Ecosystem Design Group Research

The work of the Ecosystem Design Group is informed by a distinguished history of science-based research beginning in 1982 at the National Wildflower Research Center. Research into the functions and applications of native plants and ways to harness their environmental benefits continued when the Research Center became the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1995 and was intensified when the Center became an organized research unit of The University of Texas at Austin in 2006.

Human health depends on the health of our environment. The way landscapes are designed, constructed and maintained determines how well they will provide essential ecosystem services provided by natural landscapes, such as improved air and water quality, decreased risk of floods, lower urban air temperatures and carbon capture. Our research explores how the ecological and physiological traits of native plants used in sustainable landscapes actually can regenerate and enhance the environment.

Research results have been tested in real-world applications including restoration of public land, private developments and governmental projects, so our clients benefit from our latest findings. We share these learnings about improved ecological landscape design through public, professional and academic education. Past research projects include the use of prescribed burns to control invasive species, the development of native polycultural turfgrass, native plant performance on green roofs, rapid roadside re-vegetation using native species and erosion control using native species and compost.

View research past and current projects

Ecosystem Design Group - Research, Teach, Apply