Populations of many long-lived plants exhibit spatially synchronized seed production that varies extensively over time, so that seed production in some years is much higher than on average, while in others, it is much lower or absent. This phenomenon termed masting or mast seeding has important consequences for plant reproductive success, ecosystem dynamics and plant-human interactions. Inspired by recent advances in the field, this special issue presents a series of articles that advance the current understanding of the ecology and evolution of masting. To provide a broad overview, we reflect on the state-of-the-art of masting research in terms of underlying proximate mechanisms, ontogeny, adaptations, phylogeny and applications to conservation. While the mechanistic drivers and fitness consequences of masting have received most attention, the evolutionary history, ontogenetic trajectory and applications to plant-human interactions are poorly understood. With increased availability of long-term datasets across broader geographical and taxonomic scales, as well as advances in molecular approaches, we expect that many mysteries of masting will be solved soon. The increased understanding of this global phenomenon will provide the foundation for predictive modelling of seed crops, which will improve our ability to manage forests and agricultural fruit and nut crops in the Anthropocene. This article is part of the theme issue 'The ecology and evolution of synchronized seed production in plants'.

The ecology and evolution of synchronized reproduction in long-lived plants / M.B. Pesendorfer, D. Ascoli, M. Bogdziewicz, A. Hacket-Pain, I.S. Pearse, G. Vacchiano. - In: PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 0962-8436. - 376:1839(2021 Dec 06), pp. 20200369.1-20200369.8. [10.1098/rstb.2020.0369]

The ecology and evolution of synchronized reproduction in long-lived plants

G. Vacchiano
2021

Abstract

Populations of many long-lived plants exhibit spatially synchronized seed production that varies extensively over time, so that seed production in some years is much higher than on average, while in others, it is much lower or absent. This phenomenon termed masting or mast seeding has important consequences for plant reproductive success, ecosystem dynamics and plant-human interactions. Inspired by recent advances in the field, this special issue presents a series of articles that advance the current understanding of the ecology and evolution of masting. To provide a broad overview, we reflect on the state-of-the-art of masting research in terms of underlying proximate mechanisms, ontogeny, adaptations, phylogeny and applications to conservation. While the mechanistic drivers and fitness consequences of masting have received most attention, the evolutionary history, ontogenetic trajectory and applications to plant-human interactions are poorly understood. With increased availability of long-term datasets across broader geographical and taxonomic scales, as well as advances in molecular approaches, we expect that many mysteries of masting will be solved soon. The increased understanding of this global phenomenon will provide the foundation for predictive modelling of seed crops, which will improve our ability to manage forests and agricultural fruit and nut crops in the Anthropocene. This article is part of the theme issue 'The ecology and evolution of synchronized seed production in plants'.
adaptation; climate change; ontogeny; proximate mechanisms; seed production; synchrony
Settore AGR/05 - Assestamento Forestale e Selvicoltura
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/876793
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