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Ruderal Green Roofs

  • Dunnett N
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An awareness of the ecological theory relating to the colonization, early successional stages and persistence of ruderal communities and their role within a matrix of other plant communities and plant types on green roofs provides an important basis for increased understanding of the long-term resilience of dynamic green roof vegetation assemblages. This chapter discusses the concept of the ruderal green roof, with its highly dynamic nature and inclusion of colonization, succession and change as core functioning elements. The theoretical background of a trait-based or functional type approach to working with green roof vegetation will be explored, and the wider role of `ruderal' or disturbance-tolerant plant species in creating resilient and climate-adapted green roofs will be reviewed. Dynamic colonization processes have wide applications across typical extensive, semi-intensive and intensive green roof types where designers and users desire greater biodiversity, a more sustainable approach to long-term management, increased local distinctiveness, climate adaptation, and greater aesthetic and visual interest.




Dunnett, N. (2015). Ruderal Green Roofs (pp. 233–255).

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