Unit Code: FOR504

Unit Title: Forest Ecology & Soils

The unit introduces the students in forest ecology for an understanding of ecosystems as it covers the following instructional areas; the interaction that occurs between plants, animals and the environment, and the ways in which these interactions affect the distribution and abundance of plants and animal communities in the Solomon Islands and the Pacific, impacts on various land uses, natural events and disturbances have on forest ecosystems, and the basis of sustainable forest management, preparation for effective problem-solving in ecology and other disciplines, the introduction to tropical biodiversity; this includes terrestrial diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

The second part introduces the students with adequate knowledge and skills on different aspects of soil science; soil formation, physical and chemical properties, soil biology, soil conservation, soil sampling techniques and analysis, plant nutrition, especially with regard to the importance of the essential elements in the soil-plant relationship which covers the following instructional areas: geological processes that affect soils; the physical and chemical characteristics of soils; interpret the soil characteristics for a given site; the interaction of geology, soils, and forestry operations, and explain natural water and chemical cycle, soil-forming processes, variation in soil type and how this affects soil, physical, chemical and biological characteristics and forest productivity, identification and mapping of soil types, and how to maintain productive soils for plant growth