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Friday, May 19, 2017
Competing for seed dispersal: how seed-hoarding birds mediate competition among oaks

Many oaks in California are classic masting species; they produce intermittent bumper crops that are synchronized over hundreds of kilometers. In addition to satiating many seed predators in years of bumper crops, masting also affects seed dispersal by their main mutualistic partners, seed-hoarding jays. Mario Pesendorfer, a postdoctoral associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, will summarize his research findings from studying the relationship between masting and seed dispersal in California oaks. From the flowering synchrony of oaks in the spring, a phenomenon driven by weather, to birds fighting over acorns in the fall, Dr. Pesendorfer will take the audience through the fascinating world of oak reproduction with a particular focus on findings from Sedgwick Reserve.