REL Research

REL crew at Cayon de Chelly, AZ, 2010The Restoration Ecology Lab's primary research focus is on the mechanisms controlling community assembly in terrestrial plant communities. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms that cause or prevent shifts in plant community composition. Such questions are central to the field of Restoration Ecology in that in order to move communities from one state to another, we must understand these mechanisms. To this end, we focus on:

Invasive Species - Increasingly, restoration involves the management of exotic invasive species. Researchers in the REL are exploring new approaches for dealing with exotic species in order to restore native species.

Soil Processes and Amendments - In terrestrial habitats, restoration starts from the ground up. Restoration ecologists in the REL work closely with colleagues in the Center for Rhizoshpere Biology, the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology to study the manipulation and management of soil processes for the restoration of degraded lands.

Toxic Compounds - Many of the most difficult restoration problems involve toxic contaminants. Finding innovative solutions to restore contaminated sites is a focus of research in the REL.

Revegetation Techniques - The restoration of disturbed or degraded lands often involves the application of innovative revegetation techniques. The Forest and Rangeland Stewardship department and the REL have been world leaders in providing expertise in this area. As new challenges emerge, REL researches and students will continue to develop innovative new solutions.

Learn more detailed information about our current research projects, or some of our past research efforts.