Dr Andrea Mondoni

University of Pavia, Italy; andrea.mondoni@unipv.it http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrea_Mondoni ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4605-6304

Title: Seed ecology of alpine plants: from global patterns towards local functional traits.

Abstract: 

 The alpine biogeographic region is the only life zone on land with a global distribution. It covers four million km2 of the terrestrial surface and is inhabited by 4% of the global higher vascular flora, including many endemic species and other species with niche (micro) habitats. This extraordinary diversity makes the alpine life zone one of the most important regions for the preservation of biodiversity. However, alpine plants are one of the groups of species most sensitive to threats to ecosystems caused by land use and climate change. In this context, ex situ seed conservation might play an important role in safeguarding alpine species, though recent evidences highlighted that seed life span in storage of several alpine species will be problematic. Moreover, the large species and microhabitat diversity have resulted in a variety of germination and dormancy responses in alpine environments. This makes it difficult to define a common “alpine” germination strategy and further complicate the use of alpine seeds as propagating material, but provides an ideal context to assess changes in germination strategies related with the local environment and species distribution. Indeed, germination traits are thought to play an important role in promoting species coexistence within communities, though direct evidence of associations between germination niche and species ecological and/or geographic range are still limited. Investigations at (micro) habitat level may help to clarify germination patterns in alpine species, thereby adding insights into their functional significance in community ecology.

Biography: Andrea Mondoni is a plant ecologist and senior scientist at the Department of Earth and Environmental Science of the University of Pavia (Italy). He specialises in seed ecology, longevity and ex situ conservation in seed banks. He is the author of many papers in international peer-reviewed journals and is Associate editor of Seed Science and Technology. He has been involved in numerous international research projects, as either Principal Investigator (i.e. Marie Curie Research fellow - EU, FP VII 2007/2013), responsible of research unit (i.e. EU-FP VII NASSTEC), or participant (i.e. EU-FP IV ENSCONET; EU-FP V GLORIA; SHARE- EV-K2-CNR).