Maurizio Mencuccini

Maurizio Mencuccini

Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

BSc Forest Science at University of Firenze (Italy, 1992). Research Associate at Istituto Sperimentale per la Selvicoltura (Italy, 1992). PhD in plant environmental biology at the University of Firenze (Italy, 1993-1995). Postdoc at Boyce Thompson at Cornell University (USA, 1995-1997). Lecturer, senior lecturer, reader, then Professor of Forest Science at Edinburgh University (UK, 1997-2016). ICREA Research Professor of Plant and Ecosystem Ecology at CREAF (Barcelona, Spain) since 2012. Visiting scientist positions at CSIRO (Australia) and Western Sydney University (Australia). Honorary Professor of Forest Science at University of Edinburgh (UK, 2016-ongoing). Since 2018, ranked as a Highly Cited Researcher (top 1% by citations) in the field of Plant and Animal Science by Clarivate Analytics. Ranked among the top Italian Scientists in the area of Natural & Environmental Science by Via-Academy (

Research interests

I work at the frontier between plant biology and environmental sciences, at the interface with global change. My major contributions to science are in the study of the carbon and water cycles of forests, across Boreal, temperate, tropical and Mediterranean biomes of Europe, the Americas, Australia and Africa. I have authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. I am very involved in debates concerning how more severe droughts, as a consequence of climate change, can accelerate tree mortality. One area of major contribution has been in identifying the processes by which plant physiological properties affect the likelihood of survival following extreme drought events. I am also very interested in how canopies of forest trees can act as filters of atmospheric nitrogen deposition via their leaf microbiome. I have supervised more than 40 scientists, of whom more than 20 are still active in senior academic positions or universities. I have spoken at several high-profile conferences.

Selected publications

– Guerrieri, Rossella; Vanguelova, Elena; Pitman, Rona; Benham, Sue; Perks, Michael; Morison, James I. L.; Mencuccini, Maurizio 2020, ‘Climate and atmospheric deposition effects on forest water-use efficiency and nitrogen availability across Britain‘, Scientific Reports, 10, 1, 12418.

– Sanchez-Martinez, Pablo; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi; Dexter, Kyle G.; Segovia, Ricardo A.; Mencuccini, Maurizio 2020, ‘Adaptation and coordinated evolution of plant hydraulic traits’, Ecology Letters, 23; 1599-1610.

– Rowland, Lucy; Oliveira, Rafael S.; Bittencourt, Paulo R. L.; Giles, Andre L.; Coughlin, Ingrid; Costa, Patricia de Britto; Domingues, Tomas; Ferreira, Leandro, V; Vasconcelos, Steel S.; Junior, Joao A. S.; Oliveira, Alex A. R.; da Costa, Antonio C. L.; Meir, Patrick; Mencuccini, Maurizio 2020, ‘Plant traits controlling growth change in response to a drier climate‘, New Phytologist, 229, 3, 1363-1374.

– GUERRIERI R, LECHA L, MATTANA S, CALÍZ J, CASAMAYOR E, BARCELÓ A, MICHALSKI G, PEÑUELAS J, AVILA A, MENCUCCINI M, 2020. ‘Partitioning between atmospheric deposition and canopy microbial nitrification into throughfall nitrate fluxes in a Mediterranean forest‘. Journal of Ecology, Volume108, Issue2, Pages 626-640

Selected research activities

I am a named partner/collaborator in grants with partners in the UK (one NERC grant in Leeds, two NERC grants in Exeter, one SFT grant in Stirling) and Australia (two ARC grants at ANU, Canberra). I am supervising or co-supervising PhD students in Spain (Barcelona), UK (Stirling) and Canada (Chicoutimi). I am Editor of five international journals (Plant Ecology and Diversity, Current Forestry Reports, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, Tree Physiology, Annals of Forest Science).