Indirect Effects of Climate on Regeneration of Aspen Forests

    Indirect Effects of Climate on Regeneration of Aspen Forests

     

     

    Indirect Effects of Climate on Regeneration of Aspen Forests Mediated Through Ungulate Herbivory & Wildfire
    Sam St. Clair, Associate Professor, Plant & Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University. samstclair1@gmail.com

    Co-authors: Aaron Rhodes and Ho Yi Wan

    Ecological disturbance strongly influences the regeneration success of aspen forests. In particular increasing wildfire and high abundance of ungulate herbivores are modifying patterns of aspen regeneration in the western US. We summarize the impacts of wildfire size and severity, and ungulate herbivory on aspen regeneration success and explore how climate variability modifies these relationships.

    Dr. St. Clair completed his undergraduate and MS degrees at Brigham Young University. His Ph.D work focused on the impacts of soil acidification on the eastern deciduous forests of the US. Dr. St.Clair studied climate change impacts on grasslands of northern California as a postdoctoral researcher. Since joining the BYU faculty in 2007 Dr. St. Clair and his students have established long-term experiments in aspen forests and the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts. Major research themes include invasion biology and plant-animal interactions in the context of changing disturbance regimes particularly wildfire and herbivory by large mammals and how these processes are modified by climate change. Dr. St. Clair works closely with federal and state agencies to translate his research into best management practices.