The dynamics of many ecosystems are characterized by pulsed resources, which create important environmental heterogeneity at multiple temporal and geographic scales. For example, synchronized but intermittent seed production, from the same or even different plant species, are referred to as masts. While being modulated by climatic influences, plant masting is thought to have evolved to increase fitness benefits to plant species by reducing seed predation pressures, increasing pollination and improving seed dispersal. However, primary consumers have also adapted to mast resources by expressing life-history traits allowing them to make the most of high food abundance, while coping with periods of relative food scarcity. From forest resilience to consumer population dynamics, plant masting generates fascinating ripple effects at multiple trophic levels.
This special issue is intended to document these important effects. In particular, we aim to cover a wide range of ecosystems around the globe, and to present multiple levels of interactions, from genes to entire ecosystems. In doing so we wish to provide a mix of theoretical and empirical studies focussing both on ecological and evolutionary perspectives.
We encourage equity, diversity and inclusion principles in authorship and study systems included in this Special Issue. We hope this Special Issue will provide a better understanding of the dynamic interplay between plants and consumers to help forecast the effects of current environmental changes on ecosystems.
Full submissions of accepted abstracts should be completed by December 16th, 2022.