Mast, v. To produce a larger amount of offspring than expected, as a way to increase the chance of offspring survival against a likely steady predator population.
Via “Nobel Intent: Squirrels breed for the future,”
One strategy that trees have evolved is called “masting,” and involves the synchronized production of excess seeds. Because the predator population should be reasonably constant, a sudden burst of seeds should swamp the population of whatever might eat them, allowing more seeds to successfully start a new generation. By the time a predator breeds in response to the excess food, the seeds are gone, and the new offspring will be threatened with starvation.