Studying and conserving forests and trees

Gianluca Piovesan is professor at the University of Tuscia, Department of Agriculture and Forest Sciences (DAFNE), Viterbo (Italy) where he directs the DendrologyLab and Landscape Ecological Forest Planning Lab.

I focus on: forest ecology and management, ecological landscape planning, management plan of Unesco World Heritage natural sites, protected areas, tree longevity, nature conservation, old-growth forests, tree longevity, masting, restoration ecology, impacts of climate change at multiple spatial and temporal scales, historical ecology, paleoecology, natural capital, ecosystem services, rewilding, sustainability, well-being, science communication.

Contacts - Email: Phone: +39 0761357387; Cell: +39 3804399787 Skype: gianluca.piovesan

Courses taught

Teacher of the following courses at University of Tuscia, Department Dafne - Top Italian Department for research excellence:

Forest Ecology and Management, Dendrology, Forest Monitoring, Ecological Planning of Forest Landscape, Dendroecology


Associate Editor of the following journals:


Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution


Last papers

Gianluca Piovesan, Michele Baliva, Lucio Calcagnile, Marisa D’Elia, Isabel Dorado-Liñán, Jordan Palli, Antonino Siclari, Gianluca Quarta (2020). Radiocarbon dating of Aspromonte sessile oaks reveals the oldest dated temperate flowering tree in the world. Ecology. DOI:10.1002/ecy.3179. Esa blog,, The Times

Brienen Roel et al. (2020). Forest carbon sink neutralized by pervasive growth-lifespan trade-offs. Nature Communications 11, Article number: 4241. DOI: 0.1038/s41467-020-17966-z

Chiara Lelli, Juri Nascimbene, Davide Alberti, Nevio Agostini, Antonio Zoccola, Gianluca Piovesan, Alessandro Chiarucci (in press). Long term changes in Italian mountain forests detected by resurvey of historical vegetation data. Journal of Vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12939

Mensing, S., Schoolman, E.M., Palli, J. & Piovesan, G. (in press). A consilience-driven approach to land use history in relation to reconstructing forest land use legacies. Landscape Ecol (2020). DOI: 10.1007/s10980-020-01079-5 , Shared link,

Sangüesa-Barreda, G., Esper, J., Büntgen, U., Camarero, J.J., Di Filippo, A., Baliva, M. & Piovesan, G. (in press). Climate-human interactions contributed to historical forest recruitment dynamics in Mediterranean subalpine ecosystems. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15246. DCYT,

Alessandro Chiarucci & Gianluca Piovesan (2020). Need for a global map of forest naturalness for a sustainable future. Conservation Biology, 34 (2), 368-372 . Phys,org, Technology, Il punto quotidiano, Adnkronos, TUTTOGREEN - La Stampa, Quoted Business

Gianluca Piovesan, (2019) A light‐demanding pine spreads into a closed forest. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Ecopics, DOI:10.1002/fee.2109. ESA twitter

Gianluca Piovesan, Franco Biondi, Michele Baliva, Giuseppe De Vivo, Vittoria Marchiano, Aldo Schettino, Alfredo Di Filippo, (2019). Lessons from the wild: slow but increasing long-term growth allows for maximum longevity in European beech, Ecology, Volume100, Issue9, e02737, ESA Blog, Ecology Twitter, Press release, Corriere della sera, le Scienze, Corriere della Calabria, Non Sprecare, Touring Club Italiano

The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America (2019): Slow Growth Leads to Longevity in Temperate Hardwoods, Bull Ecol Soc Am 100(3):e01560.

Gianluca Quarta, Alfredo Di Filippo, Lucio Calcagnile, Marisa D’Elia, Franco Biondi, Emanuele Presutti Saba, Michele Baliva, Giuseppe De Vivo, Aldo Schettino, Gianluca Piovesan (2019) IDENTIFYING THE 993–994 CE MIYAKE EVENT IN THE OLDEST DATED LIVING TREE IN EUROPE. Radiocarbon, 61(5), 1317-1325. TG3 Leonardo

Gianluca Piovesan, Franco Biondi, Michele Baliva, Anna Dinella, Luca Di Fiore, Vittoria Marchiano, Emanuele Presutti Saba, Giuseppe De Vivo, Aldo Schettino, Alfredo Di Filippo (2019). Tree growth patterns associated with extreme longevity: implications for the ecology and conservation of primeval trees in Mediterranean mountains (click Share Link). Anthropocene, 26, June 2019, 100199. Press release; Comunicato stampa; RLAB La Repubblica, NewTuscia,

Archer, C., Noble, P., Rosen, M. R., Sagnotti, L., Florindo, F., Mensing, S., Piovesan, G and Michetti, A. M. (2019). Lakes as paleoseismic records in a seismically-active, low-relief area (Rieti Basin, central Italy). Quaternary Science Reviews, 211, 186-207.

Dorado‐Liñán I., Piovesan G., et al. (2019) Geographical adaptation prevails over species‐specific determinism in trees’ vulnerability to climate change at Mediterranean rear‐edge forests. Global change biology 25 (4), 1296-1314 .

Edward M. Schoolman, Scott Mensing, and Gianluca Piovesan. Land Use and the Human Impact on the Environment in Medieval Italy. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Winter 2019, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 419–444

G. Piovesan, F. Biondi, M. Baliva, E. Presutti Saba, L. Calcagnile, G. Quarta, M. D’Elia, G. De Vivo, A. Schettino, A. DiFilippo. The oldest dated tree of Europe lives in the wild Pollino massif: Italus, a strip-bark Heldreich’s pine. Ecology, Volume 99, Issue 7 July 2018, 1682-1684

G. Piovesan, F. Biondi, M. Baliva, L. Calcagnile, G. Quarta, A. Di Filippo (2018) Dating old hollow trees by applying a multistep tree-ring and radiocarbon procedure to trunk and exposed roots. MethodsX, 5, 495-502

Piovesan, G. & Lüttge, U. (2018) Tree growth dynamics during early ontogenetic stages in closed forests. Trees, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 671–673

Mensing, Scott A., Schoolman, Edward M., Tunno, Irene, Noble, Paula J., Sagnotti, Leonardo, Florindo, Fabio, Piovesan, Gianluca (2018) Historical ecology reveals landscape transformation coincident with cultural development in central Italy since the Roman Period. Scientific Reports, 2138, 8, 1 NEVADA Today. The messy history of pristine landscapes

Piovesan Gianluca, Mercuri Anna Maria, Mensing A. Scott (2018) The potential of paleoecology for functional forest restoration planning: lessons from Late Holocene Italian pollen records. Plant Biosystems - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, 152 (3), 508-514

A new method for assessing the age of old-growth forests. In this post, Associate Editor Nathalie Butt discusses a recent paper ‘Tree-ring based metrics for assessing the functional naturalness of forests‘ by Alfredo Di Filippo, Franco Biondi, Gianluca Piovesan and Emanuele Ziaco (2017) Tree ring‐based metrics for assessing old‐growth forest naturalness. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54(3): 737-749.

Journal Covers

The Scientific Naturalist (Ecology) trilogy of the oldest trees in Europe

Pinus heldreichii, 1232 years

Pollino National Park

Quercus petraea, 934 ± 65 yr

Aspromonte National Park

Fagus sylvatica, 623 years yr

Pollino National Park

Recent Projects

Combining Historic and Ecologic Archives to Understand Past Environmental Change, NSF Award

ITALIAN MOUNTAIN LAB - Research and Innovation for the Mountain environment and territories

Dafne-Unitus, Department excellence project 2017 - WP1: Nature, Forests and Sustainable Management of Agro-Silvo-Pastoral systems. Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (web site coming soon).

VITERBO DECLARATION - On safeguarding functional beech forest ecosystems

Forest Conservation - Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe - Unesco World Heritage site. Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park ---- Forest beat -

Historical-ecological aspect of sustainability - Understanding Human Responses to Environmental Change Using a 2,500-Year Reconstruction of Paleoecologic and Socioeconomic History - NSF Award

Last Congresses and Worshops

Visita alla faggeta di Monte Raschio patrimonio UNESCO dal 2017

Ambiente e futuro: dai cambiamenti climatici all’economia circolare

"Half Earth Day" 2019 - una sfida ecologica, ma innanzitutto etica, Torino, 7 ottobre 2019 - Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali - Università di Torino, Video On Demand, Programma

Foreste patrimonio dell'Umanità, Cinema Lumière, Bologna 13 dicembre 2018

Premio non sprecare 2018, Luiss 29 novembre 2018 ore 9.00

HALF-EARTH DAY 2018 - Bologna 22 ottobre, ore 15.00. Aula Magna / Dipartimento di Chimica

La salvaguardia della biodiversità è una delle grandi sfide che l’umanità si troverà a fronteggiare nei prossimi decenni. Da qui alla fine del secolo le perdite di biodiversità saranno enormi - si stima la scomparsa del 50% delle specie del Pianeta.

“Metà della Terra agli umani e metà della Terra al resto della vita”, è la proposta di Edward O. Wilson, che richiede un nuovo patto tra uomo e natura a tutela della persistenza della vita sul Pianeta.

Si discuterà della possibile applicazione del concetto di “Metà del Pianeta” in una tavola rotonda organizzata dall’Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna nell’ambito dell’ISA Topic 2018 “Game of Fears”. Lancio dell'iniziativa su La Repubblica

Conservation messanging