mastif network

mastif network

Network development funded by NSF DEB, NASA AIST

The Mast Inference and Prediction (MASTIF) synthesis is underway, including seed production in long-term plots and crop counts from our lab, from collaborators, and from new plots installed with the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON).  This synthesis builds on several decades of data collection and analysis at Coweeta (CWT), Duke Forest (DUKE), Mars Hill (MARS), Great Smoky Mtn Nat Park (GRSM), and Harvard Forest (HARV), evaluating how climate, habitat, and individual traits control maturation and fecundity in trees.  Several citations are listed at the bottom of this page.  This expanded 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.

MASTIF is a long-term monitoring network with more than 500 plots and crop-count locations, representing decades of intensive field and lab work.

The synthesis is not a meta-analysis.  Rather, we use MASTIF to generate a posterior distribution (i.e., one model fit) across all sites, trees, and years, spanning the continent, using the raw data. The synthesis is a work in progress; the pages that follow are drafty and can change weekly.

The histograms that follow summarize observations by tree-year and region.  For a table of species by continent go here.  For a table of sites in the analysis go here.

Western North America:

Eastern North America:

South and Central America (with Caribbean islands):




You can contribute:

Collaborators having masting data that have been incorporated thus far are here.

Agencies and non-profits supporting field sites are listed here, with a summary of data across all sites. Details are provided under individual site pages.

Species in the study are summarized by region here.

Climate and site data are down-scaled to 4 km, obtained from Google Earth Engine, which includes multiple sources, using geedataextract.  Most climate variables come from PRISM.  From GEE we also obtain a number of remotely sensed variables, topography, and soils.  Where available, local weather data are used. Sources of local climate data are given under individual site pages below.

Field notes: At the time of this project startup, NEON sites were 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.  Cory Ritz has been assisting us in 2019.  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:



Upper Midwest

Rocky Mountains





  • Tong Qiu, Marie-Claire Aravena, Robert Andrus, Davide Ascoli, Yves Bergeron, Roberta Berretti, Michal Bogdziewicz, Thomas Boivin, Raul Bonal, Thomas Caignard, Rafael Calama, J. Julio Camarero, Connie J. Clark, Benoit Courbaud, Sylvain Delzon, Sergio Donoso Calderon, William Farfan-Rios, Catherine A. Gehring, Gregory S. Gilbert, Cathryn H. Greenberg, Qinfeng Guo, Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, Kazuhiko Hoshizaki, Ines Ibanez, Valentin Journé, Christopher L. Kilner, Richard K. Kobe, Walter D. Koenig, Georges Kunstler, Jalene M. LaMontagne, Mateusz Ledwon, James A. Lutz, Renzo Motta, Jonathan A. Myers, Thomas A. Nagel, Chase L. Nuñez, Ian S. Pearse, Łukasz Piechnik, John R. Poulsen, Renata Poulton-Kamakura, Miranda D. Redmond, Chantal D. Reid, Kyle C. Rodman, C. Lane Scher, Harald Schmidt Van Marle, Barbara Seget, Shubhi Sharma, Miles Silman, Jennifer J. Swenson, Margaret Swift, Maria Uriarte, Giorgio Vacchiano, Thomas T. Veblen, Amy V. Whipple, Thomas G. Whitham, Andreas P. Wion, S. Joseph Wright, Kai Zhu, Jess K. Zimmerman, Magdalena Żywiec, and James S. Clark. 2021. Is there tree senescence? The fecundity evidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118, e2106130118; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2106130118. e2106130118.full, pdf: qiuPNAS2021
  • Clark, J.S., R. Andrus, M. Aubry-Kientz, Y. Bergeron, M. Bogdziewicz, D.C. Bragg, D. Brockway, N.L. Cleavitt, S. Cohen, B. Courbaud, R. Daley, A.J. Das, M. Dietze, T.J. Fahey, I. Fer, J.F. Franklin, C.A. Gehring, G.S. Gilbert, C.H. Greenberg, Q. Guo, J. Hille Ris Lambers, I. Ibanez, J. Johnstone, C.L. Kilner, J. Knops, W.D. Koenig, G. Kunstler, J.M. Lamontagne, K.L. Legg, J. Luongo, J.A. Lutz, D. Macias, E.J. Mcintire, Y. Messaoud, C.M. Moore, E. Moran, J.A. Myers, O.B. Myers, C. Nunez, R. Parmenter, S. Pearson, R. Poulton-Kamakura, E. Ready, M.D. Redmond, C.D. Reid, K.C. Rodman, C.L. Scher, W.H. Schlesinger, A.M. Schwantes, E. Shanahan, S. Sharma, M. Steele, N.L. Stephenson, S. Sutton, J.J. Swenson, M. Swift, T.T. Veblen, A.V. Whipple, T.G. Whitham, A.P. Wion, K. Zhu, and R. Zlotin. 2021. Continent-wide tree fecundity driven by indirect climate effects. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20836-3. pdf: s41467-020-20836-3

MASTIF model framework

  • Clark, J.S., Nuñez, C.L., and Tomasek, B. 2019. Foodwebs based on unreliable foundations: spatio-temporal masting merged with consumer movement, storage, and diet. Ecological Monographs, in press. Appendix.

Background model references

  • 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.
  • 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. 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.