St. Clair, Sam

Plant & Wildlife Sciences

Email: 2uvencktBd{w0gfw  (Email Form)


4124  LSB
Provo, UT 84602
(801) 422-5725

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

 Honors and Awards
  • Forest Ecology and Management : Associate Editor
  • BYU University Award : Class of 49 Young Scholar Award
 Courses Taught

Fall 2018
  • PWS 494R: Mentored Learning Experience Section 014
  • PWS 540: Plant Response Environment Section 001
  • PWS 799R: Doctoral Dissertation Section 005
Summer 2018
  • PWS 101: Cult Hist of Medicinal Plants Section 001
  • PWS 150: Environmental Biology Section 002
  • PWS 494R: Mentored Learning Experience Section 028
  • PWS 699R: Master's Thesis Section 009
  • PWS 799R: Doctoral Dissertation Section 002
Spring 2018
  • PWS 697R: Research Section 010
Winter 2018
  • IAS 201R: Cultural Survey Section 059
  • PWS 440: Plant Physiology Section 001
  • PWS 494R: Mentored Learning Experience Section 013
  • PWS 697R: Research Section 011
  • PWS 699R: Master's Thesis Section 012
  • PWS 799R: Doctoral Dissertation Section 005
  • REL A 122: The Book of Mormon Section 030

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Rhodes A, Larsen R, Maxwell J, St. Clair S. 2018. Differential effects of cattle, mule deer, and elk herbivory on forest regeneration and recruitment. Forest Ecology and Management. 422:273-280.

Rhodes A, St. Clair S. 2018. Measures of browse damage and ungulate abundance to quantify impacts on aspen forest regeneration. Ecological Indicators. 89:648-655.

St Clair SB, Hoines J. 2018. Reproductive ecology and stand structure of Joshua tree forests across climate gradients of the Mojave Desert. PLoS ONE. e0193248 13:1-14.

Sharp-Bowman T, McMillan BR, St Clair SB. 2017. A comparison of the effects of fire on rodent abundance and diversity in the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts. PLoS ONE. 12:e0187740.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187740

Rhodes A, St Clair SB. 2017. Herbivory impacts of elk, deer and cattle on aspen forest recruitment along gradients of stand composition, topography and climate. Forest Ecology and Management. 397:39-47.

Call A, St Clair SB. 2017. Outbreak of Drepanopeziza fungus in aspen forest and variation in stand susceptibility: leaf functional traits, compensatory growth and phenology. Tree Physiology. 37:1198-1207.

Heroy K, St Clair SB, Burritt B, Villalba J. 2017. Plant community chemical composition influences Trembling Aspen (Populus Tremuloides) intake by sheep. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 43:817-830.

Horn K, Bishop T, St Clair SB. 2017. Precipitation timing and soil heterogeneity regulate the invasion potential of red brome. Biological Invasions. 19:1339-1350.

Lybbert A, Taylor J, DeFranco A, St Clair SB. 2017. Reproductive success of wind, generalist, and specialist pollinated plant species following wildfire in desert landscapes. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 26:1030-1039.

Sharp-Bowman TR, McMillan BR, St Clair SB. 2017. Rodent herbivory and fire differentially affect plant species recruitment based on variability in life history traits. Ecosphere. 8:1-10.  doi:10.1002/ecs2.2016/full

Sharp-Bowman TR, McMillan BR, St Clair SB. 2017. Rodent herbivory differentially affects mortality rates of 14 native plant species with contrasting life history and growth form traits. Oecologia. 185:465-473.  doi:10.1007/s00442-017-3944-y

Rhodes AC, Anderson VJ, St Clair SB. 2017. Ungulate herbivory alters leaf functional traits and recruitment of regenerating aspen. Tree Physiology. 37:402-4`13.

Horn K, St Clair SB. 2017. Wildfire and exotic grass invasion alter plant productivity in response to climate variability in the Mojave Desert. Landscape Ecology. 32:635-646.

Lybbert A, St. Clair S. 2017. Wildfire and floral herbivory alter reproduction and pollinator mutualisms of Yuccas and Yucca Moths. Journal of Plant Ecology. 10:851-858.

Rogers P, St Clair SB. 2016. Quaking Aspen in Utah: Integrating Recent Science with Management. Rangelands. 38:266-272.

St Clair SB, O'Connor R, Gill RA, McMillan BR. 2016. Biotic resistance and disturbance: rodent consumers regulate post-fire plant invasions and increase community diversity. Ecology. 97:1700-1711.  doi:10.1002/ecy.1391

Rhodes A, Barney T, St. Clair S. 2016. Stand composition, tree proximity and size have minimal effects on leaf function of coexisting aspen and subalpine fir. PLoS ONE. 11:1-12.

Horn K, Wilkinson J, White S, St Clair SB. 2015. Desert wildfire impact on plant community function. Plant Ecology. 216:1623-1634.

Horn K, Nettles R, St Clair SB. 2015. Germination response to temperature and moisture to predict distributions of the invasive grass red brome and wildfire. Biological Invasions. 17:1849-1857.

Villalba J, Burritt B, St Clair SB. 2014. Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) Intake and preference by mammalian herbivores: the role of plant secondary compounds and nutritional context. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 40:1135-1145.

Wan HY, Rhodes A, St Clair SB. 2014. Fire severity alters plant regeneration patterns and defense against herbivores in mixed forests. Oikos. 123:1479-1488.

Wan HY, Olson A, Muncey K, St Clair SB. 2014. Legacy effects of fire severity and size on forest regeneration, recruitment and wildlife activity in aspen forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 329:59-68.

Buck J, St Clair SB. 2014. Stand composition, proximity to overstory trees and gradients of soil moisture influence patterns of subalpine fir seedling emergence and survival. Plant and Soil. 381:61-70.

Seager T, Eisenberg C, St Clair SB. 2013. Patterns and consequences of ungulate herbivory in aspen forests of North Americ. Forest Ecology and Management. 299:81-90.

St Clair SB, Cavard X, Bergeron Y. 2013. The role of facilitation and competition in the development and resilience of aspen forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 299:91-99.

Lindroth R, St Clair SB. 2013. Adaptation of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) for defense against herbivores. Forest Ecology and Management. 299:14-21.

Rogers P, Eisenberg C, St Clair SB. 2013. Resilience in quaking aspen: recent advances and future needs. Forest Ecology and Management. 299:1-5.

Buck J, St Clair SB. 2012. Aspen increases soil moisture, nutrients, organic matter and respiration in Rocky Mountain forest communities. 7(12):e52369.

Horn KJ, McMillan BR, St Clair SB. 2012. Expansive fire in Mojave Desert shrubland reduces abundance and species diversity of small mammals. Journal of Arid Environments. 77:54-58.

Calder J, St Clair SB. 2012. Facilitation drives mortality patterns on succession gradients of aspen-conifer forests. Ecosphere. 3(6):57.

Sudderth E, St Clair SB. 2012. Sensitivity of resource pools and fluxes to dry periods under low and high rain treatments. Ecosphere. 3(8):70.

Smith EA, Collette SB, Boynton TA, Lillrose T, Stevens MR, Bekker MF, Eggett DL, St Clair SB. 2011. Developmental contributions to phenotypic variation in functional leaf traits within quaking aspen clones. Tree Physiology. 31:68-77.

Calder J, Horn K, St Clair SB. 2011. Conifer expansion compromises the competitive ability and herbivore defense of aspen by modifying light environment and soil chemistry. Tree Physiology. 31:582-591.

Salve R, Sudderth E, St Clair SB, Torn M. 2011. Effect of grassland vegetation type on the response of hydrological processes to seasonal precipitation patterns. Journal of Hydrology. 410:51-61.

Swarbreck S, Sudderth E, St Clair SB, Salve R, Cristina C, Torn M, David A, Anderson G. 2011. Linking leaf transcripts levels to whole plant analysis provides mechanistic insights to the impact of warming and altered water availability in an annual grass. Global Change Biology. 17:1577-1594.

Clark A, St Clair SB. 2011. Mycorrhizas and secondary succession in aspen- conifer forests: light limitation differentially affects a dominant early and late successional species. Forest Ecology and Management. 262:203-207.

Smith E, O'loughlin D, Buck J, St Clair SB. 2011. The influences of conifer succession, physiographic conditions and herbivory on quaking aspen regeneration after fire. Forest Ecology and Management. 262:325-330.

St Clair SB, Lynch J. 2010. The opening of Pandora’s Box: climate change impacts on soil fertility and crop nutrition in developing countries. Plant and Soil. 335:101-115.

Calder J, Lifferth G, Moritz M, St Clair SB. 2010. Physiological effects of smoke exposure on deciduous and evergreen tree species. International Journal of Forest Research. 438930:1-7.

Currit N, St Clair SB. 2010. Assessing the impact of extreme climatic events on aspen defoliation using MODIS imagery. Geocarto International. 25:133-147.

St Clair SB, Guyon J, Donaldson J. 2010. Quaking aspen’s current and future status in western North America: the role of succession, climate, biotic agents and its clonal nature. Progress in Botany. 71:371-400.

St Clair SB, Monson S, Smith E, Cahill D, Calder W. 2009. Altered leaf morphology, leaf resource dilution and defense chemistry induction in frost-defoliated aspen (Populus tremuloides). Tree Physiology. 29:1259-1268.

St Clair SB, Sudderth EA, Fischer ML, Torn MS, Stuart SA, Salve R, Eggett DL, Ackerly DD. 2009. Soil drying and nitrogen availability modulate carbon and water exchange over a range of annual precipitation totals and grassland vegetation types. Global Change Biology. 3018-3030.

St Clair SB, Sudderth E, Castanha C, Torn M, Ackerly D. 2009. Plant responsiveness to variation in precipitation and nitrogen is consistent across the compositional diversity of a California annual grassland. Journal of Vegetation Science. 20:860-870.

Thayer SS, St Clair SB, Somerville SC, Field CB. 2008. Accentuation of phosphorus limitation by nitrogen deposition in Geranium dissectum: an ecological genomics study. Global Change Biology. 14:1877-1890.

St Clair SB, Sharpe WE, Lynch JP. 2008. Key interactions between nutrient limitation and climatic factors in temperate forests: a synthesis of the sugar maple literature. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38:401-414.

Wullschleger SD, Leakey A, St Clair SB. 2007. Functional genomics and ecology: a tale of two scales. New Phytologist. 176:735-739.

St. Clair LL, Johansen JR, St Clair SB, Knight KB. 2007. The influence of grazing and abiotic factors on vascular plant and lichen community structure along an alpine tundra ridge in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research. 39:603-613.

St Clair SB, Lynch JP. 2007. The differential success of sugar maple and red maple seedlings on acid soils is influenced by nutrient dynamics and light environment. In Adjustment of photosynthetic processes of plants and cells to light environment, Ed. Tom Sharkey. Plant, Cell and Environment. 30.

St Clair SB, Carlson JE, Lynch JP. 2005. Evidence for oxidative stress in sugar maple stands on acidic, nutrient imbalanced forest soils. Oecologia. 145:258-269.

St Clair SB, Lynch JP. 2005. The differential success of sugar maple and red maple seedlings on acid soils is influenced by nutrient dynamics and light environment. Plant, Cell & Environment. 28:874-885.

St Clair SB, Lynch JP. 2005. Base cation stimulation of mycorrhization and photosynthesis of sugar maple on acid soils are coupled by foliar nutrient dynamics. New Phytologist. 165:581-590.

St Clair SB, Lynch JP. 2005. Element accumulation patterns of deciduous and evergreen tree seedlings on acid soils and its implications for sensitivity to manganese toxicity. Tree Physiology. 25:85-92.

St Clair SB, Lynch JP. 2004. Photosynthetic and antioxidant enzyme responses of sugar maple and red maple to excess manganese in contrasting light environments. Functional Plant Biology. 31:1005-1014.

Lynch JP, St Clair SB. 2004. Mineral stress: the missing link in understanding how global climate change will affect plants in real world soils. Field Crops Research. 90:101-115.

St Clair SB, Sharpe WE, Lynch JP. 2003. Excess manganese reduces chlorophyll in sugar maple leaves. Maple Syrup Digest. 15:28-31.

St Clair SB, St. Clair LL, Mangelson NF, Weber DJ. 2002. Influence of growth form on the accumulation of airborne copper by lichens. Atmospheric Environment. 36:5637-5644.

St Clair SB, St. Clair LL, Mangelson NF, Weber DJ, Eggett DL. 2002. Element accumulation patterns in foliose and fruticose lichens from rock and bark substrates in Arizona. Bryologist. 105:415-421.


St Clair SB. 2016. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species- the roles of community attributes.

Book Chapter

Chambers J, Germino M, Belnap J, Brown C, Schupp G, St Clair SB. 2015. Plant Community Resistance to Invasion by Bromus species – the Roles of Community Attributes, Bromus Interactions with Plant Communities, and Bromus Traits. , editor. Exotic Brome-Grasses in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems of the Western US.

St Clair SB, Cooper LS, Stewart LJ, Newberry CC, St. Clair LL. 1998. The lichen flora of Stony Pass, an alpine tundra site in southwestern Colorado. Glenn M, Cole M, Dirig R, Harris, editors. Lichenographia Thomsoniana: North American Lichenology.


Sowards T, Aanderud ZT, Petersen SL, St Clair SB, Kitchen S, Roundy BA, Madsen MD. Efficacy of abscic acid in delaying germination of pseudoroegneria spicata to reduce seeding failure in sagebrush-steppe restoration efforts. National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. 2018 .

Taylor JB, St Clair SB, Madsen MD, Pearson D. Seed coating technologies that reduce rodent granivory during rangeland reseeding. National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. 2018 .

Sowards TG, Madsen MD, Roundy BA, St Clair SB. Efficacy of abscisic acid in reducing seeding failure by delaying germination of pseudorogenia spicata. 71st Annual Meeting for the Society for Range Management. Sparks, Nevada, USA. 2018 .

Keefer CE, Call R, St Clair SB, Roundy BA, Stringham T, Madsen MD. Laboratory evaluation of abscisic acid and gibberellic acid seed coatings to improve germination timing of wyoming big sagebrush. 71st Annual Meeting for the Society for Range Management. Sparks, Nevada, USA. 2018 .

Petersen SL, Kitchen SG, St Clair SB. The influence of fire severity on ecological succession patterns within an aspen-conifer post-fire community. Society for Range Management. Oklahoma City, OK. 2013 .

St Clair SB. Facilitation and competition in aspen forests. Symposium: Resilience in aspen forests. Debeque, Colorado. 2012 .

Buck J, St Clair SB. Altered disturbance patterns promote facilitated competition in aspen-conifer forest. Ecological Society of America. Austin Texas. 2011 .

Horn K, Wilkinson J, White S, St Clair SB. Fire results in increased physiological vigor for surviving Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) and creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata) in the Mojave Desert. Ecological Society of America. Austin Texas. 2011 .

Sudderth E, Byrne K, Gherardi L, Placella S, Herman D, St Clair SB. How do linked plant-soil processes affect ecosystem responses to climate change?. Ecological Society of America. Austin Texas. 2011 .

Clark A, St Clair SB. Mycorrhizas and secondary succession in aspen-conifer forests. Ecological Society of America. Austin Texas. 2011 .

Technical Report

StClair LL, St Clair SB. 2013. Final Report concerning re-inventory of the lichen air quality bio-monitoring program for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho.

StClair LL, St Clair SB, Leavitt SD. 2013. Final Report concerning Review of the lichen air quality baseline for Region 1 of the Forest Service, Montana and Idaho.

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