Media Contact: Fred Strohl
Communications and Media Relations
Audio Spot: Environment -- Native species restoration
Oak Ridge National Laboratory environmental sciences researchers have been experimenting with methods to reduce non-native species in specific areas of the laboratory's 20,000-acre environmental research park by converting them to areas more conducive to the growth of native plant species. A series of activities, including prescribed burns, selective application of herbicides, mowing and bush hogging has been undertaken over three years on 250 acres. These areas include abandoned fields, pine-beetle damaged stands, power line and roads rights-of-way, wetland restoration sites and remediated waste disposal landfills. The results have been mixed from areas that have been restored to full native grass communities to other locations where a combination of native grass and invasive species has reappeared. Research continues to determine the most effective methods to restore a balance in the growth of native plant species while promoting a diversity of habitats.