Globally, tree fecundity exceeds productivity gradients

Valentin Journé, Robert Andrus, Marie Claire Aravena, Davide Ascoli, Roberta Berretti, Daniel Berveiller, Michal Bogdziewicz, Thomas Boivin, Raul Bonal, Thomas Caignard, Rafael Calama, Jesús Julio Camarero, Chia Hao Chang-Yang, Benoit Courbaud, Francois Courbet, Thomas Curt, Adrian J. Das, Evangelia Daskalakou, Hendrik Davi, Nicolas DelpierreSylvain Delzon, Michael Dietze, Sergio Donoso Calderon, Laurent Dormont, Josep Maria Espelta, Timothy J. Fahey, William Farfan-Rios, Catherine A. Gehring, Gregory S. Gilbert, Georg Gratzer, Cathryn H. Greenberg, Qinfeng Guo, Andrew Hacket-Pain, Arndt Hampe, Qingmin Han, Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, Kazuhiko Hoshizaki, Ines Ibanez, Jill F. Johnstone, Daisuke Kabeya, Roland Kays, Thomas Kitzberger, Johannes M.H. Knops, Richard K. Kobe, Georges Kunstler, Jonathan G.A. Lageard, Jalene M. LaMontagne, Theodor Leininger, Jean Marc Limousin, James A. Lutz, Diana Macias, Eliot J.B. McIntire, Christopher M. Moore, Emily Moran, Renzo Motta, Jonathan A. Myers, Thomas A. Nagel, Kyotaro Noguchi, Jean Marc Ourcival, Robert Parmenter, Ian S. Pearse, Ignacio M. Perez-Ramos, Lukasz Piechnik, John Poulsen, Renata Poulton-Kamakura, Tong Qiu, Miranda D. Redmond, Chantal D. Reid, Kyle C. Rodman, Francisco Rodriguez-Sanchez, Javier D. Sanguinetti, C. Lane Scher, Harald Schmidt Van Marle, Barbara Seget, Shubhi Sharma, Miles Silman, Michael A. Steele, Nathan L. Stephenson, Jacob N. Straub, Jennifer J. Swenson, Margaret Swift, Peter A. Thomas, Maria Uriarte, Giorgio Vacchiano, Thomas T. Veblen, Amy V. Whipple, Thomas G. Whitham, Boyd Wright, S. Joseph Wright, Kai Zhu, Jess K. Zimmerman, Roman Zlotin, Magdalena Zywiec, James S. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Lack of tree fecundity data across climatic gradients precludes the analysis of how seed supply contributes to global variation in forest regeneration and biotic interactions responsible for biodiversity. A global synthesis of raw seedproduction data shows a 250-fold increase in seed abundance from cold-dry to warm-wet climates, driven primarily by a 100-fold increase in seed production for a given tree size. The modest (threefold) increase in forest productivity across the same climate gradient cannot explain the magnitudes of these trends. The increase in seeds per tree can arise from adaptive evolution driven by intense species interactions or from the direct effects of a warm, moist climate on tree fecundity. Either way, the massive differences in seed supply ramify through food webs potentially explaining a disproportionate role for species interactions in the wet tropics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1471-1482
Number of pages12
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • climate
  • competition
  • forest regeneration
  • seed consumption
  • species interactions
  • tree fecundity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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