MEDITERRANEAN FOREST TREE DECLINE IN ITALY: RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN DROUGHT, POLLUTANTS AND THE WAX STRUCTURE OF LEAVES

E. PAOLETTI, F. BUSSOTTI, P. RADDI

Abstract


After presenting the situation of forest decline in Italy and analyzing the factors that play a contributing role, tbis paper studies the response of the epicuticular wax structures and the stomata in ten broadleaf species and one conifer to fog-like treatments with acids andlor surfactants and to severe water stress. The main results are that wax structure alterations vary in intensity in the different species studied and that the microstructural alterations observed in field conditions cannot be attributed only to severe drought. since sample trccs put through water stress simulations do nol differ significantly from controls. In the artificial surfactant treatment, a positive relationship between structural damage to tbe stomata and transpiration suggests possible synergies between the effects of drought and those of pollutants in inducing stress conditions in Mediterranean vegetation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4462/annbotrm-9018

Annali di Botanica is published by the Department of Environmental Biology - University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy. The journal is printed by Sapienza Università Editrice – Sapienza Università di Roma.

ISSN: 2239-3129