Journal article

Drought-avoiding plants with low water use can achieve high rainfall retention without jeopardising survival on green roofs

Christopher Szota, Claire Farrell, Nicholas SG Williams, Stefan K Arndt, Tim D Fletcher

SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT | ELSEVIER | Published : 2017

Abstract

Green roofs are increasingly being used among the suite of tools designed to reduce the volume of surface water runoff generated by cities. Plants provide the primary mechanism for restoring the rainfall retention capacity of green roofs, but selecting plants with high water use is likely to increase drought stress. Using empirically-derived plant physiological parameters, we used a water balance model to assess the trade-off between rainfall retention and plant drought stress under a 30-year climate scenario. We compared high and low water users with either drought avoidance or drought tolerance strategies. Green roofs with low water-using, drought-avoiding species achieved high rainfall re..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grants - Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne Water, City of Melbourne


Awarded by ARC Future Fellowship


Funding Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mike Sammonds, Matt Burns and Nick Bond for lending their R coding expertise to help create the water balance model and to Bonnie Glaister for providing valuable comments on the manuscript. This researchwas funded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grants (LP0990704 and LP140100885), supported by the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne Water, City of Melbourne, and The Committee for Melbourne, CityWestWater and Nursery and Garden Industry Australia. T.D. Fletcher was also supported by an ARC Future Fellowship (FT100100144).