A recent study by the MASTIF network sheds new light on seed production by trees

For two years, the OPTMix experiment has contributed with data on seed production to the MASTIF network. The MASTIF Network, Mast Inference and Prediction, (https://sites.nicholas.duke.edu/clarklab/projects/mastif-network/) is a long-term monitoring network with more than 500 plots and crop-count locations across the world, representing decades of intensive field and laboratory work.

In a recent article, Michal Bogdziewicz and collaborators link seed size and number with tree characteristics to shed new light on the role of fruiting in the various theories around plant ecological strategies (Bogdziewicz et al. 2023). The authors of the article found that high seed productivity (the combination of size and number of seeds) is associated with trees with high leaf area, low foliar nitrogen, low specific leaf area (SLA) and dense wood. The paper’s findings can help to better predict tree fertility across forests globally, which is particularly important in the context of climate change.

Map of raw data used to estimate the number of seeds produced by trees with the masting inference and forecasting (MASTIF) model. (Global Ecology and Biogeography, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13652)


Conditional relationships between traits after accounting for climate and phylogeny. Posterior distributions are shown as boxes that contain median vertical lines and are bounded by 68% credible intervals, with 95% credible interval whiskers. Coefficients are evaluated on a standardized scale. The inset plots in (a) highlight the relationships between species seed productivity (SSP; the product of seed size and seed number) and other traits after removing the effects of seed number and seed size that are part of SSP. Insets in (b) and (c) are analogous. Figure 3 summarizes the significant relationships. Both SSP and seed number are standardized to a tree basal area. N, nitrogen; SLA, specific leaf area; SSP, species seed productivity. (Global Ecology and Biogeography, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13652)



Bogdziewicz, M., Acuña, M.-C.A., Andrus, R., Ascoli, D., Bergeron, Y., Brveiller, D., Boivin, T., Bonal, R., Caignard, T., Cailleret, M., Calama, R., Calderon, S.D., Camarero, J.J., Chang-Yang, C.-H., Chave, J., Chianucci, F., Cleavitt, N.L., Courbaud, B., Cutini, A., Curt, T., Das, Adrian J., Davi, H., Delpierre, N., Delzon, S., Dietze, M., Dormont, L., Farfan-Rios, W., Gehring, C.A., Gilbert, G.S., Gratzer, G., Greenberg, C.H., Guignabert, A., Guo, Q., Hacket-Pain, A., Hampe, A., Han, Q., Hoshizaki, K., Ibanez, I., Johnstone, J.F., Journé, V., Kitzberger, T., Knops, J.M.H., Kunstler, G., Kobe, R., Lageard, J.G.A., LaMontagne, J.M., Ledwon, M., Leininger, T., Limousin, J.-M., Lutz, J.A., Macias, D., Marell, A., McIntire, E.J.B., Moran, E., Motta, R., Myers, Jonathan A., Nagel, T.A., Naoe, S., Noguchi, M., Oguro, M., Kurokawa, H., Ourcival, J.-M., Parmenter, R., Perez-Ramos, I.M., Piechnik, L., Podgórski, T., Poulsen, J., Qiu, T., Redmond, M.D., Reid, C.D., Rodman, K.C., Šamonil, P., Holik, J., Scher, C.L., Van Marle, H.S., Seget, B., Shibata, M., Sharma, S., Silman, M., Steele, M.A., Straub, J.N., Sun, I.-F., Sutton, S., Swenson, Jennifer J., Thomas, P.A., Uriarte, M., Vacchiano, G., Veblen, T.T., Wright, B., Wright, S.J., Whitham, T.G., Zhu, K., Zimmerman, J.K., Zywiec, M., Clark, J.S., 2023. Linking seed size and number to trait syndromes in trees. Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13652

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