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Ecology Lab, LIT Paper - The Potential of Green Roof In...

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The Potential of Green Roof In Promoting a Biodiversity in a Less Natural Urban Areas Madonna Culver BIOLOGY 3081- ECOLOGY LAB Dr. David Field
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Introduction: Urban ecology is not as greatly explored field as other ecosystems by ecologist due to having the least, if there’s any at all, natural elements in it. One reason is because there is not a lot of living organism that can be found in urban areas, it is mainly building and houses with very limited potted plants. There is one area of urban ecology that has been slowly examined over the years; it is the green roof technology. Even though it is mostly, and initially being regarded as engineering projects, some scientist look at it as an ecological system and the benefits suggest it to be a well functioning ecosystem (Oberndorfer, Erica et al. 2007 ). Green roofs can promote habitat and movement of wildlife, such as invertebrates The idea of green roofs can be traced back even in ancient time as hanging gardens (Oberndorfer, Erica et al. 2007) . In this day and age, roof garden projects primarily functions as aesthetics in hotels or business buildings with limited amount of plants until European cities, primarily Germany, has developed and established deep substrates with various plants and even trees and has greatly understood and proven that the benefits of green roof, not only as an engineering advancement, but as a functioning habitats for wildlife and faunas. Many cities in the United States are slowly following this footstep. Experts and scientist have measured and studied various of these benefits like the cooling effects of green roofs, air quality, storm water management , food production not just to humans but as well as other species like birds, and of course the diversity and abundance of organism that harbors in green roofs environments. Studies have found the introduction of variety of plants provides habitats for the native animals but also invited rare invertebrates (Kadas 2006). The development of green roofs is directly related to diversifying living organisms and a permanent habitat of various invertebrates. The green roof concept is more than just an engineering challenge; it is an ecological initiative which can hold promises including providing habitat and refuge for declining and rare species which promotes biodiversity.
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There are two categories of green roof, one is “extensive” green roofs which usually have a shallow substrate, thus vegetation chosen for this type is typically of those that can tolerate shallow soil such as local wild flowers, or those once which has the niche for rocky habitats (depending on the type of material template for the project). Extensive green roof typically costs less and less is maintenance than the second type which is the “intensive” green roof. This kind has a deeper substrate and has the capacity of functioning as a conventional ground level environment Oberndorfer, Erica et al. 2007) . Some green roofs
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