Supplemartary Material (SI 1-5) for "Interannual variation in seed production has increased over time (1900-2014)" from Inter-annual variation in seed production has increased over time (1900–2014)
2017-12-04T12:22:58Z (GMT) by
Mast seeding, or masting, is the highly variable and spatially synchronous production of seeds by a population of plants. The production of variable seed crops is typically correlated with weather, so it is of considerable interest whether global climate change has altered the variability of masting or the size of masting events. We compiled 1086 datasets of plant seed production spanning 1900–2014 and from around the world, and then analysed whether the coefficient of variation (CV) in seed set, a measure of masting, increased over time. Over this 115-year period, seed set became more variable for plants as a whole and for the particularly well-studied taxa of conifers and oaks. The increase in CV corresponded with a decrease in the long-term mean of seed set of plant species. Seed set CV increased to a greater degree in plant taxa with a tendency towards masting. Seed set is becoming more variable among years, especially for plant taxa whose masting events are known to affect animal populations. Such subtle change in reproduction can have wide-ranging effects on ecosystems because seed crops provide critical resources for a wide range of taxa and have cascading effects throughout food webs.