatics (GIS) and forest mensuration; if not already available, such a background can be acquired from the optional course 57929 (Laboratorio di geomatica) and course 27534 (Inventari forestali e telerilevamento).

Unit 1: Introduction (4 hrs)

1.1 Resource assessment and resource planning in forest landscapes: aims and historical development (2 hrs)

1.2 Forest planning in Italian national and regional legislation (2 hrs)

Unit 2: Ecological analysis of agricultural and forest landscapes (12 hrs)

2.1 Multicriteria analysis in resource planning with single and multiple objectives (WLC, MOLA,…) (4 hrs)

2.2 Practicals (with QGIS and GRASS software): forest landscape analysis, single layers and cross-tabulation (2 hrs)

2.3 Practicals (with QGIS software): land suitability analysis by Boolean sieving for the identification of prevailing forest function (2 hrs)

2.4 Practicals (with QGIS software): land suitability analysis by factor analysis (WLC, minimal membership) for the identification of prevailing forest function (2 hrs)

2.5 Practicals (with QGIS software): spatial analysis of forest operations costs (2 hrs)

Unit 3: Forest management plans (30 hrs)

3.1 Forest management plans: aims and general characteristics (2 hrs)

3.2 Forest management plans in Emilia Romagna and in Italy: legislation and current state

3.3 Planning for forest production: fundamentals of growth & yield modeling; the regulated forest, volume control methods (4 hrs)

3.4 Planning for forest recreation: principles of landscape planning; planning for other forest functions (2 hrs)

3.5 Drafting a forest management plan: the Information System for Forest Planning (4 hrs)

3.6 Practicals (in the field): surveying the forest for a management plan, discussion with professional and forest managers (10 hrs)

3.7 Practicals (with ProgettoBosco software): applying the Information System for Forest Planning (4 hrs)

Unit 4: Landscape-level forest planning (6 hrs)

4.1 Planning forests in Natural Parks (2 hrs)

4.2 Planning forests in Natura 2000 sites, impact assessment (2 hrs)

4.3 Territorial forest plans (2 hrs)

Unit 5: Regional-level forest planning (6 hrs)

5.1 The Regional Forest Plan (2 hrs)

5.2 Forests in Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020 (2 hrs)

5.3 Case study: simulation of funding request (2 hrs)

Unit 6: Forest Certification (2 hrs)

6.1 Forest certification (1 hr)

6.2 EU Timber Regulation ad FLEGT Regulation (1 hr)


Considering the wide range of topics addressed, the course can be studied on slides and material provided by the lecturer on the IOL (Insegnamenti OnLine) platform. For further reading:

Malczewski, J. (1999) GIS and Multicriteria Decision Analysis. pp 408. J. Wiley, London

Corona P., Barbati A., Ferrari B., Portoghesi L. (2011) Pianificazione ecologica dei sistemi forestali. Ed. Compagnia delle Foreste, Arezzo

La Marca O., La Marca A. (2012) Appunti di Progettazione Forestale. Patron Editore, Bologna

Teaching methods

The course is largely based on lectures, integrated by a large number of practicals under the direct guide of the lecturer. More specifically:

Unit 2 (Ecological resource planning): (i) GIS practicals on land suitability analysis for forest planning; (ii) GIS practicals on spatial analysis of forest utilization costs

 Unit 3 (Forest management plans): (i) field measurement of data required by the Information System for Forest Planning; (ii) practical application of the Information System for Forest Planning through the ProgettoBosco dedicated software;

 Unit 5 (Regional forest planning): simulation of request for PAC funding (forestry chapter)

Lectures will be integrated with meetings with professionals about the topics covered by the course.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] online, while Module 3 on health and safety is to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 attendance schedule is available on the website of your degree programme.

Assessment methods

The knowledge and proficiency in the subject are assessed through a final oral exam. The assessment is based on the understanding demonstrated by the individual student, on the discussion of practicals and and on the quality of his presentation. The exam lasts approximatively 45 minutes.

Teaching tools

Practicals in computer room, with PCs available for each student and freeware software (QGIS, GRASS, ProgettoBosco). Instrumentation for forest mensuration during the field practicals. Slides for all lectures are made available beforehand to the students through the Virtuale portal (virtuale.unibo.it).

Office hours

See the website of Federico Magnani