Maurizio Mencuccini

Maurizio Mencuccini
Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | ICREA · CREAF

Full Professor

About

345
Publications
178,303
Reads
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20,427
Citations
Introduction
Maurizio Mencuccini is currently ICREA Research Professor and works at CREAF (Centre for ecology and Forestry Applications) in Barcelona, Spain. He previously was at the School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh, UK. Maurizio does research in Ecology, Botany and Forestry. Their current project is 'Tree Hydraulic Functioning.'
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
June 2013 - present
CREAF Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications
Position
  • ICREA Research Professor
Description
  • plant and ecosystem ecology
January 2009 - present
University of Helsinki

Publications

Publications (345)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how we can increase the resilience of forest systems to future extreme drought events is increasingly important as these events become more frequent and intense. Diversifying production forests using intimate mixtures of trees with complementary functional traits is considered as one promising silvicultural approach that may increase...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ecosystem pressure-volume curve (EPV) is the relationship between vegetation water content and a representative value of water potential applied on a ground-area basis. The EPV attempts to reconcile our detailed and physically rigorous understanding of small-scale field-measurable processes to the spatial scale applicable to ecosystem and clima...
Article
Background and aims: Upscaling carbon allocation requires knowledge of the variability at the scales at which data are collected and applied. Trees exhibit different growth rates and timings of wood formation. However, the factors explaining these differences remain undetermined, making samplings and estimations of the growth dynamics a complicate...
Preprint
Plasticity in response to environmental drivers can help trees cope with droughts. However, our understanding of the importance of plasticity and physiological adjustments in trees under global change is limited. We examine 20th century growth responses in Gymnosperm trees during (resistance) and following (resilience) years of severe soil and atmo...
Article
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We aim to identify the importance of vapour pressure deficit (VPD), soil water content (SWC) and photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as drivers of tree canopy conductance, which is a key source of uncertainty for modelling vegetation responses under climate change. We use sap flow time series of 1858 trees in 122 sites from the SAPFLUXNET glo...
Article
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Safeguarding Earth’s tree diversity is a conservation priority due to the importance of trees for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services such as carbon sequestration. Here, we improve the foundation for effective conservation of global tree diversity by analyzing a recently developed database of tree species covering 46,752 species. We q...
Article
Observations of woody plant mortality in coastal ecosystems are globally widespread, but the overarching processes and underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. This knowledge deficiency, combined with rapidly changing water levels, storm surges, atmospheric CO2, and vapor pressure deficit, creates large predictive uncertainty regarding how coas...
Article
Forest succession is an important process regulating the carbon and nitrogen budgets in forest ecosystems. However, little is known about how and extent by which vegetation succession predictably affects soil CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes, especially in boreal forest. Here, a field study was conducted along a secondary forest succession trajectory from...
Preprint
Full-text available
The process of sapwood/heartwood transition in trees is not fully understood. We tested whether the ontogenetically-stable apex-to-base conduit widening generates path length effects limiting the conductance of inner sapwood rings. The axial scaling (b) of conduit hydraulic diameter (Dh) was estimated at annual resolution in a spruce and beech tre...
Article
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Drought-associated woody-plant mortality has been increasing in most regions with multi-decadal records and is projected to increase in the future, impacting terrestrial climate forcing, biodiversity and resource availability. The mechanisms underlying such mortality, however, are debated, owing to complex interactions between the drivers and the p...
Article
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Tree species display a wide variety of water use strategies, growth rates and capacity to tolerate drought. However, if we want to forecast species capacity to cope with increasing aridity and drought, we need to identify which measurable traits confer resilience to drought across species. Here, we use a global tree ring network (65 species; 1931 s...
Article
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Plant canopies intercept, process, and potentially assimilate atmospheric nitrogen (N) additions, but the forest‐scale effects of canopy processes on N cycling and plant nutrition are not clear. Substantial method artefacts and scaling issues exist in previous experimental studies which measure relevant N fluxes either at i) natural abundance, ii)...
Article
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Heatwaves exert disproportionately strong and sometimes irreversible impacts on forest ecosystems. These impacts remain poorly understood at the tree and species level and across large spatial scales. Here, we investigate the effects of the record-breaking 2018 European heatwave on tree growth and tree water status using a collection of high-tempor...
Article
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Many studies quantify short-term drought impact on tree growth relative to pre-drought growth averages. However, fewer studies examine the extent to which droughts of differing severity differentially impact tree growth or shape stand dynamics. Focusing on three droughts in high and low density stands of Pinus sylvestris in Scotland, we calculated...
Article
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Soil-leaf hydraulic conductance determines canopy-atmosphere coupling in vegetation models, but is typically derived from ex-situ measurements of stem segments and soil samples. Using a novel approach we derive robust in-situ estimates for whole tree conductance (ktree ), 'functional' soil conductance (ksoil ), and 'system' conductance (ksystem , w...
Article
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Tropical tree species span a range of life history strategies within a fast‐slow continuum. The position of a species within this continuum is thought to reflect a negative relationship between growth and storage, with fast‐growing species allocating more carbon to growth and slow‐growing species investing more in storage. For tropical species, the...
Article
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Future climate change predictions for tropical forests highlight increased frequency and intensity of extreme drought events. However, it remains unclear whether large and small trees have differential strategies to tolerate drought due to the different niches they occupy. The future of tropical forests is ultimately dependent on the capacity of sm...
Article
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Droughts in a warming climate have become more common and more extreme, making understanding forest responses to water stress increasingly pressing. Analysis of water stress in trees has long focused on water potential in xylem and leaves, which influences stomatal closure and water flow through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. At the same time...
Chapter
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Physiological and biochemical traits hold great promise for demographic research as potential proxies (biomarkers) of various biotic and environmental variables that determine individual fitness and ultimately demographic rates. Integrating such biomarkers into demographic models can thus provide insights into drivers of population dynamics or incr...
Article
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A major foundation of trait‐based ecology is that traits have an impact on individual performance. However, trait‐growth relationships have not been extensively assessed in trees, especially outside tropical ecosystems. In addition, measuring traits directly related to physiological processes remains difficult and the differences between inter‐ and...
Preprint
Full-text available
It is easy to measure annual growth of a tree stem. It is hard to measure its daily growth. The reason for this difficulty is the microscopic scale and the need to separate processes that simultaneously result in reversible and irreversible stem expansion. Here we present a model that separates reversible from irreversible cell expansion. Our model...
Article
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Minimum water potential (Ψmin ) is a key variable to characterize dehydration tolerance and hydraulic safety margins (HSM) in plants. Ψmin is usually estimated as the absolute minimum tissue Ψ experienced by a species, but this is problematic because sample extremes are affected by sample size and by the underlying probability distribution. We comp...
Article
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Plant transpiration links physiological responses of vegetation to water supply and demand with hydrological, energy, and carbon budgets at the land–atmosphere interface. However, despite being the main land evaporative flux at the global scale, transpiration and its response to environmental drivers are currently not well constrained by observatio...
Article
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The mangrove Avicennia marina adjusts internal salt concentrations by foliar salt secretion. Deliquescence of accumulated salt causes leaf wetting which may provide a water source for salt‐secreting plants in arid coastal wetlands where high nocturnal humidity can usually support deliquescence whereas rainfall events are rare. We tested the hypothe...
Article
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Understanding how plants acclimate to drought is crucial for predicting future vulnerability, yet seasonal acclimation of traits that improve drought tolerance in trees remains poorly resolved. We hypothesized that dry season acclimation of leaf and stem traits influencing shoot water storage and hydraulic capacitance would mitigate the drought‐ass...
Article
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Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) are major substrates for plant metabolism and have been implicated in mediating drought-induced tree mortality. Despite their significance, NSC dynamics in tropical forests remain little studied. We present leaf and branch NSC data for 82 Amazon canopy tree species in six sites spanning a broad precipitation gradi...
Article
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Tree water use is central to plant function and ecosystem fluxes. However, it is still unknown how organ‐level water relations traits are coordinated to determine whole‐tree water use strategies in response to drought, and if this coordination depends on climate. Here we used a global sap flow data base (SAPFLUXNET) to study the response of water u...
Article
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Understanding the impacts of extreme drought on forest productivity requires a comprehensive assessment of tree and forest resilience. However, current approaches to quantifying resilience limit our understanding of forest response dynamics, recovery trajectories and drought legacies by constraining the temporal scale and resolution of assessment....
Article
Understanding how water use and drought stress in woody plants change in relation to compositional, structural and environmental variability of mixed forests is key to understand their functioning and dynamics. Observational and experimental studies have so far shown a complex array of water use and drought stress responses to species mixing, but p...
Article
Under the same environmental conditions, southern and northern populations of temperate and boreal ecosystems exhibit different growth performance. However, which growth trait drives this difference is still unresolved. This study aimed to disentangle the effect of duration and rate of growth on shoot extension of five black spruce [Picea mariana (...
Article
Canopy wetness is a common condition that influences photosynthesis, the leaching or uptake of solutes, the water status and energy balance of canopies, and the interpretation of eddy covariance and remote sensing data. While often treated as a binary variable, ‘wet’ or ‘dry’, forest canopies are often partially wet, requiring the use of a continuo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Both historical and contemporary environmental conditions determine present biodiversity patterns, but their relative importance is not well understood. One way to disentangle their relative effects is to assess how different dimensions of beta-diversity relate to past climatic changes, i.e., taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional compositional dis...
Article
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Hydraulic properties control plant responses to climate and are likely to be under strong selective pressure, but their macro‐evolutionary history remains poorly characterised. To fill this gap, we compiled a global dataset of hydraulic traits describing xylem conductivity (Ks), xylem resistance to embolism (P50), sapwood allocation relative to lea...
Article
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Nowadays, evergreen sclerophyllous and winter-deciduous malacophyllous oaks with different paleogeographical origins coexist under Mediterranean-type climates, such as the mixed forests of the evergreen Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia and the winter-deciduous Quercus faginea. Both Mediterranean oaks constitute two examples of contrasting leaf habi...
Article
Full-text available
Plant transpiration links physiological responses of vegetation to water supply and demand with hydrological,energy and carbon budgets at the land-atmosphere interface. However, despite being the main land evaporative flux at the global scale, transpiration and its response to environmental drivers are currently not well constrained by observations...
Article
Full-text available
) Whether tropical trees acclimate to long-term drought stress remains unclear. This uncertainty is amplified if drought stress is accompanied by changes in other drivers such as the increases in canopy light exposure that might be induced by tree mortality or other disturbances. 2) Photosynthetic capacity, leaf respiration, non-structural carbohyd...
Article
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Plant traits are increasingly being used to improve prediction of plant function, including plant demography. However, the capability of plant traits to predict demographic rates remains uncertain, particularly in the context of trees experiencing a changing climate. Here we present data combining 17 plant traits associated with plant structure, me...
Article
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Rising atmospheric CO2 (ca) has been shown to increase forest carbon uptake. Yet, whether the ca-fertilization effect on forests is modulated by changes in sulphur (Sdep) and nitrogen (Ndep) deposition and how Ndep affects ecosystem N availability remains unclear. We explored spatial and temporal (over 30-years) changes in tree-ring δ¹³C-derived in...
Article
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Accurately representing the response of ecosystems to environmental change in land surface models (LSMs) is crucial to making accurate predictions of future climate. Many LSMs do not correctly capture plant respiration and growth fluxes, particularly in response to extreme climatic events. This is in part due to the unrealistic assumption that tota...
Article
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The response of small understory trees to long‐term drought is vital in determining the future composition, carbon stocks and dynamics of tropical forests. Long‐term drought is, however, also likely to expose understory trees to increased light availability driven by drought‐induced mortality. Relatively little is known about the potential for unde...
Preprint
Full-text available
Trees are of vital importance for ecosystem functioning and services at local to global scales, yet we still lack a detailed overview of the global patterns of tree diversity and the underlying drivers, particularly the imprint of paleoclimate. Here, we present the high-resolution (110 km) worldwide mapping of tree species richness, functional and...
Preprint
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Although trees are key to ecosystem functioning, many forests and tree species across the globe face strong threats. Preserving areas of high biodiversity is a core priority for conservation; however, different dimensions of biodiversity and varied conservation targets make it difficult to respond effectively to this challenge. Here, we (i) identif...
Article
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Tree responses to altered water availability range from immediate (e.g., stomatal regulation) to delayed (e.g., crown size adjustment). The interplay of the different response times and processes, and their effects on long‐term whole‐tree performance, however, is hardly understood. Here we investigated legacy effects on structures and functions of...
Article
Full-text available
The fate of tropical forests under future climate change is dependent on the capacity of their trees to adjust to drier conditions. The capacity of trees to withstand drought is likely to be determined by traits associated with their hydraulic systems. However, data on whether tropical trees can adjust hydraulic traits when experiencing drought rem...
Article
Full-text available
•Land surface models (LSMs) typically use empirical functions to represent vegetation responses to soil drought. These functions largely neglect recent advances in plant ecophysiology that link xylem hydraulic functioning with stomatal responses to climate. •We developed an analytical stomatal optimisation model based on xylem hydraulics (SOX) to p...
Article
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Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
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Eucalyptus has been identified as a genus with potential for short rotation forestry in the UK. This article assesses the suitability of Eucalyptus for biomass production. The first part of the article compares Eucalyptus nitens and Eucalyptus gunnii against short rotation forestry (SRF) species proposed by Hardcastle (A review of the impacts of sh...
Article
This article is a Commentary on Salomón et al. (2020), 225: 2214–2230.