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Testing masting mechanisms of boreal forest species at different stand densities

Rossi Sergio, Morin Hubert, Laprise Danielle et Gionest François. (2011). Testing masting mechanisms of boreal forest species at different stand densities. Oikos, 121, (5), p. 665-674.

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Mast seeding is considered a reproductive trait resulting from several potential evolutionary forces. Although the mechanisms driving reproduction have been thoroughly investigated and discussed, their relative importance and possible coexistence remain an open question. Seed rain abundance and viability of balsam fir Abies balsamea, white spruce Picea glauca, and white birch Betula papyrifera were monitored during 1994-2007 along a chronosequence of developmental stages at different densities represented by four stands in the boreal forest of Quebec, Canada. The aim of the study was to verify whether seeding temporal dynamics and abundance were affected by stand density, and to test the causal relationships between the hypotheses of pollination efficiency and predator satiation. Seed rain abundance varied substantially among years and species, with the highest values being observed in 1994 and 1996, and attaining up to 28.2 × 10 3 seeds m -2 year -1. However, the annual dynamics of seed production was similar in the three sites with the higher densities. The greater proportions of germinating and dead seeds were observed in white birch, while balsam fir showed an average of 11.2% of damaged seeds, which were infected by larvae. The conifer species had the higher proportions of empty seeds. The causal models tested on balsam fir demonstrated that seed rain abundance influenced the amount of both viable and larval-infected seeds, although no causal relationship existed between these last two variables. The comparable and synchronous seed rain abundances observed among sites demonstrated that stand density can significantly affect the reproduction of trees, probably by limiting the access to resources, but not the annual dynamics of seeding. Pollination efficiency and predator satiation are important forces in the reproductive effort of trees and could be not mutually exclusive because both these mechanisms of natural selection synergistically coexist in driving the seeding dynamics of balsam fir.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Pages:p. 665-674
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Identifiant unique:10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19953.x
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Unités de recherche > Centre de recherche sur la Boréalie (CREB)
Mots-clés:abundance, boreal forest, chronosequence, coexistence, coniferous tree, developmental stage, germination, life history trait, masting, natural selection, pollination, predator, reproductive effort, seed rain, seeding, stand structure, temporal variation, viability, Abies, Abies balsamea, Betula papyrifera, Betula pendula, Coniferophyta, Picea glauca
Déposé le:04 juill. 2023 15:12
Dernière modification:04 juill. 2023 15:12
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