Nature Plants: masting and nutrients

Our recent study, done by an international team of scientist led by Marcos Fernandez Martinez from University of Antwerp, is now published in Nature Plants. In the paper, we used a huge dataset of seed production and nutrient status of plants, and showed that plants that are nutrient-poor show stronger masting (larger year-to-year variability) in…

Global Change Biology: masting in ageing forests

In our new paper, just accepted for publication in Global Change Biology, we analysed huge data set of seed production in all major European forest-forming species. The data collection started just after World War II, so we had the exciting opportunity to look at the trends in trees fecundity. We focused on the trees masting…

Grant funded! Genetics in masting

Polish National Science Centre has just funded our research proposal to study the genetic basis of masting using rowan as a model species. Very exciting work ahead 🙂 The PI of the project is Magdalena Żywiec, and other coPIs include our gene-specialsits Igor Chybicki i Jarosław Burczyk. Here is part of the abstract with our…

Ecology Letters: agenda for experiments in masting

Our perspective paper was just accepted in Ecology Letters. In the paper, we review the most relevant proximate drivers of masting and outline a research agenda that takes the biology of masting from a largely observational field of ecology to one rooted in mechanistic understanding. We divide the experimental framework into three main processes: resource…

Joining Editorial Board of Journal of Ecology

I have been appointed as Associate Editor in Journal of Ecology. As this is surely one of the very best ecological journals, and also my favorite one, I could not be more excited! I will be handling papers dealing with forest ecology, particularly issues related more generally to population ecology, seed ecology, and masting. I…

Joint meeting with MASTIF

Over the last few days MASTNET group met with Jim Clark’s group in Grenoble to discuss possible synergy between our project and the one led by him (MASTIF). Frutifull discussions end up with ideas for future funding to study how climate change will affect trees fecundity and effects of masting on food webs. Great time!

Journal of Ecology: scatter-hoarders are not always good plant partners

In a new study, accepted today for publication in one of my favorite ecological journals – Journal of Ecology, we used a combination of field data and mathematical models and showed that rodents are not always the best friends of plants. Generally, the notion that seed-dispersing rodents are mutualists for their plant partners keeps on…

Pollen addition experiments

This spring phenological synchrony of flowering in our experimental population of Quercus ilex in Spain was low. In accordance with the theory, in this year our pollen additions resulted in larger acorn set. See below, how impressive it was! The general idea is that pollen limitation in oaks is driven by phenological synchrony – pollen…

Rainfall regulates population dynamics of weevils

In a new study, just accepted in Ecological Entomology, we analysed 6-years data series of oaks weevil abundance. We measured abundance of both adults and larvae and looked at factors shaping their population dynamics. I suspected that the most important factor affecting weevil numbers will be acorn production (of Quercus ilex in the case of…

Field season launched!

Yesterday I’ve landed in Madrid, and today we have pollinated first two trees. This flowering season thus started a month earlier than the last year (2018). As the last year phenology was so delayed (started in late April), the weather during the flowering season was very good – warm and dry. At the same time,…

Veto synchronizes reproduction in masting plants

In the latest study, soon to be published in The American Naturalist, we combined modelling with long-term seed production data in four species to see what drives masting in these species. We had two species (pine and rowan) that can be assigned to a “flowering masting” group, i.e. species where mast seeding is driven by…

Mast-Net kick-off meeting in Liverpool

Last month we met in Liverpool to discuss the details of our collaborative project. Our goal is to assemble two datasets: one on population-level seed production of masting plants, hopefully all over the globe. The second will include individual-level seed production data. We are also going to write a perspective paper on how experiments can…