background header Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences
background header Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences
background header Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences

Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences

Academic & Research Interest

I am a tree biologist with a specialty in dendroecology, which is the study of tree rings and wood formation to infer ecological changes. In collaboration with students and colleagues, I have studied tree-dominated landscapes in the Western USA, Mexico, and southern Europe. I am now involved in grant-funded projects aimed at understanding the environmental drivers of intra-annual tree-ring features. Studies performed by DendroLab personnel are focused on examining the connection between wood form and function in conifer species of the western US. We use automated point dendrometers, wood anatomy, and cellular phenology to uncover the exquisitely intricate connections between dendrochronology, wood science, tree physiology, forest ecology, mensuration, and allometry. These new activities also include domestic and international collaborations, the latter with scientists in Canada, Germany, France, Finland, Switzerland, and Italy.

My teaching responsibilities are closely tied to my research experience and interests. At UNR I have taught several courses, from introductory undergraduate classes to graduate seminars (see list below). I also developed, proposed, and established a few new classes on climate and environmental change.

Since 2010 I have served as Subject Matter Editor for Ecosphere, the open‐access journal published by the Ecological Society of America. I am also Specialty Chief Editor for the Paleoecology section of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Laurea, University of Florence, Italy, 1985
M.S., University of Arizona, Tucson, 1987
Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson, 1994

Areas of Study


Past Students:

Megan Bradley (MS)
Peter Hartsough (PhD)
Kurt Solander (MS)

Representative Publications

Kilpatrick, M., J. Roberts, and F. Biondi 2019, Fire history of an old-growth ponderosa pine stand in the Sheep Range, Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, USA, Tree-Ring Research 75(2): 127–138. doi: 10.3959/1536-1098-75.2.127
Ren, P., E. Ziaco, S. Rossi, F. Biondi, P. Prislan, and E. Liang 2019, Growth rate rather than growing season length determines wood biomass in dry environments, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 271: 46-53. doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2019.02.031
Cameletti, M. and F. Biondi 2019, Hierarchical modeling of space-time dendroclimatic fields: Comparing a frequentist and a Bayesian approach, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 51(1): 115–127. doi: 10.1080/15230430.2019.1585175
Quarta, G., A. Di Filippo, L. Calcagnile, M. D’Elia, F. Biondi, E. Presutti Saba, M. Baliva, G. De Vivo, A. Schettino, and G. Piovesan 2019, Identifying the 993-994 CE Miyake event in the oldest dated living tree in Europe, Radiocarbon (in press). doi: 10.1017/RDC.2019.37
Piovesan, G., F. Biondi, M. Baliva, G. De Vivo, V. Marchiano, A. Schettino, and A. Di Filippo 2019, Lessons from the wild: Slow but increasing long-term growth allows for maximum longevity in European beech, Ecology 100(9): art. e02737 (4 pp.), doi: 10.1002/ecy.2737
Biondi, F. and D. Meko 2019, Long-term hydroclimatic patterns in the Truckee-Carson Basin of the eastern Sierra Nevada, USA, Water Resources Research 55(7): 5559–5574. doi: 10.1029/2019WR024735
Truettner, C., M.D. Dettinger, E. Ziaco, and F. Biondi 2019, Seasonal analysis of the 2011–2017 North American Monsoon near its northwest boundary, Atmosphere 10(7): art. 420 (18 pp.), doi: 10.3390/atmos10070420
Piovesan, G., F. Biondi, M. Baliva, G. De Vivo, V. Marchiano, A. Schettino, and A. Di Filippo 2019, Slow growth leads to longevity in temperate hardwoods, Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 100(3): art.e01560 (6 pp.), doi: 10.1002/bes2.1560
Piovesan, G., F. Biondi, M. Baliva, A. Dinella, L. Di Fiore, V. Marchiano, E. Presutti Saba, G. De Vivo, A. Schettino, and A. Di Filippo 2019, Tree growth patterns associated with extreme longevity: Implications for the ecology and conservation of primeval trees in a changing world, Anthropocene 26, art.100199 (14 pp.). doi: 10.1016/j.ancene.2019.100199
Devitt, D., B. Bird, B. Lyles, L. Fenstermaker, R. Jasoni, S. Strachan, J. Arnone, F. Biondi, S. Mensing, and L. Saito 2018, Assessing near surface hydrologic processes and plant response over a 1600 m mountain valley gradient in the Great Basin, NV, U.S.A., Water 10(4), article 420 (21 pp.), doi:10.3390/w10040420
Hacket-Pain, A.J., D. Ascoli, G. Vacchiano, F. Biondi, L. Cavin, M. Conedera, I. Drobyshev , I. Dorado Liñán, A.D. Friend, M. Grabner, C. Hartl, J. Kreyling, F. Lebourgeois, T. Levanic, A. Menzel, E. van der Maaten, M. van der Maaten-Theunissen, L. Muffler, R. Motta, C.-C. Roibu, I. Popa , T. Scharnweber, R. Weigel, M. Wilmking, and C. Zang 2018, Climatically controlled reproduction drives inter-annual growth variability in a temperate tree species, Ecology Letters 21(12): 1833-1844. doi: 10.1111/ele.13158
Truettner, C., W.R.L. Anderegg, F. Biondi, G.W. Koch, K. Ogle, C. Schwalm, M.E. Litvak, J.D. Shaw, and E. Ziaco 2018, Conifer radial growth response to recent seasonal warming and drought from the southwestern USA, Forest Ecology and Management 418: 55–62. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.01.044
Piovesan, G., F. Biondi, M. Baliva, L. Calcagnile, G. Quarta, and 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. doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2018.05.015
Ziaco, E., C. Truettner, F. Biondi, and S. Bullock 2018, Moisture-driven xylogenesis in Pinus ponderosa from a Mojave Desert mountain reveals high phenological plasticity, Plant, Cell & Environment 41 (4): 823–836. DOI: 10.1111/pce.13152
Ziaco, E. and F. Biondi 2018, Stem circadian phenology of four pine species in naturally contrasting climates from sky-island forests of the western USA, Forests 9 (7), art.396 (21 pp.). doi: 10.3390/f9070396
Piovesan, G., F. Biondi, E. Presutti Saba, M. Baliva, L. Calcagnile, G. Quarta, M. D’Elia, G. De Vivo, A. Schettino, and A. Di Filippo 2018, The oldest dated tree of Europe lives in the wild Pollino massif: Italus, a strip-bark Heldreich's pine, Ecology 99 (7): 1682-1684. doi: 10.1002/ecy.2231
Schwalm, C.R., W.R.L. Anderegg, A.M. Michalak, J.B. Fisher, F. Biondi, G. Koch, M. Litvak, K. Ogle, J.D. Shaw, A. Wolf, D.N. Huntzinger, K. Schaefer, R. Cook, Y. Wei, Y. Fang, D. Hayes, M. Huang, A. Jain, and H. Tian 2017, Global patterns of drought recovery, Nature 548, 202–205 (10 August 2017). doi:10.1038/nature23021
Di Filippo, A., F. Biondi, G. Piovesan, and E. Ziaco 2017, Tree-ring based metrics for assessing old-growth forest naturalness, Journal of Applied Ecology 54 (3): 737–749. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12793
Ziaco, E., F. Biondi, S. Rossi, and A. Deslauriers 2016, Environmental drivers of cambial phenology in Great Basin bristlecone pine, Tree Physiology 36: 818–831. doi: 10.1093/treephys/tpw006
Ziaco, E. and F. Biondi. 2016, Tree growth, cambial phenology, and wood anatomy of limber pine at a Great Basin (USA) mountain observatory, Trees - Structure and Function 30: 1507–1521. doi: 10.1007/s00468-016-1384-7
Ziaco, E., F. Biondi, and I. Heinrich 2016, Wood cellular dendroclimatology: Testing new proxies in Great Basin bristlecone pine, Frontiers in Plant Science - Functional Plant Ecology 7: 1602 (13 pp.), doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01602
Salas, J.D., Z. Tarawneh, and F. Biondi 2015, A hydrological record extension model for reconstructing streamflows from tree-ring chronologies, Hydrological Processes 29(4): 544–556. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10160
Saito, L., F. Biondi, R. Devkota, J. Vittori, and J. Salas 2015, A water-balance approach for reconstructing streamflow using tree-ring proxy records, Journal of Hydrology 529(Part 2): 535–547. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.11.022
Anderegg,W.R.L., C. Schwalm, F. Biondi, J.J. Camarero, G. Koch, M. Litvak, K. Ogle, J.D. Shaw, E. Shevliakova, A.P. Williams, A. Wolf, E. Ziaco, and S. Pacala 2015, Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models, Science 349 (6247), 528-532. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1833
Biondi, F. and S. Rossi 2015, Plant-water relationships in the Great Basin Desert of North America derived from Pinus monophylla hourly dendrometer records, International Journal of Biometeorology 59(8): 939-953. doi: 10.1007/s00484-014-0907-4
Zang, C., and F. Biondi 2015, treeclim: an R package for the numerical calibration of proxy-climate relationships, Ecography 38: 431–436. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.01335
Book Chapter(s)
Biondi, F. 2015, Dendrochronology, Volcanic Eruptions, W.J. Rink and J.W. Thompson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, Germany; pp. 221-227. DOI:
Photo of Franco Biondi

Contact Info

1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno,  Nevada   89557
Office: (775) 784-6921
Lab: 327-2346