Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020 - 30

REINTRODUCING RARE PLANTS IN GREEN
ROOFS FOR TERRESTRIAL RESTORATION
Reid Coffman 1*, Meghan Blackson2
1
Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Kent State University, USA
2
Graduate Assistant, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Kent State University, USA
*corresponding author: rcoffma4@kent.edu
As terrestrial ecosystems decline, limited local plant selection may require the reintroduction of legally protected species from regional populations for establishing native
plant-based roofs. Presented here is an approach to selecting and cultivating rare and
extirpated species for roof environments. This methodological approach uses regional
plant sources, seed and seedling-based installation, and dispersal characteristics to aid
terrestrial landscape restoration. A five-year observational study grown in heterogeneous growing conditions provides initial feedback for future consideration of the
method. We discuss the importance of a heterogeneous environment for this study,
seed cultivation practices, and the impact of the method on local ecosystems.
Key words: green roof, rare plants, biodiversity, conservation, urban restoration

EFFECTS OF HETEROGENEITY IN SOLAR EXPOSURE AND SOIL MOISTURE
ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF GREEN ROOF PLANT FUNCTIONAL GROUPS
Melody Peiyi Li1, Sarah Steele2, Ishi Buffam2,3*
1
University of Chicago
2
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati
3
Current affiliation: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
*Corresponding author: ishi.buffam@slu.se
Green roofs often have heterogeneous microclimates due to variation in surrounding conditions, for example shading from adjacent trees
or buildings. However, little is known of the effects of fine-scale variation in microclimate on green roof plant community composition.
This is important to understand because green roof ecosystem services are supported by the productivity, diversity, and functionality
of the plants. We conducted a spatial survey of plant species distribution relative to solar exposure and soil moisture, on a 50 m2 sloped
extensive green roof originally established with nine Sedum species evenly distributed on the roof. After seven years in the presence of
partial shading from adjacent trees, the number of plant species had increased to 28, with the new species mostly volunteer graminoids
and forbs. Solar exposure strongly shaped plant species distribution on the roof along a gradient (high to low): succulents - graminoids forbs. Plant species richness was highest in the transition zone between the sunny/dry and shady/moist parts of the roof. Our results demonstrate that spatial variation in microclimate can influence green roof plant communities over time. Thus, an awareness of microclimate
variation should be incorporated into managing green roof plant communities to optimize ecosystem services.
Key words: Microclimate; Species richness; Plant communities; Green roof management
LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / WINTER 2020 / 30

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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020

Table of Contents
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020 - IP
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020 - Cover1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020 - Cover2
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020 - Table of Contents
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor Winter 2020 - AD1
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