Current BRIT Local Research Projects


The Living Roof


BRIT's living roof is a one of a kind example in greenroof technology. Rather than a roof with plants adapted to hot environments, the roof is a recreation of an exisiting Texas habit. Biomimicked after a geology formation known as the Goodland/Walnut Barrens, BRIT's roof represents possibly the largest barrens habitat of its kind in the state. Rather than just looking for plants that can survive in hot environments, BRIT asked the questions, "What are the environmental parameters of a roof and what is its analog in our native environs?" Goodland/Walnut Barrens are characterized by extremely shallow limestone soils and low precipitation throughout most of the year. In green roofs, soil and water are the two components that make up most of the weight of the roof. Thus, choosing plants that grow in shallow soils and are extremely water-hardy make perfect sense. Read more....


The BRIT Prairie

BRIT's Prairie was designed to take an urban landscape, understand what the native condition of that landscape would be and then to return that landscape to a close mimic of its native referrent. BRIT's prairie is sited on what was once Fort Worth Prairie along river edges. Scientists searched for similar habitats and used those as models to build BRIT's Prairie. It serves as an experimental plot helping us to further understand whether native soils are needed to re-establish prairies, what the effects of native soils are on prairies and what are the management regimes needed to maintain healthy prairies. Read more...


Urban Landscape

  The Tarrant County Urban Landscapes project seeks to improve the ecological integrity of the Fort Worth urban ecosystem by empowering residents to make informed decisions about their impact on local resources. One product of this project is the BRIT Ecoscapes web site which helps residents of Tarrant County select the ideal native plants for the soil and environmental conditions of their particular location. This project embodies BRIT’s mission “to conserve our natural heritage by deepening our knowledge of the plant world and achieving public understanding of the value plants bring to life.” 

BRIT Bioretention

Cities are filled with impervious surfaces that rainwater cannot penetrate through and recharge the groundwater. Precipitation runs off of impermeable surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, and straight into the city's storm water system. From there, the water is most likely deposited into a stream and transported somewhere further along the watershed.  When storm events occur, this flooding of the storm water system can cause large amounts of erosion downstream and wastes a precious resource that could otherwise be serving the plant and soil community on the landscape. 



Biodiversity Research

Our researchers are currently involved with a variety of projects associated with Cider Orchard Biocomplexity, Climate Change in Orchards and Vineyards, and Biodiversity Informatics.

Research Publications

This is a list of titles written by BRIT's research staff and research associates over the past five years.


The BRIT Blog is a joint effort between our research, education, and development teams to document the processes and behind-the-scenes activity involved in BRIT's ongoing mission to expand our knowledge of plants and raise public awareness of the value of plants to life.