Course code MežZ2040

Credit points 3

Landscape Design

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes8

Number of hours for laboratory classes8

Independent study hours49

Date of course confirmation16.03.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Forest Management

Course developer


Līga Liepa

Dr. silv.

Replaced course

MežZB016 [GMEZB016] Landscape Design

Course abstract

During this study course students gain theoretical and practical knowledge about the landscape level assessment, landscape ecological planning, different factor reflection on forested landscapes, another cutting approaches in areas with different management goals, as well as possibilities for recreational activities and its evaluation in forested landscapes. Also the main functions of urban forests, establishment and maintenance of infrastructure elements, the role of forested ecosystems in terms of creation landscape, and innovative methods in forest ecosystem research.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Students will gain deeper knowledge about the concepts related to landscape level assessment (one written test).
Students will master their skills using new knowledge about planning process of landscape ecology and will be able to understand the role of forest ecosystems in the creation of landscape (one written test).
Students will gain acquired knowledge-based competencies on the use of thinning and selective cutting approaches for recreational purposes, suitability of forests for different types of recreation, recreation planning, and will be able to understand the management of urban forests (one written test).
Students will master their problem-solving skills using new knowledge about the management of forest ecosystems.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Landscape concept. The characteristics of Latvian landscape. Landscape classification (2h).
2. Elements of landscape composition. Design principles (2h).
3. The characterization of forested ecosystems on genetic, species, ecosystem and landscape- level assessment (2h).
4. Landscape ecological planning. The main principles of landscape ecological planning (2h).
5. Landscape ecology planning and practical use in the evaluation of forested ecosystems (2h).
6. Landscape dynamics and development. Main drivers and disturbance agents of forested landscapes (2h).
7. Different cutting techniques in forest parcels with variable terrain. Detailed design of forest edge (2h).
8. Recreation in forested ecosystems. Suitability of forests for different types of recreation (2h).
9. Various management approaches in forests for recreation purposes. Thinning and selective cutting approaches in recreational forests (2h).
10. The management activities and recreation planning in urban forests (2h).
11. Active recreational trails. Natural and educational trails (2h).
12. Local landscape creation along trails. The maintenance of infrastructure (2h).
13. Impact on different factors on forested landscapes (2h).
14. The role of forest ecosystems creating the landscape. The main functions of forested ecosystems and landscape. Common practical approaches. The assessment of available ecosystem services (2h).
15. Research methods and practice in forest landscape assessment (2h).
16. The use of alternative and innovative research methods (2h).

Requirements for awarding credit points

The final grade comprises:
1. Three written tests (each contributes to 30% of the final grade);
2. Practical work assignment and attendance (10% of the final grade);
3. Course attendance – at least 75% for lectures and practical work. Necessity to accomplish and submit all tests and practical assignments.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Additional study of literature regarding developed course description.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

- Course attendance – at least 75% for lectures and practical work. Necessity to accomplish and submit all tests and practical assignments.
- The final grade is comprised of three written tests (each contributes to 30% of the final grade. 1st test: landscape characteristics and its assessment; 2nd test: main principles in landscape ecology and 3rd test: recreation activities in forested landscapes) and practical work attendance, and assignments (10% of the final grade).
- A student can obtain positive evaluation grade for tests if at least 50% of total questions and tasks are completed correctly.

Compulsory reading

- Bels S. Nikodemus O. Rokasgrāmata meža ainavas plānošanai un dizainam. Rīga: Valsts Meža dienests, 2000. 76 lpp.
- Robinson N. The Planting Design Handbook. Ashgate Publishing Company, 2004 Ir LLU FB datubāzē eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Pieejams:
- Bell S., Apostol D. Designing sustainable Forest Landscapes. London; New York: Taylor & Francis, 2008.
- Melluma A., Lūkins M. Lauksaimniecības zemju apmežošana. Latvijas vides aizsardzības fonds, meža īpašnieku konsultatīvais centrs. 30 lpp.
- With, K.A., 2019. Essentials of Landscape Ecology. Oxford University Press.

Further reading

- Konijnendijk C., Nilsson K., Randrup T.B., Schipperijn J. 2005. Urban Forests and Trees. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
- Ellison, D., Morris, C.E., Locatelli, B., Sheil, D., Cohen, J., Murdiyarso, D., Gutierrez, V., Van Noordwijk, M., Creed, I.F., Pokorny, J. and Gaveau, D., 2017. Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot world. Global Environmental Change, 43, pp.51-61.
- Gamfeldt, L., Snäll, T., Bagchi, R., Jonsson, M., Gustafsson, L., Kjellander, P., Ruiz-Jaen, M.C., Fröberg, M., Stendahl, J., Philipson, C.D. and Mikusiński, G., 2013. Higher levels of multiple ecosystem services are found in forests with more tree species. Nature communications, 4, p.1340.
- Perera, A.H., Buse, L.J., Crow, T., 2006. Forest Landscape Ecology; transferring knowledge to practice. Springer.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Ward J. V., Tockner K., Arscott D. B., Claret C. Riverine landscape diversity. Freshwater Biology, No.47(4), 2000, p.517-539.
2. Allen T.D. Landscapes and Riverscapes: The Influence of Land Use on Stream Ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, No.35, 2002, p.257-28.
3. Valuable broadleaved forests in Europe. Spiecker H., Hein S. (Eds.). EFI Research Reports, Vol. 22. Brill Leiden, Boston, USA. 2009.


Prior knowledge is not required.