Tree Frog Forestry News

Climate warming disrupts tree seed production

By University of Liverpool
Science Daily
February 12, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Research involving the University of Liverpool has revealed the effect of climate warming on the complex interactions between tree masting and the insects that eat their seeds. Masting, the process by which trees vary the amount of seeds they produce year by year… is beneficial because during `famine years’, seed-eating animals (such as moths) are starved so their numbers decrease, while in the `bumper years’, seed production is so high that it satiates insects and seed predators, so that some seeds can survive to establish the next generation of trees. However, a study of beech tree seed production published in the journal Nature Plants, found that increased seed production due to warmer temperatures was accompanied by a reduction in the degree of year-to-year variability in seed production, and specifically a reduction in the frequency of the ‘famine years’.

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