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Why do the young of cooperative breeders--species in which more than two individuals help raise offspring at a single nest--delay dispersal and live in groups? Answering this deceptively simple question involves examining the costs and benefits of three alternative strategies: (1) dispersal and attempting to breed, (2) dispersal and floating, and (3)(More)
A tradeoff between growth and reproduction, often inferred from an inverse correlation between these two variables, is a fundamental paradigm of life-history evolution. Oak species provide a unique test of this relationship because different species mature acorns either in the year of pollination or in the year after pollination. This difference allows for(More)
1. We examined the fitness consequences of pollen limitation in the valley oak (Quercus lobata Neé, Fagaceae), a wind-pollinated, predominantly outcrossing tree endemic to California, by examining the relationship between within-year phenology and acorn production over an 8 year period. 2. We predicted that pollen limitation should result in trees flowering(More)
Annually variable and synchronous seed production, or masting behavior, is a widespread phenomenon with dramatic effects on wildlife populations and their associated communities. Proximally, masting is often correlated with environmental factors and most likely involves differential pollination success and resource allocation, but little is known about how(More)
We analyzed the relationship between population abundance and variability of western scrub-jays Aphelocoma californica based on 48 yr of Audubon Christmas Bird Counts and the resources on which they depend as indexed by the diversity and abundance of mast-producing oaks and pines and, for California, estimates of acorn production based on a statewide(More)
We examined the relationship between acorn mass and number in valley oaks (Quercus lobata) over 4 years in central coastal California. Despite considerable variation in acorn size among both trees and years, trees produced acorns of the same size relative to other trees in different years. Across years, the relationship between acorn mass and acorn crop(More)
We measured acorn production of five species of oaks (genus Quercus) over a ten year period (1980-1989) at Hastings Reservation in Monterey County, California. Crop production was highly variable and generally asynchronous between species. Variance in crop size decreased directly with increasing species diversity across sub-areas within the study site.(More)
We investigated arboreal removal and insect damage to acorns in an undisturbed oak woodland in central coastal California. Arboreal seed removal was determined for four to eight individual Quercus lobata trees over a period of 14 years by comparing visual estimates of the acorn crop with the number of acorns caught in seed traps. Insect damage was assessed(More)
We examined the importance of pollen limitation to variation in acorn production of three species of California oaks (Quercus lobata, Q. douglasii, and Q. agrifolia) by testing for relationships between phenology and acorn production. Within years, trees flowering closer to the mean flowering date of the population produced significantly more acorns in two(More)
We analyzed 29 years of acorn production by five species of California oaks (genus Quercus) to test the hypothesis that trees produce large seed crops prior to wet years, conditions facilitating seedling germination and survival. The mean crop of three of the species correlated positively and nontrivially with the following year's rainfall, but none was(More)