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Weather cues associated with masting behavior dampen the negative autocorrelation between past and current reproduction in oaks

AuthorsMoreira Tomé, Xoaquín ; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio Manuel ; Knops, Johannes M.H.; Pesendorfer, Mario B.; Koening, Walter D.; Mooney, Kailen A.
KeywordsAcorn production
Resource limitation
Issue Date18-Jan-2019
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationAmerican Journal of Botany 106(1): 51–60 (2019)
AbstractPremise of the Study: The influence of weather conditions on masting and the ecological advantages of this reproductive behavior have been the subject of much interest. Weather conditions act as cues influencing reproduction of individual plants, and similar responses expressed across many individuals lead to population-level synchrony in reproductive output. In turn, synchrony leads to benefits from economies of scale such as enhanced pollination success and seed predator satiation. However, there may also be individual-level benefits from reproductive responses to weather cues, which may explain the origin of masting in the absence of economies of scale. In a previous study, we found support for a mechanism whereby individual responses to weather cues attenuate the negative autocorrelation between past and current annual seed production—a pattern typically attributed to resource limitation and reproductive tradeoffs among years. Methods: Here we provide a follow-up and more robust evaluation of this hypothesis in 12 species of oaks (Quercus spp.), testing for a negative autocorrelation (tradeoff) between past and current reproduction and whether responses to weather cues associated with masting reduce the strength of this negative autocorrelation. Key Results: Our results showed a strong negative autocorrelation for 11 of the species, and that species-specific reproductive responses to weather cues dampened this negative autocorrelation in 10 of them. Conclusions: This dampening effect presumably reflects a reduction in resource limitation or increased resource use associated with weather conditions, and suggests that responses to weather cues conferring these advantages should be selected for based on individual benefits
Description10 páginas.-- 3 figuras.-- 2 tablas.-- 45 referencias.-- Additional Supporting Information may be found online in the Supporting Information section at the end of the article
Research Article: Free Access in the publisher https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1210
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1210
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