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Abstract Detail


Byerley Best, Brooke [1], Swadek, Rebecca K. [2].

Plant cover and diversity on a young prairie-style green roof relative to slope position and planting assemblage.

Green roofs are an important tool in urban areas for ecosystem services such as storm water management, urban wildscape integration, and reduction of urban heat island effect. Green roofs in the southwest US, however, require additional design specifications (e.g., drought resistance, extreme temperature tolerance) that northern US green roofs don't typically accommodate. A 20,000-square-foot test roof in North Central Texas was modeled after a local natural prairie system, Goodland Limestone Prairie Barrens/Glades, and incorporated harvested native prairie soil into the planting medium. As part of a larger effort to determine the efficacy of a biomimicry approach to this roof's design, we examined plant cover and species richness relative to two roof slope positions (upslope and downslope) and three pre-determined planting assemblages at eight six-week intervals beginning about 20 months after the roof was first planted. We predicted that downslope areas would have higher coverage but fewer species due to faster establishment of a few dominant species where the soil moisture might be greater. Conversely, upslope areas should have lower vegetative cover due to drier conditions, but greater species richness from the more open community. The three plant assemblages began with the same number of species and an unknown but likely homogenous seed bank from the harvested soil; we thus predicted no difference in richness or cover among the groups when averaged over slope position. We found that species richness did not vary relative to slope position, but cover was consistently greater downslope than upslope. Planting assemblage did not appear to impact either richness or cover differentially when averaged over time. We saw an overall trend in all samples where cover generally kept increasing over time while richness peaked in the spring, troughed in the summer, and began to rebound in the fall, mirroring the bimodal precipitation for the region. This richness pattern is indicative of annual-dominated systems such as the one upon which the roof was modeled.

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BRIT Living Roof webpage
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1 - Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA
2 - New York City Parks, 1234 Fifth Ave, New York, NY, 10029, USA

green roof
green design
prairie barrens
Prairie Ecosystems
applied ecology.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC028
Abstract ID:873
Candidate for Awards:None

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