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National Research Council

Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems

Research activity

This research activity concerns rural and urban terrestrial ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. The general goal is to understand the mechanisms controlling the carbon cycle, the biogenic volatile organic compounds emissions (BVOCs) and their interactions with management, natural and anthropic abiotic stress factors.

The specific objectives are:

  • Biosphere-atmosphere carbon exchange: the separation of autotrophic and heterotrophic components by isotopic techniques and the impact caused by global changes and the anthropic disturbances.
  • Study of climatic, ecological and ecophysiological drivers of terrestrial ecosystems productivity through integrate techniques space-wise (from leaf to canopy) and time-wise ( long-term analysis, isotopic techniques). Analyze the interaction between  biogenic trace gases and air quality referring to the formation and removal of atmospheric pollutants.

These studies are carried out in a wide range of ecosystem types, especially in forests: from natural ecosystems of our latitudes to extreme environments (high mountains, elevated latitudes, arid areas, sea environments),including plantations, urban-forests and crop cultivation.

A particular focus of our research activity concerns the Green Infrastructures, a concept recently introduced in Europe, based on a multidisciplinary approach, that can provide practical tools to satisfy the current needs of integration and interaction of multiple activities and functions within a territory.

Coordinator: Dr. Carlo Calfapietra

Research staff involved:
Angela Augusti, Researcher
Chiara Baldacchini, Researcher
Pierangelo Bertolotto, Technical staff
Federico Brilli, Researcher
Leandro Brunacci, Technical staff
Maura Calandrelli, Technologist
Lucia Cherubini, Technologist
Marcello Cherubini, Technical staff
Clelia Cirillo, Researcher
Bruno De Cinti, Technologist
Giovanni De Simoni, Technical staff
Margherita Farina, Administrative staff
Ermenegildo Magnani, Technical staff
Giovanna Marinelli, Administrative staff
Giorgio Matteucci, Senior researcher (CNR – ISAFOM)
Michele Mattioni, Technical staff
Maria Teresa Menardi, Administrative staff
Fabrizio Morvillo, Technical staff
Valerio Muzzini, Technical staff
Cesarino Nicoletti, Administrative staff
Isabel Nogues, Senior researcher
Giuseppe Santarelli, Technical staff
Maurizio Sarti, Researcher
Andrea Scartazza, Researcher
Maria Soprano, Technologist
Luciano Spaccino, Technical staff
Alessandro Tomassetti, Administrative staff
Marcella Vignanelli, Administrative staff


  • ISAFOM -CNR (Institute for mediterranean agriculture and forest systems)  – Area della Ricerca di Cosenza;
  • IMC-CNR (Methodological chemistry institute) - Area della Ricerca di Roma 1;Università dell'Insubria, Varese;IPP- CNR (Plant Protection Institute) - Firenze;Università di Bari;CRA (The Research Centre for the Soil-Plant System), Roma;
  • ISMAR- CNR (Marine science institute )- Sedi di Venezia e Bologna;
  • ISE- CNR (Institute of ecosystem study )– Sedi di Verbania e Pisa;
  • LTER – Italia, The italian Long Term Ecological Research Network;
  • DIBAF (Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems)  - Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo;
  • DST (Earth Sciences Department), Università degli Studi di Firenze;
  • Department of Biosciences and Territory - Università degli Studi del Molise;
  • SEL - CRA - Forestry Research Centre – Arezzo
  • SFA - CRA – Research unit for Apennines forest systems management – Isernia;
  • State Forestry Corps  - VI Division  – Conecofor Service;
  • State Forestry Corps – Biodiversity Division (regional offices);
  • Molise Region, Agriculture and Forestry Department, Planning and Research service;
  • Veneto Region, Forests and Parks Design Unit, Mestre;
  • Department of Biogeography and Global Change, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN), Spanish Scientific Council (CSIC);
  • Czechglobe, Centro di Eccellenza per lo studio dei cambiamenti climatici, Brno, CZ;University of Antwerp, Belgio;USDA Forest Service, Syracuse USA;University of Warsaw, Poland;Bioforsk Horticulture and Urban Greening, Særheim, Norway;
  • Thünen-Institute, Braunschweig – Germania;
  • Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena – Germany;
  • Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI), Lubiana – Slovenia
  • University of Bucarest, Romania;
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Halle – Germany;
  • European Regional Center for Ecohydrology, International Institute of Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz – Poland;
  • Austrian Environmental Agency, Vienna.