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      REFERENCE COMUNITY: ADAPTING NATIVE PLANTS TO NORTH AMERICAN GREN ROOFS

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          INTRODUCTION

          The North American design community typically regards green roofs as inhospitable environments for native plants due to the infrastructure's characteristic thin soils, low organic matter, temperature fluctuations, and wind exposure. Consequently, green roofs are often planted with an industry-standard palette of nonnative Sedum and Phedimus species that are adept at withstanding stress, but lack biodiversity and visual interest, and offer little food or shelter to native birds and insects. Regionally specific reference plant communities that thrive in similarly harsh growing conditions can positively influence green roof design throughout North America, and consequently provide ecosystem services, contribute to habitat conservation, and increase human exposure to the beauty and benefits of native plants.

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          Most cited references 13

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          A comparison of bee communities of Chicago green roofs, parks and prairies

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            Green roof vegetation for North American ecoregions: A literature review

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              Is Open Access

              PRAIRIE-BASED GREEN ROOFS: LITERATURE, TEMPLATES, AND ANALOGS

              Native prairie species have been both promoted and questioned in their ability to serve as vegetative covers for green roofs. The green roof environment with its exposure to intense sun and wind and limited moisture restricts the capacity for a large diversity of species. The result has been, in many cases, a standard, low-diversity mix of Sedum species often focused on ornament and minimizes the potential for wider environmental benefits. We reviewed the ecological literature on prairie and grassland communities with specific reference to habitat templates from stressed environmental conditions and examined analogs of prairie-based vegetation on twenty-one existing green roofs. We found that many, but not all prairie and grassland species will survive and thrive on green roofs, especially when irrigated as needed or given adequate growing medium depth. We raise several important questions about media, irrigation, temperature, biodiversity and their interactions needing more study.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Fall 2016
                : 11
                : 4
                : 15-36
                Author notes

                1. Landscape architect & integrative researcher, Andropogon Associates

                2. Associate principal & director of integrative research, Andropogon Associates

                3. PhD student, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

                Article
                jgb.11.4.15
                10.3992/jgb.11.4.15.1
                ©2016 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.
                Page count
                Pages: 22
                Product
                Categories
                INDUSTRY CORNER

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