Green roofs are gaining momentumin the arid and semi-arid regions due to their multiple benefits as compared with conventional roofs. One of the most critical steps in green roof installation is the selection of drought and heat tolerant species that can thrive under extreme microclimate conditions. We monitored the water status, growth and survival of 11 drought-adapted shrub species grown on shallow green roof modules (10 and 13 cm deep substrate) and analyzed traits enabling plants to cope with drought (symplastic and apoplastic resistance) and heat stress (root membrane stability). The physiological traits conferring efficiency/safety to the water transport systemunder severe drought influenced plantwater status and represent good predictors of both plant water use and growth rates over green roofs. Moreover, our data suggest that high substrate temperature represents a stress factor affecting plant survival to a larger extent than drought per se. In fact, the major cause influencing seedling survival on shallow substrates was the species-specific root resistance to heat, a single and easy measurable trait that should be integrated into the methodological framework for screening and selection of suitable shrub species for roof greening in the Mediterranean.

Drought versus heat: What's the major constraint on Mediterranean green roof plants?

SAVI, TADEJA;TRETIACH, Mauro;NARDINI, Andrea
2016

Abstract

Green roofs are gaining momentumin the arid and semi-arid regions due to their multiple benefits as compared with conventional roofs. One of the most critical steps in green roof installation is the selection of drought and heat tolerant species that can thrive under extreme microclimate conditions. We monitored the water status, growth and survival of 11 drought-adapted shrub species grown on shallow green roof modules (10 and 13 cm deep substrate) and analyzed traits enabling plants to cope with drought (symplastic and apoplastic resistance) and heat stress (root membrane stability). The physiological traits conferring efficiency/safety to the water transport systemunder severe drought influenced plantwater status and represent good predictors of both plant water use and growth rates over green roofs. Moreover, our data suggest that high substrate temperature represents a stress factor affecting plant survival to a larger extent than drought per se. In fact, the major cause influencing seedling survival on shallow substrates was the species-specific root resistance to heat, a single and easy measurable trait that should be integrated into the methodological framework for screening and selection of suitable shrub species for roof greening in the Mediterranean.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716310300
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2888743
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