Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
310-311, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Colleen M. Butler
Andrea N. Melnychenko
Green roofs, long common in Europe, are becoming increasingly common in the United States. However, in contrast to countries like Germany, green roof standards are just being established in the US, and more research is needed to understand how green roofs perform. Green roof research can help inform design while at the same time contribute to our understanding of these emerging urban ecosystems. In this session, speakers will present recent findings on the ecosystem services provided by green roofs and discuss the role of ecologists in future green roof research. A number of services are attributed to green roofs, such as retention of rain water, mitigation of the urban heat island effect, and creation of habitat for local fauna. However, the extent of these services, especially in different bioregions, has yet to be fully evaluated. As green roof research is inherently cross-disciplinary, speakers will have a variety of educational backgrounds, including ecology, landscape architecture, horticulture, and education. From these diverse perspectives, speakers will present different aspects of green roof research and its applicability at different spatial scales; speakers will also address areas where future research is needed. Speakers will be asked to consider 1) What are sources of uncertainty in the assessment of green roof ecosystem services? 2) How might these services be affected by bioregional factors? and 3) How can we improve our assessment of green roof ecosystem services?