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The effects of ENSO and the North American monsoon on mast seeding in two Rocky Mountain conifer species

Citation

Wion, Andreas et al. (2021), The effects of ENSO and the North American monsoon on mast seeding in two Rocky Mountain conifer species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5x69p8d3k

Abstract

We aimed to disentangle the patterns of synchronous and variable cone production (i.e., masting) and its relationship to climate in two conifer species native to dry forests of western North America. We used cone abscission scars to reconstruct ca. 15 years of recent cone production in Pinus edulis and Pinus ponderosa, and used redundancy analysis to relate time series of annual cone production to climate indices describing the North American monsoon and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). We show that the sensitivity to climate and resulting synchrony in cone production varies substantially between species. Cone production among populations of P. edulis was much more spatially synchronous and more closely related to large-scale modes of climate variability than were populations of P. ponderosa. Large-scale synchrony in P. edulis cone production was associated with the North American monsoon and we identified a dipole pattern of regional cone production associated with ENSO phase. In P. ponderosa, these climate indices were not strongly associated with cone production, resulting in asynchronous masting patterns among populations. This study helps frame our understanding of mast seeding as a life history strategy and has implications for our ability to forecast mast years in these species.

Methods

Data includes R code and datasets to reproduce figures and results from the paper entitled "The effects of ENSO and the North American monsoon on mast seeding in two Rocky Mountain conifer species"  

 

Data are counts of annual cone production from two Rocky Mountain conifer species, Pinus ponderosa and Pinus edulis, from 470 trees and 76 sites, reconstructed using cone scars, from the time period 2003-2018.  Data also include rasters of monthly and seasonal climate, range maps of the two species, and several other files needed to recreate the analyses and figures. See the readme file for full description of files.