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Pollen limitation as a main driver of fruiting dynamics in oak populations

Abstract : In many perennial wind-pollinated plants, the dynamics of seed production is commonly known to be highly fluctuating from year to year and synchronised among individuals within populations. The proximate causes of such seeding dynamics, called masting, are still poorly understood in oak species that are widespread in the northern hemisphere, and whose fruiting dynamics dramatically impacts forest regeneration and biodiversity. Combining long-term surveys of oak airborne pollen amount and acorn production over large-scale field networks in temperate areas, and a mechanistic modelling approach, we found that the pollen dynamics is the key driver of oak masting. Mechanisms at play involved both internal resource allocation to pollen production synchronised among trees and spring weather conditions affecting the amount of airborne pollen available for reproduction. The sensitivity of airborne pollen to weather conditions might make oak masting and its ecological consequences highly sensitive to climate change.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02309939
Contributor : Aurélie Siberchicot <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 4:53:47 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:20:06 PM

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Marie-Claude Bel-Venner, David Fouchet, Aurélie Siberchicot, Vincent Boulanger, Thomas Caignard, et al.. Pollen limitation as a main driver of fruiting dynamics in oak populations. Ecology Letters, Wiley, 2019, 22 (1), pp.98-107. ⟨10.1111/ele.13171⟩. ⟨hal-02309939⟩

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