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Are biocrusts and xerophytic vegetation a viable green roof typology in a Mediterranean climate? A comparison between differently vegetated green roofs in water runoff and water quality

Are biocrusts and xerophytic vegetation a viable green roof typology in a Mediterranean climate? A comparison between differently vegetated green roofs in water runoff and water quality

Rocha, Bernard, Paço, Teresa A., Luz, Ana Catarina, Palha, Paulo, Milliken, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0001-7151-8753, Kotzen, Benzion ORCID: 0000-0003-3522-0460, Branquinho, Cristina, Pinho, Pedro and Cruz de Carvalho, Ricardo (2021) Are biocrusts and xerophytic vegetation a viable green roof typology in a Mediterranean climate? A comparison between differently vegetated green roofs in water runoff and water quality. Water, 13 (1):94. ISSN 2073-4441 (Print), 2073-4441 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010094)

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Abstract

Green roofs can be an innovative and effective way of mitigating the environmental impact of urbanization by providing several important ecosystem services. However, it is known that the performance of green roofs varies depending on the type of vegetation and, in drier climates, without resorting to irrigation, these are limited to xerophytic plant species and biocrusts. The aim of this research was therefore to compare differently vegetated green roofs planted with this type of vegetation. A particular focus was their ability to hold water during intense stormwater events and, in addition, the quality of the harvested rainwater. Six test beds with different vegetation compositions were used on the roof of a building in Lisbon. Regarding stormwater retention, the results varied depending on the composition of the vegetation and the season. As for water quality, almost all the parameters tested were higher than the Drinking Water Directive from the European Union (EU) and Word Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking-water quality standards for potable water. Based on our results, biocrusts and xerophytic vegetation are a viable green roof typology for slowing runoff during stormwater events.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 by the authors. Open Access. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, sustainability, stormwater retention, water reuse, Mediterranean climate, biocrust roofs, xerophytic vegetation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Architecture and Landscape Research and Enterprise
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DSC)
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2021 13:01
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30718

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