Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Native Plant Fares Well in Pilot Green Roof Research Study

16.10.2012
In a UC pilot study of plants best suited for the region’s green roofs, the North American native, nodding wild onion, and a sedum commonly known as goldmoss sedum were the most likely to survive both heat and little rainfall, conditions common to the area’s summer months.

As the implementation of green roofs increase, a University of Cincinnati pilot study examined which plants best thrive on the region’s roofs during the dry, hot conditions of summer.

That research, by UC biology student Jill Bader and Ishi Buffam, assistant professor of biology, identified a North American (and Ohio) native plant – nodding wild onion (Allium cernuum) and a European sedum (Sedum acre, also known as goldmoss sedum) as suited to survive and thrive on the region’s green roofs.

Their research will be presented in a paper titled “Ohio Native Plants On a Green Roof: Evaluation of Survival and Impact on Stormwater Runoff” at the CitiesAlive 2012 conference, sponsored by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Oct. 17-20 in Chicago.

“Our research will help inform the design of green roofs specific for this region, and therefore increase their chances of being successful, and being adopted in Midwestern cities. There are many potential benefits to green roofs, including building energy savings, extension of roof life, reduced air and noise pollution, creation of environment for native birds and insects and, of course, reduced storm water runoff,” said Buffam.

Bader and Buffam tested four Ohio native plants and one sedum to see which was the most likely to survive on an extensive green roof in the late summer of 2011. All plants were tested under two conditions: dependent on rainfall only and receiving regular watering. The testing took place at the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies in Harrison, Ohio.

All plants receiving regular watering survived.

However, heath aster (Aster ericoides), flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata) and lanced-leaved loosestrife (Lysimachia lanceolata) did not survive when receiving rainfall as their only water source.

When receiving only rainfall, the nodding wild onion (A. cernuum) and the goldmoss sedum (S. acre) were stressed but survived.

All of these plants were selected for testing because their natural habitat is prairie or meadow, where exposure to full sun and dry conditions are typical.

According to Bader, “We tested the plants because one of the most critical choices for the success of a green roof is the choice of plant species. The environment on a rooftop is characterized by severe drought, elevated temperatures, high light intensity, high winds and the layer of soil for the plants is generally shallower than it would be for plants in typical settings.”

In fact, a contributing factor in the success of S. acre and A. cernuum to survive was shallow root systems, paired with characteristics that allow them to efficiently use water during hot, dry conditions. In the case of A. cernuum, it’s a bulb which can store water for later use by the plant, and in the case of S. acre, it’s the relatively thick foliage and CAM photosynthesis. (CAM photosynthesis is an adaptation by plants living in arid conditions that allows stoma or tiny pores in the foliage to close during the day in order to retain moisture but opening at night in order to complete part of the photosynthesis process.)

Bader and Buffam added that environmental conditions vary widely by geographic regions in North America. There are hundreds of eco-regions in North America, and that demands study of which plants work best in each region.

In addition to testing which Ohio native plants could best survive on an extensive green roof, Bader and Buffam also tested the impact of plant species to reduce water runoff, one of the important functions of a green roof. (In other words, which of the tested plants best retained water, such that the water was absorbed vs. running into the sewer system.)

In this preliminary test, the native species receiving moisture only from rainfall (vs. regular watering) retained 51 percent of rainfall on average, but there was no significant difference among the species in their abilities to absorb water and reduce total runoff quantity. Those plants receiving regular watering retained 44 percent of rainfall on average.

This pilot study was supported by UC’s Julia Hammler Wendell Scholarship Fund, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program and Cincinnati Center for Field Studies at Miami Whitewater Forest, a research station partnership between the University of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Park District.

M.B. Reilly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>