TreeCity is a project aimed to develop basic knowledge which could be useful to deal with practical issues in the crucial field of the role(s) of trees in improving environmental conditions in our cities, with special regard to the foreseen environmental scenarios due to climatic change. We know that in the future CO2 and O3 air concentrations will rise, temperatures will be higher and water availability will change.

    • So doing, criteria and strategies for the selection of ornamental woody species to display in the future cities will be defined.
    • The intimate mechanisms of plant and lichen response to environmental oxidative stress will be elucidated, with special regard to secondary metabolism and the transduction of the stress dependent signal.
    • Micrometeorological investigations with highly innovative measurement techniques (eddy covariance) will elucidate plant/atmosphere relationship as well as energy fluxes in urban and suburban reference selected sites. In addition, they will carve previously unexplored aspects of the interactions between urban vegetation and atmosphere, i.e. flux determination of VOCs emitted by urban vegetation, their oxidation products, and their fate in the atmosphere which impacts the concentration of tropospheric ozone.
    • For the first time the UFORE model will be parameterized for urban Mediterranean vegetation. This will allow using the model for urban planning purposes, therefore, it could be widely accessed by the scientific community and beyond.
    • Risk-assessment analysis for ozone damage to vegetation, i.e. the estimation of stomatal absorption of ozone by the The study will offer the possibility to estimate risk thresholds for various Mediterranean species used in urban green.
    • The analysis of plant physiological performances and stress indicators in the urban environment, both in the current conditions and under simulated future scenarios will allow to evaluate the contribution of urban forests to improve the quality of life, by the assessment of the ecosystem service of air quality improvement provided by urban green.

    The results of TreeCity may therefore be useful to stakeholders, such as municipal managers and city planners, to establish the best management strategies to improve the pollutants sink capacity and climate change mitigation of urban vegetation in Mediterranean climatic condition.

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