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Proximate Factors Causing Mast Seeding In Fagus Crenata: The Effects Of Resource Level And Weather Cues

Hirokazu Kon, Takashi Noda, Kazuhiko Terazawa, Hiromasa Koyama, Michiyasu Yasaka

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To examine the proximate factors causing mast seeding in Fagus crenata Blume in Hokkaido, northern Japan, we analyzed a 13-year time series of seed production in relation to both previous reproduction and weather conditions. In an autocorrelation analysis we observed a significant negative correlation in 1-year time lags for the log-transformed total seed crop. This indicates that internal resource dynamics are important for mast seeding. A strong negative correlation was observed between the total seed crop and minimum temperature from late April to mid-May in the year preceding flowering. The critical minimum temperature from late April to mid-May for total seed crop at all five sites was about 1.0 °C higher than the 22-year (1979–2000) mean of the minimum temperatures, above which very few seeds were produced. These results show that a weather cue triggers the cessation of reproduction in F. crenata. Regression models that included reproduction in the previous year and minimum temperature explained 57.8%–83.1% of the total seed crop at the five study sites. Therefore, resource dynamics and weather cues are clearly involved in mast seeding in F. crenata.