iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Evergreen species response to Mediterranean climate stress factors

Loretta Gratani   , Rosangela Catoni, Laura Varone

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 6, Pages 946-953 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1848-009
Published: Jul 07, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO RG7.01.00 - Nice (France 2015)
Global Challenges of Air Pollution and Climate Change to Forests
Guest Editors: Elena Paoletti, Pierre Sicard

Recent climatic projections predict a decline in rainfall mainly during the summer period and an increase in air temperature for the Mediterranean basin, resulting in extended periods of soil water deficit. Mediterranean evergreen species attain drought resistance through different traits or combination of traits. The main objective of this research is to analyze the response of the evergreen species co-occurring in the Mediterranean maquis to variations in water availability and air temperature during the year. The results show that leaf structural traits significantly affect physiological traits as confirmed by the Partial Least Squares Regression analysis (PLS). In particular, the considered species have a similar leaf respiration (RL) trend during the year with the lowest rates in winter (mean 0.95 ± 0.44 µmol m-2 s-1) and the highest in drought (mean 3.05 ± 0.96 µmol m-2 s-1). Nevertheless, a different RL effect on gross photosynthesis (PG) during drought was observed. C. incanus, E. multiflora, R. officinalis and S. aspera have the highest RL/PG ratio (mean 0.54 ± 0.08), while Q. ilex, P. latifolia, P. lentiscus, A. unedo and E. arborea have the lowest (mean 0.22 ± 0.07). RL/PG ratio variations depend on the sensitivity of both the two parameters to drought. Considering the increase of the length and intensity of drought in the Mediterranean basin, and that the photosynthesis of Mediterranean evergreen species is frequently limited by sub-optimal conditions (i.e., water deficit, high light intensity and high air temperature), it is important to improve knowledge on RL, since it has a critical function in modulating carbon balance of Mediterranean species.


Global Climate Change, Mediterranean Evergreen Species, Net Photosynthesis, Gross Photosynthesis, Leaf Respiration

Authors’ address

Loretta Gratani
Rosangela Catoni
Laura Varone
Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome (Italy)

Corresponding author

Loretta Gratani


Gratani L, Catoni R, Varone L (2016). Evergreen species response to Mediterranean climate stress factors. iForest 9: 946-953. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1848-009

Academic Editor

Elena Paoletti

Paper history

Received: Sep 01, 2015
Accepted: Apr 06, 2016

First online: Jul 07, 2016
Publication Date: Dec 14, 2016
Publication Time: 3.07 months

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