Past REL Research Projects

Using Native Ruderal Species in Restoration of Cheatgrass Invaded Communities
Our specific objective is to determine if restoration of native ruderal seed banks can be used to suppress the establishment and persistence of cheatgrass and facilitate establishment of native perennials on disturbed soils...READ MORE

Slash Pile Burn Scar Restoration
We are testing the effectiveness of rehabilitation treatments at reestablishing native species, reducing non-native species, and restoring soil properties within pile burn scars in ponderosa and lodgepole pine forests along the Northern Front Range of Colorado...READ MORE

Restoring Native Plant Communities Following Exotic Tree Removal at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, AZ
The REL is working to identify effective approaches for restoring native plant communities in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, AZ...READ MORE

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sage Steppe
Studies were conducted to measure cheatgrass colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) throughout its life, identify AMF species associated with cheatgrass, compare AMF diversity between cheatgrass and big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), and determine how native plant species interact with AMF in soil invaded by cheatgrass...READ MORE
Ecology of Selenium Hyperaccumulators
Our research currently focuses on how soil microorganisms influence Se-hyperaccumulation in Astragalus...READ MORE
Plant-soil Feedbacks: A Potential Tool to Improve Management of Invasive Knapweeds
This research provides baseline information on the interactions and feedbacks between vegetation, microorganisms, and nutrients with a unique focus on invasive plant management. Results highlight the potential of inoculation as a tool to impact specific vegetation, although...READ MORE
Nitrogen Fixation by Russet Buffaloberry in Colorado Conifer Forests
REL staff is working on providing the first estimates of the contributions of biologically-fixed nitrogen by actinorhizal shrubs (Shepherdia canadensis) to a variety of forest and rangeland habitats in Colorado...READ MORE

Using Native Annual Plants to Suppress Weedy Invasive Species in Post-Fire Habitats
We used a field study in Colorado and Idaho, USA to test the hypothesis that native annual plant species are better suited to post-fire restoration efforts compared to perennial plant species that are commonly used in traditional seed mixtures...READ MORE
Allelopathy as an Invasion Pathway
We are exploring if the allelochemicals produced by some invasive plant species can be used as herbicides in the control of other exotic invaders. We are also examining the production of allelochemicals under various control strategies and the persistence of these allelochemicals in soils to determine...READ MORE

Gold Mine Reclamation at the Summitville Mine Superfund Site
Faculty and staff in the REL have been working at the Summitville Mine Site for over 10 years...READ MORE

Coal Mine Reclamation With Native Allelopathic Plants
The objective of this research is to determine if native allelopathic plant species could be used to displace exotic invasive species such as cheatgrass...READ MORE

Plant Metal Toxicity Thresholds
This research is establishing soil metal toxicity thresholds for plant species that are commonly used in reclamation activities in Colorado...READ MORE

Knapweed and Cheatgrass Control
The objective of this project is to develop a strategy for the control, monitoring, and prediction of knapweed and cheatgrass infestations on Department of Defense (DoD) installations in the western United States...READ MORE

Mutualisms Relation to Swainsonine in Oxytropis from The United States and China
Contributions from dinitrogen fixation in Oxytropis sericea development and swainsonine synthesis were studied in a greenhouse experiment. The role of Oxytropis mutualisms in swainsonine production was tested beyond O. sericea by studying swainsonine producing Oxytropis from Asia...READ MORE
Revegetation Methods On Coal Mines
The objective of the study is to determine methods for establishment of woody plants on disturbed coal mined lands in northwestern Colorado to assist regulatory agencies and the mining industry in meeting reclamation success standards for woody plant density...READ MORE