Responses of Mediterranean forests to drought
The first steps into fascinating ‘world’ of tree ecophysiology were taken during my master thesis first, and then during my PhD in Marco Borghetti's group at the University of Basilicata, working with Antonio Saracino (the University of Naples Federico II), Francesco Ripullone and Angelo Nolé. I had the chance to get involved in many national and European-funded projects aiming to investigate physiological mechanisms underlying responses of Mediterranean forests to drought. Manipulation experiments were carried out where drought was imposed on seedlings in a nursery and at the plot level, on mature trees in a Mediterranean macchia. Main physiological responses were monitored, with particular reference to contribution of stomatal and non-stomatal limitations on photosynthesis, and the hydraulic strategies trees adopted under prolonged soil water limitation were assessed.