Incorporating Ecology into Green Roof Research
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
L100C, Minneapolis Convention Center
Leon Blaustein, University of Haifa
Gyongyver Kadas, University of East London
Green roofs, which use natural or artificial substrates to allow plants to grow on rooftops, mitigate many anthropogenic environmental impacts of urban development. For example, green roofs mitigate flooding during heavy rains, insulate buildings resulting in reduced energy expenditure for heating and cooling, and in the realm of ‘reconciliation ecology’, they provide habitat for flora and fauna where nature has been largely removed. Until now, as verified by a bibliometric survey we conducted and confirmed by our own surveying of potential contributors of this session, ecological and biodiversity aspects of green roofs have received far less attention. Yet, ecological theory and empirical work have much to offer in guiding research directions for creating biodiverse systems of roofs. Such theory and empirical work come from island biogeography, invasion ecology, and landscape ecology. Likewise, green roof research provides excellent opportunities to test and develop ecological theory. This forum will be a mix of several invited short talks and discussion. Some topics will include integration of photo-voltaic cells and green roofs for both better electric production and greater plant and animal diversity, the role of plant diversity and plant species identify on roofs affecting community structure and in resisting colonization of invasive plants, and landscape approaches to understand the integration of heterogeneity at several spatial scales. We hope that such a session in the form of largely a “think tank” will foster new ideas and new opportunities for collaborative research on green roof ecology.