Every once in a while, all the oaks or spruces or other plants in a region suddenly produce a tremendous bounty of seeds – up to 100 times more than usual. But why do they do it, and how do they all manage to sync up? ___________________________________________
To learn more about mast seeding, start your googling with these keywords:
Mast Year: A year in which all the plants of a particular species in a region ramp up their seed production.
Predator Satiation Hypothesis: The hypothesis that mast seeding is a strategy plants use for controlling the population of squirrels and other seed-eating animals. ___________________________________________
Credits (and Twitter handles): Script Writer: Emily Elert (@eelert) Script Editor: Alex Reich (@alexhreich) Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar) Video Director: Alex Reich (@alexhreich) Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert) With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder ___________________________________________
Fletcher, Quinn E., Stan Boutin, Jeffrey E. Lane, Jalene M. LaMontagne, Andrew G. McAdam, Charles J. Krebs, and Murray M. Humphries. 2010. “The Functional Response of a Hoarding Seed Predator to Mast Seeding.” Ecology 91 (9): 2673–83.
Kelly, Dave, and Victoria L. Sork. 2002. “Mast Seeding in Perennial Plants: Why, How, Where?” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33 (1). Annual Reviews: 427–47.
Kelly, D. 1994. “The Evolutionary Ecology of Mast Seeding.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 9 (12): 465–70.