Scientific Papers

Masood Awan HU & Pettenella D. Pine Nuts: A Review of Recent Sanitary Conditions and Market Development. Forests. 2017: 8(10), 367. DOI:

Chen D, Pereira JM, Masiero A. & Pirotti F. 2017. Mapping fire regimes in China using MODIS active fire and burned area data. Applied Geography, 85, 14-26.

Karavani A, Cáceres M, Aragón JM, Bonet JA & de-Miguel, S. Effect of climatic and soil moisture conditions on mushroom productivity ,and related ecosystem services in Mediterranean pine stands facing climate change. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.2018: 248 (2018) 432–440.

Noumonvi K. D., Ferlan M., Eler K., Alberti G., Peressotti A. and Cerasoli S. 2019. Estimation of Carbon Fluxes from Eddy Covariance Data and Satellite-Derived Vegetation Indices in a Karst Grassland (Podgorski Kras, Slovenia). Remote Sensing, 11, 649. doi: 10.3390/rs11060649.


"The Eddy Covariance method (EC) is widely used for measuring carbon (C) and energy fluxes at high frequency between the atmosphere and the ecosystem, but has some methodological limitations and a spatial restriction to an area, called a footprint. Remotely sensed information is usually used in combination with eddy covariance data in order to estimate C fluxes over larger areas. In fact, spectral vegetation indices derived from available satellite data can be combined with EC measurements to estimate C fluxes outside of the tower footprint. Following this approach, the present study aimed to model C fluxes for a karst grassland in Slovenia. Three types of model were considered: (1) a linear relationship between Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) or Gross Primary Production (GPP) and each vegetation index; (2) a linear relationship between GPP and the product of a vegetation index with PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation); and (3) a simplified LUE (Light Use-Efficiency) model assuming a constant LUE. We compared the performance of several vegetation indices derived from two remote platforms (Landsat and Proba-V) as predictors of NEE and GPP, based on three accuracy metrics, the coefficient of determination (R2), the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). Two types of aggregation of flux data were explored: midday average and daily average fluxes. The vapor pressure deficit (VPD) was used to separate the growing season into two phases, a wet and a dry phase, which were considered separately in the modelling process, in addition to the growing season as a whole. The results showed that NDVI is the best predictor of GPP and NEE during the wet phase, whereas water-related vegetation indices, namely LSWI and MNDWI, were the best predictors during the dry phase, both for midday and daily aggregates. Model 1 (linear relationship) was found to be the best in many cases. The best regression equations obtained were used to map GPP and NEE for the whole study area. Digital maps obtained can practically contribute, in a cost-effective way to the management of karst grasslands.

Keywords: eddy covariance; carbon flux; GPP; NEE; vegetation indices; remote sensing; satellite data; GPP map"

Tatek Dejene, Mohamed Samy Agamy, Dolores Agúndez  and Pablo Martin-Pinto. 2020. Ethnobotanical Survey of Wild Edible Fruit Tree Species in Lowland Areas of Ethiopia. Forests 11(2), 177.

This publication had the contribution of Mohamed Samy Agamy master thesis data. 


This study aimed to provide baseline information about wild edible tree species (WETs) through surveying of different ethnic groups in dryland areas in Ethiopia. Here the data about WETs are scant, and WETs status is unexplained under the rampant habitat degradation. Use forms, plant parts used, status, ethnobotanical knowledge, conservation needs as well as those threats affecting WETs were reviewed. The study identified 88 indigenous wild edible plants, of which 52 species were WETs. In most cases, fruits were found as the dominant use part, and they were used as raw but were occasionally cooked and preserved. Roots and bark uses are also reported from Ximenia americana and Racosperma melanoxylon respectively. June, July and August were critical periods observed for food shortage in most of the regions. However, in the Gambella region, food shortages occurred in most months of the year. The respondents in this region suggested that WETs could potentially provide them with enough food to make up for the shortage of food from conventional agricultural crops. From the respondents’ perception, Opuntia ficus-indica, Carissa edulis and Ficus vasta were among the most difficult to locate species, and they also received the highest conservation attention. Because of the variety of WETs and existing different threats, a management strategy is required for future conservation, as WETs are vital for the livelihood of local communities and are also necessary to devise a food security strategy for Ethiopia. The lesson obtained could also be useful in other dryland parts in developing countries with similar contexts.

Karavani A, Boer MM, Baudena M, Colinas C, Díaz‐Sierra R, Pemán J, de Martín L, Enríquez‐de‐Salamanca A & Resco de Dios. 2018. V. Fire‐induced deforestation in drought‐prone Mediterranean forests: drivers and unknowns from leaves to communities. Ecological Monographs. 2018: 1–29. DOI:


"Over the past 15 years, 3 million hectares of forests have been converted into shrublands or grasslands in the Mediterranean countries of the European Union. Fire and drought are the main drivers underlying this deforestation. Here we present a conceptual framework for the process of fire‐induced deforestation based on the interactive effects of fire and drought across three hierarchical scales: resistance in individuals, resilience in populations, and transitions to a new state. At the individual plant level, we review the traits that confer structural and physiological resistance, as well as allow for resprouting capacity: deforestation can be initiated when established individuals succumb to fire. After individuals perish, the second step toward deforestation requires a limited resilience from the population, that is, a reduced ability of that species to regenerate after fire. If individuals die after fire and the population fails to recover, then a transition to a new state will occur. We document trade‐offs between drought survival and fire survival, as embolism resistance is negatively correlated with fire tolerance in conifers and leaf shedding or drought deciduousness, a process that decreases water consumption at the peak of the dry season, temporally increases crown flammability. Propagule availability and establishment control resilience after mortality, but different hypotheses make contrasting predictions on the drivers of post‐fire establishment. Mycorrhizae play an additional role in modulating the response by favoring recovery through amelioration of the nutritional and water status of resprouts and new germinants. So far, resprouter species such as oaks have provided a buffer against deforestation in forests dominated by obligate seeder trees, when present in high enough density in the understory. While diversifying stands with resprouters is often reported as advantageous for building resilience, important knowledge gaps exist on how floristic composition interacts with stand flammability and on the “resprouter exhaustion syndrome,” a condition where pre‐fire drought stress, or short fire return intervals, seriously restrict post‐fire resprouting. Additional attention should be paid to the onset of novel fire environments in previously fire‐free environments, such as high altitude forests, and management actions need to accommodate this complexity to sustain Mediterranean forests under a changing climate."

Fardusi MJ, Ferrio JP, Comas C, Voltas J, Víctor Resco de Dios & Luis Serrano. Intra-specific association between carbon isotope composition and productivity in woody plants: a meta-analysis. Plant Science. 2016:  251:110-118. DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2016.04.005

Resco de Dios V, Mereed TE, Ferrio JP, Tissue DT & Voltas J. 2016. Intraspecific variation in juvenile tree growth under elevated CO2 alone and with O3: a meta-analysis. Tree Physiology. 2016: 36(6):682-93. DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpw026.


"Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are expected to increase throughout this century, potentially fostering tree growth. A wealth of studies have examined the variation in CO2 responses across tree species, but the extent of intraspecific variation in response to elevated CO2 (eCO2) has, so far, been examined in individual studies and syntheses of published work are currently lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of eCO2 on tree growth (height, stem biomass and stem volume) and photosynthesis across genotypes to examine whether there is genetic variation in growth responses to eCO2 and to understand their dependence on photosynthesis. We additionally examined the interaction between the responses to eCO2 and ozone (O3), another global change agent. Most of the published studies so far have been conducted in juveniles and in Populus spp., although the patterns observed were not species dependent. All but one study reported significant genetic variation in stem biomass, and the magnitude of intraspecific variation in response to eCO2 was similar in magnitude to previous analyses on interspecific variation. Growth at eCO2 was predictable from growth at ambient CO2 (R2 = 0.60), and relative rankings of genotype performance were preserved across CO2 levels, indicating no significant interaction between genotypic and environmental effects. The growth response to eCO2 was not correlated with the response of photosynthesis (P > 0.1), and while we observed 57.7% average increases in leaf photosynthesis, stem biomass and volume increased by 36 and 38.5%, respectively, and height only increased by 9.5%, suggesting a predominant role for carbon allocation in ultimately driving the response to eCO2. Finally, best-performing genotypes under eCO2 also responded better under eCO2 and elevated O3. Further research needs include widening the study of intraspecific variation beyond the genus Populus and examining the interaction between eCO2 and other environmental stressors. We conclude that significant potential to foster CO2-induced productivity gains through tree breeding exists, that these programs could be based upon best-performing genotypes under ambient conditions and that they would benefit from an increased understanding on the controls of allocation."

Collado E, Camarero JJ, Martínez de Aragón J, Pemán J, Bonet JA, & De-Miguel S. Linking fungal dynamics, tree growth and forest management in a Mediterranean pine ecosystem. Forest Ecology and Management. 2018: 422, 223–232. DOI:

Taye ZM, Martínez-Peña F, Bonet JA, Martínez de Aragón J. & de-Miguel SJ. Meteorological conditions and site characteristics driving edible mushroom production in Pinus pinaster forests of Central Spain. Fungal Ecology.  2016: 23, 30-41

Zaits O & Poch RM. Micromorphology of organic matter and humus in Mediterranean mountain soils. Geoderma. 2016: 272 (2016) 83–92. DOI:

Shahin, H., Correia, A. H., Orazio, C., Branco, M., & Almeida, M. H. (2019). Monitoring two REINFFORCE Network Arboreta: first result on site, climate and genetic interaction showing impact on phenology and biotic damages. Scientia Forestalis, 47(123), 552-570.


"Understanding how climate affects tree phenology, biotic and abiotic vulnerability, is a most important research subject. Particularly, climate warming appears to lengthen the growing season, which may affect the exposition to insect pests and pathogens. Also, extreme weather events combined with shifts in phenology may have dramatic consequences, such as early leaf flushing exposure to freezing events. In this study 2 arboreta were followed in the south most distribution of the REINFFORCE Network (Lisbon and Sintra) for 3 species, one native (Quercus robur L.) and 2 non-native (Quercus rubra L. and Betula pendula Roth). Plant growth, leaf phenology and insect damage were assessed according to protocols defined under REINFFORCE project. Species x site interaction was found significant for survival and growth. Phenology differed between and within all species. No difference found for frost tolerance. B. pendula had earlier bud burst at both sites, resulting in a longer growth period, and higher stem growth, being least affected by insect damage, although survival was affected under higher temperature, where Q. robur performed better. This study corroborates the importance of REINFORCE arboreta network as a tool to assess climate change impact on forest species and support assisted migration considering climate change scenarios."

Filippo Santini, Luis Serrano, Shawn Carlisle Kefauver, Mamun Abdullah-Al, Mònica Aguilera, Ester Sin, Jordi Voltas. Morpho-physiological variability of Pinus nigra populations reveals climate-driven local adaptation but weak water use differentiation, Environmental and Experimental Botany, Volume 166, 2019, 103828.


"Disentangling patterns of intra-specific changes in morpho-physiological traits is crucial for understanding the capacity of tree populations to cope with human-induced environmental changes. This study combined well-established phenotyping techniques and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery to characterise the extent of intra-specific variation for an array of meaningful traits among 18 populations of Pinus nigra growing in a common-garden experiment in central Spain, subject to summer drought. Data for eight traits describing above-ground growth, intrinsic water-use efficiency, water uptake patterns and reserve accumulation were obtained for 210 adult individuals belonging to the subspecies lariciocalabricanigra and salzmanii. UAV imagery was used to derive seven vegetation indices describing canopy structure and photosynthetic pigments. A strong inter-population differentiation arising from adaptation to cold and continental conditions at the geographical origin of the populations was found for growth traits, reserve accumulation, chlorophyll concentration and leaf surface area. Fast-growing populations, originating from milder climates, emerged in contrast to slow-growing populations, originating from colder and more continental areas of the species range. The latter were characterised by higher leaf chlorophyll concentration and higher investment in reserves. Inter-population variation was highly structured at the subspecies level. Subspecies laricio and calabrica were characterised by a higher growth investment, but diverged in relative radial to primary growth allometry, whereas subspecies nigra and salzmanii showed the highest investment in reserves. Importantly, variation of traits related to water economy was negligible, both at the population and subspecies level, indicating that Mediterranean populations of P. nigra may lack specific adaptation to drought stress. These results provided valuable information in forecasting the performance of this species in the context of climate change. Specifically, they anticipated the potential vulnerability of Mediterranean populations of P. nigra to future reduction in water availability."

Enrica Alicandri, Anna Rita Paolacci, Samson Osadolor, Agostino Sorgonà, Maurizio Badiani and Mario Ciaffi. 2020. On the Evolution and Functional Diversity of Terpene Synthases in the Pinus Species: A Review. Journal of Molecular Evolution 88: 253–283. 


"In the biosynthesis of terpenoids, the ample catalytic versatility of terpene synthases (TPS) allows the formation of thousands of different molecules. A steadily increasing number of sequenced plant genomes invariably show that the TPS gene family is medium to large in size, comprising from 30 to 100 functional members. In conifers, TPSs belonging to the gymnosperm-specific TPS-d subfamily produce a complex mixture of mono-, sesqui-, and diterpenoid specialized metabolites, which are found in volatile emissions and oleoresin secretions. Such substances are involved in the defence against pathogens and herbivores and can help to protect against abiotic stress. Oleoresin terpenoids can be also profitably used in a number of different fields, from traditional and modern medicine to fine chemicals, fragrances, and flavours, and, in the last years, in biorefinery too. In the present work, after summarizing the current views on the biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids, recent advances on the evolution and functional diversification of plant TPSs are reviewed, with a focus on gymnosperms. In such context, an extensive characterization and phylogeny of all the known TPSs from different Pinus species is reported, which, for such genus, can be seen as the first effort to explore the evolutionary history of the large family of TPS genes involved in specialized metabolism. Finally, an approach is described in which the phylogeny of TPSs in Pinus spp. has been exploited to isolate for the first time mono-TPS sequences from Pinus nigra subsp. laricio, an ecologically important endemic pine in the Mediterranean area."

Gassibe PV, Oria-de-Rueda JA, Martín-Pinto P. 2015. P. pinaster under extreme ecological conditions provides high fungalproduction and diversity. Forest Ecology and Management. 2015: 337: 161–173. DOI:

Md Habibur Rahman Salman, Klaus Hellrigl, Stefano Minerbi, Andrea Battisti. 2016. Prolonged pupal diapause drives population dynamics of the pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) in an outbreak expansion area. Forest Ecology and Management,  361: 375-381.


"Due to its negative impact on tree growth and human health, pine processionary moth is a major concern for forest managers, especially in recent outbreak expansion areas. As some individuals have prolonged diapause for more than a single year, population dynamics of this species is hard to understand. To decipher the mechanism of prolonged diapause and its role in population dynamics, we started a pest surveillance program in 1999 in a pine processionary population in the southern-central Alps of northern Italy, a recent range expansion zone for the species. The 16-year study used a pheromone trap network and four large rearing cages. We found some individuals could diapause for up to a maximum of seven years. With few exceptions, prolonged pupal diapause increased and retrieval rate of moth in cages decreased with increasing elevation. Moreover, we found prolonged diapausing individuals to emerge in advance of non-diapausing individuals. This trait allowed us to infer the proportion of prolonged diapausing individuals caught in the pheromone traps. Prolonged diapause was responsible for maintaining high population density for eight years in spite of annual applications of the biocontrol agent Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki. This sustained density relied on individuals from cohorts before the application of insecticide started, and from cohorts not completely suppressed by the insecticide applications.

Keywords: Pinus nigra, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, Pheromone trap, Range edge, Alps, Prolonged diapause"

Choury Z, Shestakova TA, Himrane H, Touchan R, Kherchouche D, Camarero JJ & Voltas J. Quarantining the Sahara desert: growth and water-use efficiency of Aleppo pine in the Algerian Green Barrier. Eur J Forest Res. 2016: 136 (1) 139–152. DOI:

Sgrigna G., Baldacchini C.,Dreveck S., Cheng Z., Calfapietra C. 2020. Relationships between air particulate matter capture efficiency and leaf traits in twelve tree species from an Italian urban-industrial environment, Science of The Total Environment,Volume 718.

With contributions from the Master Thesis of Susana Dreveck ​

Abstract: Air pollution in the urban environment is widely recognized as one of the most harmful threats for human health. International organizations such as the United Nations and the European Commission are highlighting the potential role of nature in mitigating air pollution and are now funding the implementation of Nature-Based Solutions, especially at the city level. Over the past few decades, the attention of the scientific community has grown around the role of urban forest in air pollution mitigation. Nevertheless, the understanding on Particulate Matter (PM) retention mechanisms by tree leaves is still limited. In this study, twelve tree species were sampled within an urban park of an industrial city. Two techniques were used for leaf analysis: Vacuum/Filtration and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, in order to obtain a quali-quantitative analysis of the different PM size fractions. Results showed that deposited PM loads vary significantly among species. Different leaf traits, including micro and macromorphological characteristics, were observed, measured and ranked, with the final aim to relate them with PM load. Even if no significant correlation between each single leaf characteristic and PM deposition was observed (p > 0.05), multivariate analysis revealed relationships between clusters of leaf traits and deposited PM. Thus, by assigning a score to each trait, an Accumulation index (Ai) was calculated, which was significantly related to the leaf deposited PM load (p ≤ 0.05).
Keywords: Nature-based solutions; Particulate matter; Air quality; Leaf morphology; Scanning electron microscopy

Martín-Alcón S, Coll L & Salekin S. Stand-level drivers of tree-species diversification in Mediterranean pine forests after abandonment of traditional practices. Forest Ecology and Management. 2015: 353: 107-117.

Martín A, Botequim B, Oliveira TM, Ager A, Pirotti F. Temporal optimisation of fuel treatment design in blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) plantation. Forest Systems. 2016: 25(2): eRC09.

Borges, J. G., L. Diaz-Balteiro, M. E. McDill and L. C. E. Rodriguez (Eds) 2014 The management of industrial forest plantations. Theoretical foundations and applications. Springer, Managing Forest Ecosystems Vol. 33, 543 p.


(MEDfOR student in the acknowledgments)

Segalina G., Dang C. N.,  Sierra-de-Grado R. 2020. Thinning scenarios to reconcile biodiversity conservation and socio-economic co-benefits in protected forest of Vietnam: effects on habitat value and timber yield. Asian Journal of Forestry. 4: 22-35.


Abstract. Segalina F, Dang CN, Grado RSD2020. Thinning scenarios to reconcile biodiversity conservation and socio-economic co-benefits in protected forest of Vietnam: effects on habitat value and timber yield. Forest protection policy since the 1990s in Vietnam has led to an overall increase in forest cover, but has also adversely impacted the livelihoods of local populations and has displaced deforestation to neighboring countries. As such, it is necessary to explore strategies to achieve sustainable utilization of tropical forests in a way that is compatible with the preservation of biodiversity. One of which is by selective thinning. This study aimed to analyze the habitat and economic value of the trees in a forest block, then comparing the effects of four thinning scenarios on profit and habitat value. We simulated four thinning scenarios and assessed their effects on biodiversity and economic value. The scenarios were defined according to two criteria: tree dominance and tree habitat value. The study took place in a one-hectare plot of marteloscope located in a naturally regenerated mixed forest enriched with native tree species. The habitat value, evaluated by tree-related microhabitats, was used as a proxy for biodiversity. In our study, as many 58 different tree species were found within the marteloscope. Co-dominant trees with a higher diameter at breast height yielded the highest average habitat value, which coincides weakly with findings in temperate forests. In our study, the biodiversity conservation criterion had only a marginal effect on economic benefit. Both results together show that a meeting point between profitability and biodiversity conservation is possible.

Bagaram MB, Giuliarelli D, Gherardo C, Giannetti F & Barbati A. UAV Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Monitoring: Are Forest Canopy Gaps Good Covariates? Remote Sensing. 2018: 10 (9), 1397. DOI:

Gidey T, Oliveira TS, Crous-Duran J & Palma HN. Using the Yield-SAFE model to assess the impacts of climate change on yield of coffee (Coffea arabica L.) under agroforestry and monoculture systems. 2019. DOI:


Mohamed Samy Abdel-Hamed Agamy. 2019. Wild edible tree species in lowland, Ethiopia. Master Thesis, University of Valladolid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenierías Agrarias, University of Valladolid. Spain.

Advisors: Pablo Martín Pinto. 


"Aim of study: to provide baseline information about wild edible tree species (WETs) and their main threats, this will help to develop conservation and management strategies of important species in Ethiopia.
Area of study: It focused mainly on dry land part of Ethiopia where information about wild WETs is scanty and their status is unknown under the rampant degradation of the habitats.
Main results: documentation of important wild edible tree species, their main uses, and the conclusions related to their status, socioeconomic aspects and conservation needs as well as the factors affecting WETs and the way forward.
Research highlights: the study showed a total of 88 WETs and their utilization aspects among different ethnical groups in dry land area of the Ethiopia. Moreover, due to the diversity of WETs and the existing threats, effort has to be done for their future conservation to reach a food security strategy in the country. The associated knowledge with the WETs is also found to be important for the livelihood of the local communities. Thus, this paper can serve as baseline information and indicator for further studies and documentation of WETs in Ethiopia. This could also be useful in other dry land parts in developing countries with similar contexts."

Cátia Sofia Vieira reis. 2016. Addressing wildfire risk in forest management with a wildfire resistance indicator. Master Thesis, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa. Lisbon, Portugal.
Advisors: Prof. José Calvão Borges

Deniz Çolak 2014. Analysis of the performance of the 3-PG model for Scots pine in Turkey. University of Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal.

Advisors: Maria Margarida Branco de Brito Tavares Tomé and  Ana Paula Soares Marques de Carvalho

Muhammad Ishfaq 2019. Assessing Coherence between the National Forest Policy and UNFF Goals: the case study of Pakistan.  Master Thesis, Università Degli Studi di Padova. Padua, Italy.

Advisors: Prof. Davide Matteo Pettenella and Prof. Francesco Carbone

Noelia López García 2018. Assessing ecosystem functioning on Mediterranean forests in the context of Global Change: the case study of Mont Ventoux (France)​. Master Thesis, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.
Advisors:  Dr. Hendrik Davi, Dr. François Lefèvre INRA-PACA, France and Prof. Jose-Antonio Bonet, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.

Diego Antonio Martinez de la Cruz 2014. Assessing public and private sector involvement in the use and conservation of agrobiodiversity: A Bolivian case study. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Paola Gatto, University of Padua.

Nouha Ghobber 2014. Assessing soil structure and porosity under different soil management strategies through micromorphology. Master Thesis, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Dr. Rosa M Poch Claret and Dr. Àngela D. Bosch Serra, University of Lleida.

Mehzabin  Rupa 2015. Association between ambrosia fungi and wood-boring beetles in Italy. Master Thesis, University of Padova. Padova, Italy.
Advisors: Prof. Andrea Battisti and Prof. Davide Rassati, University of Padova.

Ilaria Dalla Vecchia 2014. Attività illegali e non sostenibili nel settore forestale in Italia: i casi studio delle regioni Lombardia, Lazio e Calabria. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy. Advisor: Prof. Dr. Laura Secco, University of Padua.

Muha Abdullah Al Pavel 2017. Climate impact on early growth of Pinus pinaster Ait. University of Valladolid, Spain. Master Thesis, University of Valladolid. Valladolid, Spain
Advisor: Dr. Felipe Bravo Oviedo and Ing. Cristobal Ordonez Alonso.

Michael Boateng Ottie. 2019. Comparative analysis of salinity tolerance in Tamarix africana and Tamarix gallica originating from two Italian provenances  Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Tuscia, Italy

Advisors:  Prof. Paolo De Angelis and Dr. Dario Liberati


"In recent times, one of the starring abiotic stresses for plant survival in the ecosystem is salinity. This has resulted in massive loss of habitat, biodiversity, native vegetation and water resource value. Halophytes form 2% of plants and can tolerate 200-1000mM levels of salt concentration. Among them is Tamarix species which have been reported to be highly tolerant to salinity, occupying coastal dunes and the riverbanks of Southern Italy. They are use in the conservation and restoration practices under the perspectives of global climate changes. Different authors carried out experiments on Tamarix species, however their tolerance to salinity stresses are incompletely known or few studies reported. To address this gap, this thesis analyses the salinity tolerance in different provenances of Tamarix africana and Tamarix gallica available in the EcoPhysLab in-vivo collection. Here, we analyse the growth and physiological responses of Tamarix africana and Tamarix gallica of two Italian provenances (Simeto and Basento) over time across saline treatments (control, 200 mM, and 550 mM).
The finding of this study showed treatment effects on Tamarix species for cumulative shoot length, dominant shoot length, stem diameter and harvest biomass in both
Basento and Simeto provenances. The study shows that under control treatment, Tamarix africana had 5.2% average leaves biomass and 2.3% wood biomass more than Tamarix gallica. On the other hand, Tamarix gallica had 13.4% average leaves biomass in moderate salinity and 27% average wood biomass in high salinity more than Tamarix africana. Furthermore, Tamarix gallica had 7.5% average root biomass in control and 13.5% average root biomass in high salinity more than Tamarix africana. Under moderate, salinity Tamarix africana had 2.5% average root biomass more than Tamarix gallica. The study also indicates that Tamarix gallica had the ability to resist high saline stress as compared to Tamarix africana. Furthermore, the study also revealed physiological decline of Tamarix species in both Basento and Simeto provenances over time across moderate and high saline treatments. At the end of the experiment, the average quantity of salt accumulated outside the twigs of Tamarix species increased from 31.05 mg/g in control, to 112.21 mg/g in moderate and 169.24 mg/g in high salinity treatment. Under control, Tamarix gallica salt accumulated outside the twigs was 39.8% more than Tamarix africana. Similarly, in moderate salinity Tamarix gallica salt accumulated outside the twigs was 25.0% as well as 9.7% in high salinity more than Tamarix africana. The results of the study provide additional information about the intrinsically fascinating Tamarix africana and Tamarix gallica at both Basento and Simeto provenances in Italy as well as new insights for the conservation and restoration of potential fragile ecosystems, such as those occupied by Tamarix species. This ability has increasing potential in a world where the human population is still increasing and land use practices and changes in the climate are likely to lead to increased salinization of the land surface in many regions."

Anna Liubachyna 2014. Cross-sectoral policy effects on forests and environment: preliminary analysis. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Laura Secco, University of Padua.

Motaz A. Abdelaziz 2018. Discovering the environmental factors affecting the distribution of Terfezia claveryi Chatin in the Northwest of the Region of Murcia. Master Thesis, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Asuncion Morte and Dr. Alfonso Navarro, the University of Murcia, Prof. Jose-Antonio Bonet, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.

Araceli. Ruiz Guillamón 2014. Drought response assessment of 3 cork oak provenances. Master Thesis, University of Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal.
Advisors: Dr. Alexandra F. Marques and Dr. Miguel Sottomayor

Md Ekramul Haque 2018. Effects of Collembolan (Springtails) on Soil Aggregate formation and Stabilization: A trait-based Approach.
Advisors: Dr. Amandine Erktan and Dr. Marie Currie, Universty of Gottingen, University of Gottingen and Prof. Dr. José Antonio Bonet, University of Lleida

SM Lovely Akhter 2019. Effects of water stress on Alnus glutinosa populations across the species distribution range. Master Thesis, University of Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal

Advisors: Dr Patricia María Rodríguez González and Prof. Teresa Soares David.

Muhammad  Muddasir 2015. Efficacy of Biochar in Reducing Cu and Zn Toxicity in Manure Sludge Using Biological Indicators. Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Viterbo, Italy.
Advisors: Prof. Paolo De Angelis, Prof. Maria Cristina Moscatelli and Dr. Andrea Colantoni, University of Tuscia

Wenhao Wang. 2017. Estimating Sustainable forest management (SFM) indicators at operational scale in central Italy. Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Tuscia, Italy.
Advisor: Prof. Anna Barbati
Zoi-Antigoni Sideri-Manoka 2017. Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Tuscia, Italy.

Sushmita Rani Saha 2018. Evaluation of the use of Biochar to remove heavy metals from road runoff. University of Tuscia. Tuscia, IItaly
Advisors: Prof Paolo De Angelis and Dr. Dario Liberati, University of Tuscia

Daniel Hagos Berhe 2018. Feasibility of NIR Spectroscopy in Classifying Pine Nut Species Beech. Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Tuscia, Italy.
Advisors:  Dr. Mariagrazia Agrimi, Prof. Dr. Riccardo Massantini, Dr. Roberto Moscetti, University of Tuscia.

Elvin Carol Kohen 2019. Forest Landscape Restoration, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Master Thesis, University of Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal

Advisors: Dr. Miguel Bugalho and Dr. Barbara Vinceti


Houda Ben Salah 2015. Forest stands characteristics of the Salamandra atra aurorae Trevisan habitat: a study at the Bosco del Dosso (Asiago, Italy). Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.  
Advisors: Dr. Tommaso Sitizia and Dr. Thomas Campagnaro, University of Padua.


Anthropogenic habitat loss and the reduction of suitable habitat for a species have been implicated as among the key drivers of biodiversity crisis. Salamandra altra aurorea is
considered to be critically endangered by the IUCN red list and is included as “priority taxon” in the European Union Habitat directive due to its very limited geographic distribution and the potential threat of habitat loss resulting from wood harvesting. My first goal in this study was to evaluate the characteristics of the habitat of Salamandra atra auroae in “Bosco del Dosso” in the plateau of Asiago, by focusing on various parameters, and investigating the influence of environmental and management factors. The second goal was to compare results on habitat characteristics with those of the previous year before any forestry intervention was carried out. This study is part of a larger project aimed at studying the habitat of this species and the effect of experimental forest exploitation on the subspecies under investigation. In 2015, for these reasons, based on the presence of the salamander recorded in 2014, 17 trees were cut from a total number of 50 trees. In 2015 there was a higher total number of vascular plant species in the herbaceous layer and, consistently, also the cover of this vegetation layer increased.  The removal of the canopy could have had an affect also on the regeneration. The number of stones and bark pieces significantly increased between the two years whether the trees were cut or left standing. Based also on the observations of last year, this study highlights the importance of considering an important amount of shelters as stones and pieces of bark to better understand the habitat of Salamandra atra aurorae and the possible changes driven by forest exploitation."

Shebeshe Haile. 2019. How does precipitation pattern affect annual tree growth? A multi-year data analysis a case study of semi-arid Yatir Forest, Israel

Advisors:  Felipe Bravo Oviedo  and Yakir  Preisler and Dan Yakir

Amal Mokhtar 2014. Implementation of the Strategic Framework of Mediterranean Forests in the National Forest Programs of the Maghreb countries: a regional comparative analysis. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Laura Secco, University of Padua.

Abdullah-Al Mamun 2018. Intra-specific differentiation in the investment on carbon resources on Pinus nigra. Master Thesis, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Luis Serrano and Prof. Dr. Monica Aguilera, U of Lleida.

Siba Ghadban 2018. Key local landscape and stand structure variables explain biodiversity of Mediterranean forests in Catalonia, Spain. University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Prof. Cristina Vega-Garcia, University of Lleida.

Andrii Khomiuk 2018. Large-scale assessment of storm damage to forests using Sentinel-2 imagery and LiDAR data. Master Thesis, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Lluís Coll Mir and Dr. Santiago Martín Alcón, U of Lleida

Dongmei Chen 2015. Mapping Fire Regimes in China Using MODIS Data. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy. 
Advisors: Dr. Francesco Pirotti, University of Padua and Prof. José M.C. Pereira, University of Lisbon.

Umair Masood Awan Hafiz 2014. Market Development of Pine Products in European Union: Decline or Diversification? Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Davide Matteo Pettenella, University of Padua.

Fahmida Sultana. 2019.  Micropropagation and in vitro characterization of veteran Platanus orientalis L. under heavy metal (Cd) exposure.

Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Tuscia, Italy.

Habib Yusif 2019.  Model Selection and Fitting for Basal Area Increment in a Vietnamese Tropical Forest.

Master Thesis, University of Valladolid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenierías Agrarias, Spain.

Advisors: Felipe Bravo Oviedo and  Hung Bui

Eduardo Collado Coloma 2016. Modelling Height distribution of young cork oak plantations in Portugal. Master Thesis, University of Lisbon. Lisbon, Portugal
Advisors: Prof. Margarida Tomé and Dr. Joana Paulo

Gonçalo Filipe Mateus Marques 2016. Post-fire vegetation recovery and deadwood dynamics in a scots pine forest. A multi-spacial scale analysis. Master Thesis, University of Padova. Padova, Italy
Advisors: Dr. Emanuele Lingua

Danilo Reis Gonçalves 2018. qPCR as a technique to detect Fusarium circinatum in different samples. Master Thesis, University of Valladolid. Palencia, Spain.
Advisors:  Dr. Julio Javier Diez Casero and Prof. Dr. Pablo Martínez Álvarez, University of Valladolid, Spain.

Sudip Pandey 2014. Relationship between climate and wood-anatomy parameters on Pinus sylvestris L. from Northern Finland. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Marco Carrer, University of Padua.

Abdelaziz Ben Abdallah 2015. Resilience of forest public authorities to forest policy reforms in Tunisia. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Laura Secco, University of Padua and Dr. Irina Kouplevatskaya Butoud, FAO- Roma.


Kisa Fatima 2017. Role of Mediterranean Forests in Sectors of Green Economy. Master Thesis, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain
Advisors: Dr Inazio Martinez de Arano and Dr José Antonio Bonet

Ghenima Ghemouri 2015. Socio Economic valuation of NTFP in Algeria: A case study on medicinal plants in the National Park of Djordjuna. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.  Advisors: Prof. Dr. Davide Pettenella, Dr. Rachid Meddour and Dr. Sabrina Tomasini, University of Padua.

Olena Zaiets 2015. Soil organic Pools in Mediterranean Forests: A micromorphological approach. Master Thesis, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Rosa M. Poch Claret, University of Lleida.

Susana Patricia da Silva 2014. State of the Mediterranean Forest genetic resources in a climate change context. Master Thesis, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Dr. Bruno Fady and Dr. Luis Serrano, University of Lleida.

Komla Julien Akpalu. 2019. Susceptibility of Pinus pinaster’s families to Pine Pitch Canker Caused by Fusarium Circinatum. 

Master Thesis, University of Valladolid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenierías Agrarias, Spain.

Advisors: Dr. Pr. Julio Javier Diez Casero Dr. Raquel Diaz Vazquez

Ishida Yu 2015. Sustainable Use of Wood for Energy Comparison of Energy Support Schemes for Domestic Use of Wood between Germany, Italy, Japan, and UK. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.  
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Davide Mateo Pettenella and Prof. Dr. Mauro Masiero, University of Padua.


"This study has investigated the effects of wood products supply chain in relation to national renewable energy support schemes. The research was inspired by the question of whether monetary incentives encourage domestic wood use or induce wood imports.
This research conducted in-depth case studies on four selected countries – Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. Its theoretical approach was based from the DPSIR (Driver, Pressure, State, Impact and Response) model created by EEA. The following information were used as indicators of the model: renewable energy support schemes, trend in biomass energy production, trend in wood products, sizes and numbers of plants, and forest resources. Most of the data were collected from documents provided by each national ministry and online databases such as Eurostat and FAOstat.
The findings from the research illustrate the antecedents and consequences of renewable support incentives and biomass energy production together with biomass plants, but further impacts on wood supply remains anecdotal due to the complex interconnections of several disciplines.
The results provided some key aspects for better use of wood biomass in support of renewable energy support incentives, but also limitations were stated for further research in the future."

Mohammad Maruf Billah. 2017. The relationship between climate and tree growth rate on various tree species across Canada and USA with focus on divergence decadal climate oscillations. Master Thesis, University of Tuscia. Tuscia, Italy.
Advisor: Prof Manuela Romagnoli and Prof David Goldblum

Jim Yates 2019. The role of formal institutions in forest decline: exploring institutional failure.

Master Thesis, Università Degli Studi di Padova. Padua, Italy.

Advisors: Professor Laura Secco and Prof. Francesco Carbone

Asaf Karavani 2016. The role of soil moisture in predicting edible wild mushroom productivity. Master Thesis, University of Lleida. Lleida, Spain.
Advisors: Dr. Miquel de Cáceres and Dr. Sérgio de Miguel

Bikash Kharel 2018. The use of barcoding sequences for the construction of phylogenetic relationships in the Euphorbiaceae. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy.
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Alsessandro Vannozzi from u of Padua and Prof. Dr. Oliver Gailing, from University of Gottingen, Germany.

Kawtar Boussal 2016. Timber traceability impact on forest governance in tropical countries. The study case of Honduras. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy
Advisors: Dr. Laura Secco.

Eric CudjoeTree biomass allocation in temperate mixed forest.

Master Thesis, University of Valladolid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenierías Agrarias, Spain.

Advisors: Dr. Felipe Bravo Oviedo and Dr. Ricardo Ruiz-Peinado

Narangarav Dugarsuren 2019. Tree biomass and biodiversity relationship in a mixed Mediterranean forest in Spain.  Master Thesis, Universidad de Valladolid. Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenierías Agrarias, Spain

Advisors:  Felipe Bravo Oviedo and Ángel Cristóbal Ordóñez Alonso


Ana Martín Ariza 2015. Trends in wildfire risk at time-scale: optimizing fuel treatments configurations in eucalyptus plantation in Portugal. Master Thesis, University of Padua. Padua, Italy. Advisors: Dr. Francesco Pirotti, University of Padua, Eng. Tiago Martins de Oliveira and Dr. Brigite Botequim, University of Lisbon.


Eric  Boateng  Acheampong 2019. Verified sourcing areas (VSA) initiative: assessing the opportunities and challenges in six selected cocoa communities in the Prestea-Huni Valley, District of Ghana.

Master Thesis, Università Degli Studi di Padova. Padua, Italy.

Advisors: Prof. Mauro Masiero

"Cocoa production has been associated with deforestation and current management conditions/practices has raised concerns on how social issues are addressed along the cocoa supply chain. The Verified Sourcing Areas (VSA) mechanism developed by IDH is one of the numerous initiatives to address sustainability issues in the cocoa sector. The study was conducted to preliminary assess the gap between the VSA approach and the targeted communities. 200 cocoa farmers and 8 key informants were interviewed from six randomly selected communities in the Prestea-Hunni Valley District in the South-Western part of Ghana. Land use conversion has increased in recent years: while in 2000-2003 only 2% of farmers had converted various land use, the percentage increased up to 53% from 2016-2019 mostly at the expense of forests and fallow lands. In most cases, conversion was done to expand the cultivated area for increased production. Between 58-232 hectares of forest cover have been converted from 2000-2019 and there is pressure on peatlands. Labour preference for men has resulted in limited access and wage gap against women. Children aged under 18 have been used in cocoa production. 57% and 90% of farmers do not have permanent tenure and official land titles respectively. Rising cost of inputs was identified as the major challenge for the future of cocoa production whiles availability of affordable inputs was identified as a major driver. An important requirement during trade of cocoa beans were beans dryness and type/nature of weighing scale for License Buying Companies (LBCs) and farmers respectively. The main opportunities for VSA identified included high prevalence of active labour and young vital cocoa farms, organized farmers and unlikely future labour drain. The major challenges were high prevalence of customary land tenure regimes, low production trends and low or no intensification. There are gaps between the study area and all key-themes of the VSA approach."