NCEAS Project 2820

Evolutionary causes and ecological consequences of mast seeding in plants

  • Dave Kelly
  • Andrew M. Liebhold
  • Victoria L. Sork


ActivityDatesFurther Information
Visitor19th June—21st July 2000Participant List  
Visitor20th June—19th August 2000Participant List  
Visitor28th June—22nd July 2000Participant List  
Graduate Student1st July—31st December 2000Participant List  
Working Group6th—14th July 2000Participant List  
Working Group30th January—7th February 2001Participant List  
Working Group9th—13th August 2001Participant List  

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Abstract
Mast seeding, the intermittent production of large seed crops by perennial plants, is an ecologically important phenomenon. For plants, masting interrupts reproduction and periodically depletes resources. For animals, masting causes temporal pulses in potentially nutritious food. Despite improved understanding of mast seeding in the 1990's, we only now have the tools to investigate several important avenues. First, the temporal and spatial scales. Secondly, the interaction between evolutionary benefits of masting (e.g., pollination efficiency) and the resource constraints operating within individual plants have not been explored. Third, to what extent do pulses in plant reproduction result in "ripple" effects through higher trophic levels? While direct effects on some organisms are known (e.g., small mammal densities may increase after mast years), indirect ecosystem-level effects are not well understood, especially whether ripples normally create stable (well-damped) or unstable ecosystem dynamics. These ripple effects are important to applied problems (e.g., forest pest outbreaks), and also for understanding the evolutionary origins of masting. Thus, we propose an interdisciplinary working group (plant evolutionary ecologists, animal population ecologists, community ecologists, modelers)that will use long term datasets on both seed crops and animal densities to formulate predictive models of the nature and consequences of mast seeding. The results will be important both to evolutionary theory and to understanding ecosystem functioning.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Peltonen, Mikko; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Baltensweiler, W. 2002. Waves of Larch Budmoth outbreaks in the European Alps. Science. Vol: 289. Pages 1020-1023.
Journal Article Buonaccorsi, John P.; Elkinton, Joseph; Koenig, Walter; Duncan, Richard; Kelly, Dave; Sork, Victoria L. 2003. Measuring mast seeding behavior: Relationships among population variation, individual variation and synchrony. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Vol: 224(1). Pages 107-114. (Abstract)
Presentations Kelly, Dave; Rees, Mark; Bjornstad, Ottar N. 2000. Resources and mast seeding: Testing . New Zealand Ecological Society Annual Conference, November 2000. Hamilton, New Zealand.
Journal Article Kelly, Dave; Sork, Victoria L. 2002. Mast seeding in perennial plants: Why, how, where?. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics. Vol: 33. Pages 427-447. (Abstract)
Data Set Kelly, Dave; Koenig, Walter; Sork, Victoria L.; Peltonen, Mikko; Duncan, Richard; Westfall, Robert; Elkinton, Joseph. 2007. Masting dynamics data set. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Koenig, Walter; Kelly, Dave; Sork, Victoria L.; Duncan, Richard; Elkinton, Joseph; Peltonen, Mikko; Westfall, Robert. 2003. Dissecting components of population-level variation in seed production and the evolution of masting behavior. Oikos. Vol: 102(3). Pages 581-592.
Journal Article Koenig, Walter; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2003. Regional impacts of periodical cicadas on oak radial increment. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne de Recherche Forestier. Vol: 33. Pages 1084-1089.
Journal Article Koenig, Walter; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2005. Effects of periodical cicada emergences on abundance and synchrony of avian populations. Ecology. Vol: 86(7). Pages 1873-1882.
Presentations Liebhold, Andrew M. 2000. Population dynamics of an exotic forest insect: Gypsy moth in North America. Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota. St. Paul, MN.
Presentations Liebhold, Andrew M. 2002. Spatial dynamics of forest insect outbreaks. Department of Entomology, Kansas State University. Manhatten, KS.
Presentations Liebhold, Andrew M. 2002. Spatial dynamics of phytophagous insect outbreaks and relationships to mast seeding. Departamento de Biologia Vegetal y Ecologia, Universidad de Sevilla. Sevilla, Spain.
Presentations Liebhold, Andrew M. 2003. Spatial dynamics of forest insect outbreaks. Department of Entomology, University of California in Davis. Davis, CA.
Presentations Liebhold, Andrew M. 2003. Spatial synchrony in forest insect populations. Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College. Hanover, NH.
Journal Article Liebhold, Andrew M.; Koenig, Walter; Bjornstad, Ottar N. 2004. Spatial synchrony in population dynamics. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics. Vol: 35. Pages 467-490.
Journal Article Liebhold, Andrew M.; Sork, Victoria L.; Peltonen, Mikko; Koenig, Walter; Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Westfall, Robert; Elkinton, Joseph; Knops, Johan. 2004. Within-population spatial synchrony in mast seeding of North American oaks. Oikos. Vol: 104(1). Pages 156-164.
Journal Article Peltonen, Mikko; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Williams, David W. 2002. Spatial synchrony in forest insect outbreaks: Roles of regional stochasticity and dispersal. Ecology. Vol: 83. Pages 3120-3129.
Journal Article Rees, Mark; Kelly, Dave; Bjornstad, Ottar N. 2002. Snow tussocks, chaos, and the evolution of mast seeding. American Naturalist. Vol: 160(1). Pages 44-59.