Research Goals

Global seed supply is too poorly understood to even speculate on its contribution to the regeneration of forests that are increasingly lost to disturbance, climate change, and extensive human management. Through data synthesis and collaborations with more than 100 international researchers, the Clark lab has established the mastif project and assimilated seed production data for 12.1 millition tree-years in more than 700 species from all vegetated continents. We are interested in:

  • Tree size and age effects: does tree fecundity decline as tree grows larger and older?
  • Map of life and traits: are there limits to reproductive potential whereby species sacrifice seed size in order to produce more seeds, a size-numbers tradeoff?
  • Soil effects: will access to resources mediate the limits to reproduction?
  • Masting syndrome: what are the causes and consequences of mast seeding?
  • Canopy characteristics: how will tree fecundity respond to canopy nutrients, including N, P, K, Ca, and Mg?
  • Forest regeneration: do forest communities reorganize throughout the tree life stages including adult trees, fecundity, and seedling recruitment?

There are current four published papers (listed below), one manuscript draft that can be requested here, and two papers in progress (you can request the preliminary results here).