Francesco Maria Sabatini

Francesco Maria Sabatini
Università di Bologna. Representación en Buenos Aires · Dept. of Biological

PhD

About

79
Publications
84,180
Reads
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1,703
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - February 2018
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Post-Doc: Marie-Curie Fellow)
Description
  • Marie-Curie Fellow Project title: FORESTS and CO - Co-Benefits and Conflicts between CO2 sequestration and biodiversity conservation in European Forests
February 2014 - September 2015
Sapienza University of Rome
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2010 - March 2014
Sapienza University of Rome
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Policies to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss often assume that protecting carbon-rich forests provides co-benefits in terms of biodiversity, due to the spatial congruence of carbon stocks and biodiversity at biogeographic scales. However, it remains unclear whether this holds at the scales relevant for management, with particularly lar...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests are critical for forest biodiversity and provide key ecosystem services. In Europe, these forests are particularly scarce and it is unclear whether they are sufficiently protected. Here we aim to: (a) understand whether extant primary forests are representative of the range of naturally occurring forest types, (b) identify forest ty...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests, defined here as forests where the signs of human impacts, if any, are strongly blurred due to decades without forest management, are scarce in Europe and continue to disappear. Despite these losses, we know little about where these forests occur. Here, we present a comprehensive geodatabase and map of Europe’s known primary forests...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing biodiversity status and trends in plant communities is critical for understanding, quantifying and predicting the effects of global change on ecosystems. Vegetation plots record the occurrence or abundance of all plant species co‐occurring within delimited local areas. This allows species absences to be inferred, information seldom provid...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances (i.e., β-diversity) is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional variation in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distance...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores are making remarkable comebacks in Europe, but how this affects human-wildlife conflict remains unclear. Rebounding carnivore populations lead to increasing livestock depredation, which in turn leads to greater economic losses for farmers. However, returning carnivores could also influence the behavior of wild ungulates, which are...
Article
Full-text available
With accelerating environmental change, understanding forest disturbance impacts on trade-offs between biodiversity and carbon dynamics is of high socioeconomic importance. Most studies, however, have assessed immediate or short-term effects of disturbance, while long-term impacts remain poorly understood. Using a tree-ring-based approach, we analy...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological theory is built on trade-offs, where trait differences among species evolved as adaptations to different environments. Trade-offs are often assumed to be bidirectional, where opposite ends of a gradient in trait values confer advantages in different environments. However, unidirectional benefits could be widespread if extreme trait value...
Article
High conservation value forests (HCVF) are critically important for biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning, but face manifold threats. Where systematic HCVF inventories are missing, such as in parts of Eastern Europe, these forests remain largely unacknowledged and therefore often unprotected. Here, we propose a novel, transferable approac...
Article
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Christensen et al. criticized the application of Beals’ index of sociological favourability to adjust for incomplete species lists when comparing repeated surveys. Their main argument was that using Beals’ conditional occurrence probabilities would systematically underestimate biodiversity change compared to using observed frequencies. Although thi...
Article
Full-text available
Plant trait variation drives plant function, community composition, and ecosystem processes. However, our current understanding of trait variation disproportionately relies on aboveground observations. Here we integrate root traits into the global framework of plant form and function. We developed and tested an overarching conceptual framework that...
Data
Figure S1: Global principal component analysis (PCA) of the world environmental conditions. The PCA is based on the matrix of all terrestrial grid cells (n = 8,384,404, spatial grain = 2.5 arcmin) by 30 environmental variables. The PCA space represents the full environmental space of all terrestrial habitats on Earth, irrespective of whether a grid...
Code
This demo illustrates how to import and manipulate sPlotOpen data to create some basic graphics or tables together with a reference list.
Article
Full-text available
Aim This work explores whether the commonly observed positive range size–niche breadth relationship exists for Fagus, one of the most dominant and widespread broad‐leaved deciduous tree genera in temperate forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Additionally, we ask whether the 10 extant Fagus species’ niche breadths and climatic tolerances are under p...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Alpine ecosystems differ in area, macroenvironment and biogeographical history across the Earth, but the relationship between these factors and plant species richness is still unexplored. Here, we assess the global patterns of plant species richness in alpine ecosystems and their association with environmental, geographical and historical facto...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances, i.e., β-diversity, is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional turnover in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distances. We p...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: This work explores whether the commonly observed positive range size–niche breadth relationship exists for Fagus, one of the most dominant and widespread broad-leaved deciduous tree genera in temperate forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Additionally, we ask whether the 10 extant Fagus species’ niche breadths and climatic tolerances are under...
Article
Questions What are the functional trade‐offs of vascular plant species in global alpine ecosystems? How is functional variation related to vegetation zones, climatic groups and biogeographic realms? What is the relative contribution of macroclimate and evolutionary history in shaping the functional variation of alpine plant communities? Location G...
Article
Full-text available
Managed forests are a key component of strategies aimed at tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. Tapping this potential requires a better understanding of the complex, simultaneous effects of forest management on biodiversity, carbon stocks and productivity. Here, we used data of 135 one-hectare plots from southwestern Germany to disentangl...
Article
Aims The effect of biogeographical processes on the spatial turnover component of beta‐diversity over large spatial extents remains scarcely understood. Here, we aim at disentangling the roles of environmental and historical factors on plant taxonomic and phylogenetic turnover, while controlling for the effects of species richness and rarity. Loca...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To identify functional traits that best predict community assembly without knowing the underlying environmental drivers. Methods We propose a new method based on the correlation r(XY) between two matrices of potential community composition: the matrix X is fuzzy‐weighted by trait similarities of species, and the matrix Y is derived by Beals sm...
Data
The European Primary Forest Database is a curated collection of (sub)-national and regional datasets on the distribution of primary forests in Europe. It contains geographical (GIS) data (point, polygons) on the location and boundaries of documented primary and old-growth forests in Europe
Article
Full-text available
Loss of forest naturalness challenges the maintenance of green infrastructure (GI) for biodiversity conservation and delivery of diverse ecosystem services. Using the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi target #11 with its quantitative and qualitative criteria as a normative model, we aim at supporting landscape planning through a pioneering...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim To identify functional traits that best predict community assembly without knowing the driving environmental factors. Methods We propose a new method that is based on the correlation r(XY) between two matrices of potential community composition: matrix X is fuzzy-weighted by trait similarities of species, and matrix Y is derived by Beals smoot...
Article
Full-text available
Defining the species pool of a community is crucial for many types of ecological analyses, providing a foundation to metacommunity, null modelling or dark diversity frameworks. It is a challenge to derive the species pool empirically from large and heterogeneous databases. Here, we propose a method to define a site‐specific species pool (SSSP), i.e...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Vegetation is the basis of all terrestrial ecosystems and a focus on vegetation is crucial to understand the consequences of global change on the biosphere. We believe that vegetation science has much to offer in the fight to biodiversity loss and climate change, by contributing to some of the most important basic and applied research questions. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Questions: Vegetation-plot records provide information on presence and cover or abundance of plants co-occurring in the same community. Vegetation-plot data are spread across research groups, environmental agencies and biodiversity research centers, and thus, are rarely accessible at continental or global scales. Here we present the sPlot database,...
Article
Full-text available
Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key r...
Article
Full-text available
Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key q...
Article
Aim Biodiversity monitoring and conservation are extremely complex, and surrogate taxa may represent proxies to test methods and solutions. However, cross‐taxon correlations in species diversity (i.e., cross‐taxon congruence) may vary widely with spatial scale. Our goal is to assess how cross‐taxon congruence varies with spatial scale in European t...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Primary forests have high conservation value but are rare in Europe due to historic land use. Yet many primary forest patches remain unmapped, and it is unclear to what extent they are effectively protected. Our aim was to (1) compile the most comprehensive European‐scale map of currently known primary forests, (2) analyse the spatial determina...
Conference Paper
How do structure and function in European old-growth forests compare to other temperate regions? Are old-growth characteristics shared universally or are there regional differences reflecting variation in growth, stand dynamics, and disturbance history? We tested the hypothesis that important ecological functions are provided universally by old-gro...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat loss is the primary cause of local extinctions. Yet, there is considerable uncertainty regarding how fast species respond to habitat loss, and how time-delayed responses vary in space. We focused on the Argentine Dry Chaco (c. 32 million ha), a global deforestation hotspot, and tested for time-delayed response of bird and mammal communities...
Article
Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key q...
Article
Do vascular plant species richness and β-diversity differ between managed and structurally complex unmanaged stands? To what extent do species richness and β-diversity relate to forest structural attributes and heterogeneity?. Five National Parks in central and southern Italy. We sampled vascular plant species composition and forest structural attr...
Article
Beta-diversity has been repeatedly shown to decline with increasing elevation, but the causes of this pattern remain unclear, partly because they are confounded by coincident variation in alpha- and gamma-diversity. We used 8,795 forest vegetation-plot records from the Czech National Phytosociological Database to compare the observed patterns of be...
Article
Full-text available
Since adequate information on the distribution of biodiversity is hardly achievable, biodiversity indicators are necessary to support the management of ecosystems. These surrogates assume that either some habitat features, or the biodiversity patterns observed in a well-known taxon, can be used as a proxy of the diversity of one or more target taxa...
Article
The extension of forest area is a globally accepted tool to offset CO2 emissions from deforestation and the combustion of fossil fuels. The common assumption is that in addition to the perceived climate benefits increasing forest area will also support biodiversity, thus making afforestation a “win-win scenario”. Based on the existing scientific ev...
Article
In recent decades the European populations of wild boar have grown substantially, as has the impact of this species, owing above all to its rooting activity. Our aim was to investigate the relationships between vascular plant understorey and wild boar rooting intensity. The questions we addressed are: does rooting intensity influence understorey sp...
Article
Assessing the contribution of forest soils to carbon (C) and nutrient dynamics is extremely complex due to the high spatial variability of soil properties, at fine to very broad scales. Improving our understanding of soil variability is necessary to scale up sample-based inventory data for the estimation of regional contribution of forest soils to...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of the drivers of diversity in understorey plant assemblages is a major challenge in forest ecology. However, it is not yet fully understood whether the same factors consistently affect different facets of species organization, such as species richness, composition and turnover. Here, we compare the influence of fine-scale enviro...
Article
Full-text available
A broad interest exists in developing structure-based indicators to use as proxies for other attributes that are difficult to assess, such as biological diversity. Summary variables that account for stand-scale forest structural complexity could facilitate the comparison among stands and provide a means of ranking stands in terms of their potential...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Buone pratiche per coniugare uso e sostenibilità delle Foreste dell'Appennino Forests of the Apennines: Good practices to conjugate Use and Sustainability www.fagus-life-project.eu
Article
Full-text available
The LIFE+ FAGUS project. Forests of the Apennines: Good practices to conjugate Use and Sustainability. Aim of this work is to describe the targets, approach and planned interventions of the LIFE+ (11/NAT//T/135) "FAGUS" project. We discuss the positive effects for biodiversity conservation of silvicultural practices aimed at increasing structural h...
Data