A paper that describes the mechanisms of mast seeding in oaks, has just been published in the leading biological journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, authored by Michał Bogdziewicz (Department of Systematic Zoology) and collaborators. Mast seeding is a huge, inter-annual variation in seed production, highly synchronized among individual plants. In this research, authors points to the key role of weather variation and resource allocation in driving this phenomenon. In some years, unfavourable weather vetoes reproduction. It prevents plants from spending energy leading to passive resource storage. When favourable weather coincident with large pool of resources, mast year happens.
The research has been conducted on a Mediterranean oak species, Quercus ilex, during dr Michał Bogdziewicz research stay at CREAF in Barcelona. The stay was financed by Polish NSF grant „Etiuda”.
Link to the paper: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1866/20171784