Teemu Hölttä knows how trees adapt to stress

The ecophysiology researcher studies how trees are coping with climate change.

What are your research topics?  

I study the ecophysiology of trees. This means that I examine the vital functions of trees in different growth environments and environmental conditions. In practice this entails things such as how trees grow, how water, products of photosynthesis and nutrients are transported inside trees as well as how substances are exchanged with the environment.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?  

It’s important to understand how trees will survive in the changing climate of the future. Carbon dioxide levels in the air and temperatures will likely go up, while periods of drought and other extreme weather phenomena will become more intense. Different species react to the changing climate in different ways. Once we understand the differences between tree species, we will know which varieties we should prefer in various locations.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now

Because of the season, I’m particularly inspired by the trees coming back to life in the spring. Many interesting things are happening in the trees right now, undetectable to the casual observer, which are meticulously scheduled and coordinated . At the moment, we have limited understanding of such matters. 


Teemu Hölttä is the professor of tree ecophysiology at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

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