Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 406109
Title Strict mast fruiting for a tropical dipterocarp tree: a demographic cost–benefit analysis of delayed reproduction and seed predation
Author(s) Visser, M.D.; Jongejans, E.; Breugel, M. van; Zuidema, P.A.; Chen, Y.Y.; Kassim, A.R.; Kroon, H. de
Source Journal of Ecology 99 (2011)4. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 1033 - 1044.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2011.01825.x
Department(s) Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Forest Ecology and Forest Management
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) rain-forest - evolutionary ecology - spatial-patterns - resource-allocation - woody-plants - el-nino - recruitment - dispersal - dynamics - impact
Abstract 1. Masting, the production of large seed crops at intervals of several years, is a reproductive adaptation displayed by many tree species. The predator satiation hypothesis predicts that starvation of seed predators between mast years and satiation during mast years decreases seed predation and thus enhances tree regeneration. 2. Mast fruiting comes at demographic costs such as missed reproduction opportunities and increased density-dependence of recruits, but it remains unknown if predator satiation constitutes a sufficiently large benefit for masting to evolve as a viable life-history strategy. So far, no studies have quantified the net fitness consequences of masting. 3. Using a long-term demographic data set of the dipterocarp Shorea leprosula in a Malaysian forest, we constructed stochastic matrix population models and performed a demographic cost–benefit analysis. 4. For observed values of mast frequency and seed predation rates, we show that strict masting strongly increases fitness compared with fruiting annually. Model results also show that the demographic costs of mast fruiting are very low compared to the demographic losses due to seed predation in a scenario of annual fruiting. Finally, we find that mast fruiting would still be selected for even at low levels of seed predation and when including additional costs such as decreased adult growth rates, limiting crop size and density-dependent seedling survival. 5. Synthesis. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the predator satiation hypothesis: mast fruiting increases fitness for a range of seed predation levels. Under seed predation pressure annually fruiting species are at a strong disadvantage and as a result a mast fruiting strategy may swiftly confer a fitness advantage. Our study shows that demographic modelling allows the weighing of fitness benefits and costs of life-history phenomena such as strict masting.
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