iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Reviewing climatic traits for the main forest tree species in Italy

Matteo Pecchi (1)   , Maurizio Marchi (2), Francesca Giannetti (1), Iacopo Bernetti (1), Marco Bindi (3), Marco Moriondo (4), Fabio Maselli (4), Luca Fibbi (4), Piermaria Corona (2), Davide Travaglini (1), Gherardo Chirici (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 173-180 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2835-012
Published: Mar 15, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

The future dynamics of forest species and ecosystems depend on the effects of climate change and are related to forest management strategies. The expected impacts of climate change are linked to forest growth and productivity. An increase in the length of the growing season and greater productivity are likely as well as shifts in average climatic values and more variable frequencies, intensities, durations and timings of extreme events. The main aim of this work is to assess and describe the climatic requirements for Italian forest tree species. We used 7.272 field observations from Italian National Forest Inventory plots and average annual temperatures and precipitation as interpolated from raster maps with 1 km spatial resolution. On this basis we evaluated the current observed distributions of the 19 most important tree species in Italy with respect to potential climatic limits based on expert knowledge and the available literature. We found that only 46% of the observations fall within the potential joint temperature and precipitation limits as defined by expert knowledge. For precipitation alone, 70% of observations were within the potential limits, and for temperature alone, 80% of observations were within the potential limits. Similarity between current observed and potential limits differ from species-to-species with broadleaves in general more frequently distributed within the potential climatic limits than conifers. We found that ecological requirements and potential information should be revised for some species, particularly for the Pinus genus and more frequently for precipitation. The results of the study are particularly relevant given the threat of climate change effects for Italian forests which are broadly acknowledged to be a biodiversity hotspot. Further investigations should be aimed at modelling the effects of climate changes on Italian forests as a basis for development of mitigation and adaptation forest management strategies.


National Forest Inventory, Sustainable Forest Management, Spatial Analysis, Forest Monitoring, Climatic Drivers

Authors’ address

Matteo Pecchi
Francesca Giannetti 0000-0002-4590-827X
Iacopo Bernetti 0000-0003-2297-1070
Davide Travaglini 0000-0003-0706-2653
Gherardo Chirici 0000-0002-0669-5726
geoLAB - Laboratory of Forest Geomatics, Department of Science and Technology in Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, Firenze (Italy)
Maurizio Marchi 0000-0002-6134-1744
Piermaria Corona 0000-0002-8105-0792
CREA - Research Centre for Forestry and Wood, Arezzo (Italy)
Marco Bindi 0000-0002-8968-954X
Department of Science and Technology in Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, Florence (Italy)
Marco Moriondo 0000-0002-8356-7517
Fabio Maselli 0000-0001-6475-4600
Luca Fibbi 0000-0001-6985-6809
CNR-IBIMET, via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence (Italy)

Corresponding author

Matteo Pecchi


Pecchi M, Marchi M, Giannetti F, Bernetti I, Bindi M, Moriondo M, Maselli F, Fibbi L, Corona P, Travaglini D, Chirici G (2019). Reviewing climatic traits for the main forest tree species in Italy. iForest 12: 173-180. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2835-012

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: May 04, 2018
Accepted: Feb 01, 2019

First online: Mar 15, 2019
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2019
Publication Time: 1.40 months

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