Speaker: Prof Maurizio Mencuccini, ICREA Research Professor, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona
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Despite decades of research on the topic, our understanding of water use strategies by plants remains limited. The problem occurs because a varied range of mechanisms occurs in plants to solve the problem of how to cope with drought and its consequences. Understanding how these mechanisms are shaped into general strategies is being facilitated by efforts to compile and interpret the available metabolic, physiological and ecological information. Maurizio will present the results of some of the efforts in this direction. He will focus on analyses of global patterns of hydraulic safety, efficiency and their relationships with a range of other proposed plant functional spectra and the consequences of these results for our understanding of plant ecology.
Maurizio Mencuccini is ICREA Research Professor of Plant and Ecosystem Ecology at CREAF (Research Centre for Ecology and Forestry Applications, Barcelona, Spain) and was lecturer, then Professor of Forest Science at the University of Edinburgh (UK) from 1997 to 2017. He was a visiting fellow at Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, USA (1999) visiting Scientist at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (2009) and at CSIRO (Tasmania, Australia; 2010) and Eminent Scholar at University of Western Sydney (Australia, 2012-2016). His research interests encompass scales from cells to ecosystems, with a main focus on the long-distance transport of water and carbon via the xylem and phloem in plants and use of stable isotopes in ecology. His recent focus has been on improving our understanding of the water relations of trees and the impacts of drought frequency and intensity on the physiology of trees and forests.