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Fruiting Strategies of Perennial Plants: A Resource Budget Model to Couple Mast Seeding to Pollination Efficiency and Resource Allocation Strategies

Abstract : Masting, a breeding strategy common in perennial plants, is defined by seed production that is highly variable over years and synchronized at the population level. Resource budget models (RBMs) proposed that masting relies on two processes: (i) the depletion of plant reserves following high fruiting levels, which leads to marked temporal fluctuations in fruiting; and (ii) outcross pollination that synchronizes seed crops among neighboring trees. We revisited the RBM approach to examine the extent to which masting could be impacted by the degree of pollination efficiency, by taking into account various logistic relationships between pollination success and pollen availability. To link masting to other reproductive traits, we split the reserve depletion coefficient into three biological parameters related to resource allocation strategies for flowering and fruiting. While outcross pollination is considered to be the key mechanism that synchronizes fruiting in RBMs, our model counterintuitively showed that intense masting should arise under low-efficiency pollination. When pollination is very efficient, medium-level masting may occur, provided that the costs of female flowering (relative to pollen production) and of fruiting (maximum fruit set and fruit size) are both very high. Our work highlights the powerful framework of RBMs, which include explicit biological parameters, to link fruiting dynamics to various reproductive traits and to provide new insights into the reproductive strategies of perennial plants.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 4:45:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 6:48:47 PM

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Samuel Venner, A. Siberchicot, P.F. Pélisson, E. Schermer, Marie-Claude Bel-Venner, et al.. Fruiting Strategies of Perennial Plants: A Resource Budget Model to Couple Mast Seeding to Pollination Efficiency and Resource Allocation Strategies. American Naturalist, University of Chicago Press, 2016, 188 (1), pp.66-75. ⟨10.1086/686684⟩. ⟨hal-02049895⟩

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