Some of the clearest examples of the consequences of pulsed resources are found in deciduous and coniferous forests dominated by mast-producing trees such as oaks. In these systems, populations of mast-consuming mammals, such as the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), and eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) initiate cascades of direct and indirect effects that permeate throughout these forest-based food webs. White-footed mice in particular, and their counterparts in other terrestrial communities, are considered a "hub species" because they are central to a web of interactions with various predators, prey, competitors, parasites, and pathogens.
Our studies have revealed that episodic acorn production directly influences: (1) the abundance, distribution, and behavior of white-footed mice. As a consequence, acorn production indirectly influences: (2) tick abundance, infection prevalence and Lyme disease risk; (3) population dynamics of gypsy moths; (4) nesting success and population dynamics of ground-nesting songbirds; and (5) survival of tree seeds and seedlings.