Ancient trees play a crucial role in natural ecosystems. Trees with extreme longevity are fragile elements that guarantee species survival under climatic change by providing a great genetic variability, and help ensure species expansion.
Plasticity and stress tolerance are central elements on tree longevity, as well as dormancy and maintenance of growth capacity over time. The study of antioxidant systems is very useful when trying to describe those processes, but also their importance to the ecosystem composition in a changing world.
Oxidative stress markers in aging processes are currently being studied aiming to understand the biological processes occurring in natural ecosystems, with an emphasis on the study of the ecophysiology of trees with extreme longevity and the ecosystemic service they provide to natural forests.