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Re: Acorns and mast years

No shortage of acorns in Vermont! It was a very wet summer here.

To further Steve's message: I once heard a talk at a conference about tree 
flowering and fruiting in Mexican tropical forests. Via a long term study, 
they have mapped heavy flowering and fruiting events in a regular cycle that 
tightly corresponds to the El Nino cycles. Many Meso American and Caribbean 
tropical forests grow in areas with distinct wet and dry seasons (similar to 
Florida's climate). Heavy tree flowering and fruiting is noted after a dryer 
than normal "wet" season. Seems in the dry sunny years, the forests have more 
sun, less cloud cover and therefore produce more leaves and build up 
reserves. Then trees flower and fruit more heavily the next year. During 
cloudy, rainy cycles, flowering and fruiting is greatly reduced because there 
are fewer sunny days. This 6-7 year cycle may indeed also correspond with 
Julius' mention of a 6 year cycle for owls in Trinidad.

Donna Atwood

In a message dated 11/10/2000 11:03:06 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
samarak@arachne.uark.edu writes:

<< The article I read suggested it was a naturally selected
 "strategy" for ensuring that at least in some years, so much seed would be
 produced that predators could hardly get it all. The question for the
 author(s) was what was the signal that coordinated heavy production in an
 area? Was it simply favorable growing conditions the previous year, or
 was there some communication, presumably chemical, involved? >>

>From Julius Boos:
<<Back in Trinidad the cycle for owls was about every 6 years>>

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