Experimentelle Pflanzenökologie

Alessandro Di Fabio


Phone: +39 3925314396

Soldmannstraße 15
Room: 1.03

Email: alessandro.difabio@uni-greifswald.de

Research interests

I am interested in how forest trees can modify their phenotype (timing of leaf flushing and loss, foliar parameters) to adapt to climate change, and in particular to drought stress.

In my PhD project I will make use of already-existing common garden experiments to investigate the genetic and environmental components of growth performance of various tree species, such as Quercus petraea, Larix decidua, Fagus sylvatica.

Part of my project will include looking into how the climatic conditions at the seed origin and at the trial site influence the growth and survival rates of the trees.
Additionally, I will correlate the trees’ growth performance with the capacity to adapt their phenology and leaf parameters to different climatic conditions, measured in situ with data loggers.
Finally, by making use of mixed effect models incorporating information on the family relationships between the studied trees, I expect to identify the source of the observed phenotypic variability. Are different species comparable in the extent of their possible adaptation? Are all populations showing the same phenotypic responses? Are the differences within the populations due to individual variability, or can they be due to maternal effects?

My research is part of the EVA project (Evidence-based cultivation recommendations in climate change), and will provide important insights on the potential for valuable tree species to adapt to climate change via phenotypic plasticity.


Associate with Research Training Group (RTG 2010) “Biological RESPONSEs to Novel and Changing Environments”