98th ESA Annual Meeting (August 4 -- 9, 2013)

SS 18-1 - Incorporating ecology into green roof research: introductory remarks

Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 8:00 PM
L100C, Minneapolis Convention Center
Leon Blaustein, Kadas Green Roof Ecology Center, Institute of Evolution and Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

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 indicated by a bibliometric survey, ecological and biodiversity aspects of green roofs have received far less attention. Yet, ecological theory and empirical work has much to offer in guiding research directions for creating biodiverse system 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 identity 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. The hope is that this session will foster new ideas and new opportunities for collaborative research on green roof ecology.