mastif network

mastif network

The Mast Inference and Prediction (MASTIF) synthesis is underway, including seed production in long-term plots from our lab, from collaborators, and from new plots installed with the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON).  This synthesis builds on several decades of work in our lab, evaluating how climate, habitat, and individual traits control maturation and fecundity in trees.  Several citations are listed at the bottom of this page.  This synthesis gives us an opportunity to work with colleagues with similar interests and data sets, extending inference across a wide range of species and climates.

The synthesis is not a meta-analysis.  Rather, we use MASTIF to generate a posterior distribution (i.e., one model fit) across all trees and sites for a given species, using the raw data.

The synthesis is a work in progress; the pages that follow are drafty.  Collaborators on the synthesis having masting data that have thus far been incorporated include Mike Dietze and Istem Fer (BART, UNDE), Greg Gilbert and Kai Zhu (UCSC), Janneke HilleRisLambers (MORA, WREF), Ines Ibanez (ANNA, UMBS), Jim Lutz (WREF_WFDP), Yassine Messaoud and Yves Bergeron (western Quebec), Melaine Aubry-Kientz and Emily  Moran (SEQU, YOSE),  Jill Johnstone (BNZ), and Bill McShea (SCBI).  Additional sites and collaborators, many tropical, are currently being integrated into the study.

Climate and site data not available locally come from Google Earth Engine, which includes multiple sources.  When local data are limited in time, regional data from GEE are calibrated to local data series.  Sources of climate data are given under individual site pages below.

Field notes: At the time of this project startup, NEON sites are just beginning to host visits from individual PIs.  Each site has its own ownership, permitting system, and management plan. For example, Florida sites include active fire management, which affects any sampling equipment left in the field.  Permits and sampling are negotiated with each site individually.  The time required to obtain permits varies site-to-site.  We were guided through this process by Greg Wirth and Courtney Meier at NEON’s Main Office in Boulder.  These metadata notes summarize some of these issues for sites we sampled. They offer a future reference for us and perhaps for others.  In addition to NEON sites, we include sites from collaborators on the Mast Inference and Forecasting study.  Here are summaries:


Southern Appalachians



Upper Midwest

Rocky Mountains

Cascades and Sierra Nevada

West Coast



  • Berdanier, A. and J.S. Clark. 2016. Divergent reproductive allocation trade-offs with canopy exposure across tree species in temperate forests. Ecosphere, DOI:10.1002/ecs2.1313.
  • Bell, D.M. and J.S. Clark 2015. Seed predation and climate impacts on reproductive variation in temperate forests of the southeastern USA. Oecologia, 180, 1223–1234bell2016
  • Clark, J.S., D.M. Bell, M.C. Kwit, and K. Zhu. 2014. Competition-interaction landscapes for the joint response of forests to climate change. Global Change Biology, 20, 1979-1991.
  • Clark, J.S., D. Bell, C. Chu, B. Courbaud, M. Dietze, M. Hersh, J. HilleRisLambers, I. Ibanez, S. L. LaDeau, S. M. McMahon, C.J.E. Metcalf, J. Mohan, E. Moran, L. Pangle, S. Pearson, C. Salk, Z. Shen, D. Valle, and P. Wyckoff. 2010. High dimensional coexistence based on individual variation: a synthesis of evidence. EM2010, 80, 569–608. EM2010appendix-A, EM2010appendix-B
  • Clark, J.S. 2010. Individuals and the variation needed for high species diversity. Science 327, 1129-1132, science2010. scienceAppend2010
  • Clark, J.S., S. LaDeau, and I. Ibanez. 2004. Fecundity of trees and the colonization-competition hypothesis, Ecological Monographs, 74:415-442Appendix.
  • Hille Ris Lambers, J. and J.S. Clark. 2003. Effects of dispersal, shrubs, and density-dependent mortality on seed and seedling distributions in temperate forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33: 783-795.
  • Clark, J.S., M. Silman, R. Kern, E. Macklin, and J. Hille Ris Lambers. 1999. Seed dispersal near and far: generalized patterns across temperate and tropical forests.  Ecology 80:1475-1494.
  • Clark, J. S., E. Macklin, and L. Wood.  1998. Stages and spatial scales of recruitment limitation in southern Appalachian forests.  Ecological Monographs 68:213-235.