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…

No terminal investment in rowan

Our newest paper just became available in Annals of Forest Science. We used data from over 250 rowans growing in Carpathian mountains in Poland and investigated the predictions of the Terminal Investment Hypothesis, which suggests that organisms should invest disproportionally into reproduction preceding their death. We found no support. Rather, seed production declined significantly before…

Climate sorts plants responses to weather

Weather is centrally involved in driving mast seeding. However, while the links between meteorological conditions and seeding are well-recognized for some species, but in others consistent correlates have not been found. We used quickly developing masting theory to start solving out this long-lasting mystery. We predicted that climate should strongly modulate the relationship between the…

2018 in numbers

accepted papers: 8 (more were published in 2018, but I’ve counted accepted in 2018), rejection letters: 10 (including 5 desk rejections) – this number is, in fact, larger as I’ve counted only papers where I was the leading author, international travels: 6 (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Australia, Spain, UK), conferences: 2 (Australia, UK), grants submitted: 1…

Radio interview: why masting happens and Lyme disease

Last week I’ve been interviewed by Rafał Regulski from Radio Poznań, talking about why oaks decide to reproduce in some years but not in others, and what are the consequences of masting events on rodent and tick populations. The interview was aired as a part of the cyclic program “Drzwi do lasu” (Forest doors), and…

Geography of damage tolerance in oak: new Annals of Botany paper

The study I’ve done with Raul Bonal and Josep M. Espelta was accepted this week in Annals of Botany. Below, I paste a 100-word summary of the research that will appear in the journal section called “ContentSnapshot”: The assertion that plants at lower latitudes should be better defended against enemies has a long historical basis,…

Weevils go after acorns in mast years: new Ecology paper

One widely accepted fitness advantage of being a masting plant (instead of just producing seeds every year) is the predator satiation. According to this mechanism, masting helps to increase seed survival through starving predators in non-mast years (famine cause the predator population to go down), and sparse predators are easy to satiate in mast years….