Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Effects of climate on reproductive investment in a masting species: assessment of climatic predictors and underlying mechanisms

Citation

Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Linhart, Yan B.; Mooney, Kailen A. (2015), Data from: Effects of climate on reproductive investment in a masting species: assessment of climatic predictors and underlying mechanisms, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h29r7

Abstract

1. Mechanisms by which climatic factors drive reproductive investment and phenology in masting species are not completely understood. Climatic conditions may act as a proximate cue, stimulating the onset of reproduction and indirectly increasing fitness through benefits associated with synchronous reproduction among individuals. Alternatively, climatic conditions may directly influence individual level allocation to reproduction and reproductive success through effects occurring independently of synchronous reproduction. We previously showed that masting in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) population was strongly influenced by spring mean temperature two years before seed cone maturation (Ti-2). However, recent work shows that the difference in temperature between previous growing seasons (ΔT) is more predictive of reproductive investment in long-lived tree species. 2. Here we compared four candidate models that predict seed cone production in P. ponderosa based upon different climatic factors (including Ti-2 and ΔT models). After determining the best climatic predictor, we tested for a potential mechanism by which climate might directly influence seed cone production independent of benefits via synchrony, namely effects of temperature on trade-offs between current and past reproduction (determined by underlying resource availability). 3. We found that Ti-2 (rather than ΔT) was the best predictor of seed cone production. We further show that this same climatic factor exerts a direct fitness benefit to individuals by reducing the strength of trade-offs between current and past reproductive efforts. 4. Synthesis: We demonstrate that a single climatic factor provides fitness benefits to individuals directly, by weakening reproductive trade-offs, and indirectly through the benefits associated with synchrony and masting. This suggests a mechanism for the origin and maintenance of masting: individuals initially respond to climatic cues that directly enhance reproduction (e.g. lower reproductive costs through weakened trade-offs) and this dynamic, expressed across multiple individuals, reinforces these benefits through the economies of scale associated with synchrony and masting.

Usage Notes