EGU2020-7395, updated on 08 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

An integrated approach for monitoring the post-fire responses of Pinus pinaster Aiton

Francesco Niccoli1, Veronica De Micco2, Simona Castaldi1, Riccardo Valentini3, and Giovanna Battipaglia1
Francesco Niccoli et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania "L. Vanvitelli", Via Vivaldi 43, 81100, Caserta, Italy
  • 2Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, via Università 100, 80055, Portici, Italy
  • 3Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems, University of Tuscia, Via de Lellis, 01100, Viterbo, Italy

In the Mediterranean Basin, fire incidence has increased dramatically during the past decades and fire is expected to become more severe in the future due to climate change. The effects of fires on forest ecosystems can last several years: the survival of fire-injured trees depend not only on the adaptive traits of individual species, but also on the ability of trees to tolerate post-fire environmental constraints.

Several trees, although initially resisting the strong heat injury caused by the high temperatures of the flames, can reduce their vigor and finally die after a few years after fire, due to serious damage at the canopy level or due to the difficult conditions arising in the surrounding stands. The study of long-term trends of the eco-physiological processes in plants subjected to fire are of fundamental importance in planning management actions and restoration strategies of burned areas.

In this context, our research aims to identify and understand the impacts that post-fire conditions can have on the growth and eco-physiology of Pinus pinaster Aiton, through the study of a forest stand hit by a devastating fire that affected the Vesuvius National Park, in Southern Italy, in July 2017. This study combines the dendrochronological analyses with the monitoring of xylogenesis, supported by the measurements in continuum of the eco-physiological parameters of the individual plants through the use of the innovative TreeTalker device.

The results of the dendrochronological analyses showed that, at the end of 2018, despite the strong stress suffered and a significant decrease in growth, the plants showed a very limited mortality rate: only 2-10% of the individuals reduced their vigor. However, preliminary data on xyologenesis, collected from spring 2019 to nowadays, suggest how, after two years, the fire of 2017 is still influencing the cambium activity of individual plants: the productivity and the differentiation kinetics of xylem cells are strongly influenced by the damages suffered at the canopy level.

The monitoring activities will continue for the next few years in order to identify the recovery times of the plant to return to normal vital functions, as well as, eventually, understand the eco-physiological processes that lead to a reduction in productivity or even to death.

How to cite: Niccoli, F., De Micco, V., Castaldi, S., Valentini, R., and Battipaglia, G.: An integrated approach for monitoring the post-fire responses of Pinus pinaster Aiton, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7395,, 2020.


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