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….

Mast-Net funded! Global masting collaboration

Our proposal “MAST-NET: masting responses to climate change and impacts on ecosystems” submitted a few months ago to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in the UK just received a recommendation for funding. The project is for an international collaboration focused on assembling global masting datasets, and then using them to answer the whole bunch of…

NSF fellowship to CREAF

Today I have learnt that Polish National Science Foundation granted me a 6-months fellowship to Global Ecology Unit at CREAF-CSIC-UAB (Barcelona) to work at Josep Penuelas lab and with Josep Maria Espelta on different aspects of masting seeding. The main goal of the fellowship is to prepare a ERC strating grant… a huge challenge, accepted! 😉  

Apparent predation and plant invasions

Originally posted on Journal of Ecology Blog:
Michał Bogdziewicz, Nathanael Lichti and Rafał Zwolak recently had their paper about predation and invasions accepted in the journal. You could read more about their paper in the blog post below. Plants throughout the world are dispersed by scatterhoarding animals, including jays, squirrels and chipmunks, wood mice, the…

Masting symposium in Sydney

Last week I was visiting Sydney for the annual Society for Mathematical Biology meeting, that this year was held at the Univesity of Sydney, Australia. Together with Akiko Satake, Dave Kelly, and Yuuya Tachiki we had really productive discussions. What are the main gaps in our knowledge right now? What are the field quick-wins? Can…

Making the mast of a rainy day: Tanentzap and Monks on our NP paper!

The new issue of New Phytologist is out with our veto paper inside! In the same issue, Andrew Tanentzap and Adrian Monks published a commentary on our paper, that highlights how the new approach can put as closer to understanding the proximate drivers of mast seeding. For me, it is a huge success by itself!…

How often do you see oak famale flowers?

We usually see oaks covered with catkins, but rarely stop to look for female flowers (unless you are an oak ecologist, I guess… :)). Quick look up on the internet, and it appears that female flowers are not frequently photographed as well… So, here are some from out work on Quercus ilex 🙂    

New Phytologist paper on veto in masting is out

Variable, synchronized seed production, called masting, is a widespread reproductive strategy in plants. Numerous ideas were proposed to explain this bizarre reproductive behavior of trees, but there is no consensus how the synchrony among individual plants happen. In the recent study, we explored the environmental veto hypothesis, which assumes that reproductive synchrony is driven by…